Body Image

Spring into New Ideas about our Bodies

As we look into the next couple of months, I am offering a range of ways more open-minded about how we understand our bodies and ourselves.

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This March, Libero is discussing how we can “spring forward” in our recovery. Spring is a great time to think about mental health, especially if you haven’t been able to get out into the sun for a few months. I always find it to be a refreshing time of year, even if it comes a little later in Maine. It’s a wonderful way to appreciate a little sunshine, fresh air, and most importantly, new ideas.

It is easy to be close-minded. Even if we think of ourselves as open people, whether in the realm of feminist activism or body positivity, it is not difficult to get set in the way we think.

Spring is a time to think about the world in a different way.

In winter months, it’s easy to get into a rut of thinking of our bodies and selves without trying to expand our opinions.

As we look into the next couple of months, I am offering a range of ways to get out of that mindset and be more open-minded about how we understand our bodies and ourselves…

1. Admit what you don’t know.

This is not easy, and I can understand this first-hand. Whether leading a club meeting or having a casual conversation with a friend about issues I care about, I have a really difficult time admitting when I don’t know something.

But the first step to being open-minded about your own body and the realm of body positivity is remembering you don’t know everything, and nobody expects you to.

2. Do your research.

This may sound pretty simple, but it is not hard to forget. Even if you feel like you are an expert on something, there is always more to learn.

This spring, I encourage Libero readers to take a little time out of your days to appreciate the things you don’t know, and allow yourself to learn more. Because I focus on body positivity, I encourage you to think about your own body and the general scope of body image. Is there something you are still unsure about with your body? Do you get uneasy when people question body positivity? It’s okay if you do not know the answers to these questions, but by doing a little research, we can find more constructive ways to talk and think about our bodies.

3. Talk to other people.

This is something I’ve brought up in articles before, but it is really important. Talk to other people who agree with you, and some who may not. Talk to people from different backgrounds and generations. Talk to the people you love about what they think. But more importantly than talking to these people, you have to listen.

When we ask others about their opinions on complex topics like body positivity, we gain a completely new point of view on an issue that might have been difficult to conceptualize. This can be very frustrating, and I have a number of stories of times when I needed to walk away from conversations. But by discussing the issues important to you with others, everyone can learn a little more.

I would like to add to this third point that talking to people about body image can be really triggering. Please consider where you are in recovery and if you are able to hold a discussion that might leave you feeling upset. Through all of these suggestions, your mental health and recovery come first.

Let’s use this spring to healthily consider new ways to approach our bodies, recovery, and the world around us.

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