Whether you are currently an advocate of body positivity or you’ve never heard of it before, the movement is impossible to ignore. But with a mission of encouraging everyone to embrace their body as it is in the present moment—as well as any changes it may undergo—instead of chasing fad diets and avoiding harsh body criticism, who would want to ignore it? During pregnancy, a woman’s body changes so much over such a short amount of time, which could propel any person—regardless of confidence levels—to criticize or fixate on their body. In fact, most women who go through pregnancy report feeling insecure about their bodies.
If you’re experiencing insecurities around your body, but still wondering how you can embrace body positivity postpartum, we have some tips that may help you!
Notice Negative Body Talk
When do you think or talk negatively about your body? Is it when you get dressed in the morning, when you look in the mirror or when you eat? We need to do these things every day so it’s impossible to completely eliminate triggering situations like these. However, if you find yourself in a triggering situation that you can eliminate from your life—for example, not spending time around people who constantly talk about their body or yours negatively—do so. Conduct some soul-searching and try to learn why those instances could be triggering negative body talk. Becoming aware of the negative dialogue is the first step in changing it into positivity and implementing more body-positive communication.
Infuse Positive Mantras Into Your Everyday Routine
Take note of the kinds of negative things you say to yourself so you can turn negativity into an empowering statement. For example, if when you look in the mirror you tell yourself: “I need to lose weight. I hate how my tummy looks,” try to turn it into a positive statement like: “I embrace every curve of my body. I am worthy and beautiful just the way I am.” Even if you don’t fully believe this positive statement, when you repeat it enough, your mind will start to embrace it and accept it as a fact.
Dress to Impress–Yourself
Studies show that when you dress your best, you feel your best. You’re less likely to negatively criticize yourself if you feel confident in your appearance. Postpartum, your body may still be going through changes, so check out a plus size boutique to stock up on clothes that hug every curve just right and make you feel radiant. Plus size leggings are the perfect staple for any look and they are comfortable. The stretchy material conforms to your body so that you don’t have to buy a new pair every time your body changes. If you are looking for a garment that can transform both your look and attitude, try plus size wrap dresses. These dresses are flattering for every kind of body type, ensuring that you will feel fabulous and confident.
Keep Comparison at Bay
Humans have compared themselves to others since the beginning of time. However, social comparison has become more frequent thanks to accessibility and rise in use of social media, and it can be dangerous–especially if you are working to eliminate negative and discouraging thoughts. Identify moments of comparison when you notice them and ask yourself if it serves you well to compare yourself in that moment. Some comparison can be healthy, but too much of it can be defeating. If you notice that you compare yourself to others while scrolling through the ’gram or consuming other forms of media, try to cut back on your usage of such platforms. And remember that things aren’t always what they seem. Just because you think someone has a perfect life or body because of what they choose to share or disclose, they may feel more insecure than you think.
Surround Yourself with Positivity
Have you ever heard of the phrase, “You are a direct reflection of the people you surround yourself with”? While you embark on a body positive journey, it’s important to have people in your corner who reflect what you wish to be. It’s also critical that you hear positive messages about your body. Studies reveal that we often experience negative body talk among our friend groups. Be sure to seek out body positive groups locally or online that can hold you accountable and inspire you to adopt a more optimistic dialogue.
Pick Up Hobbies That Make You Proud
Are you really good at something or is there a hobby you truly enjoy? Fill your free time with these activities to instantly boost your mood. When we do things we enjoy, we feel confident and fulfilled and negative talk disappears. If you’re looking for an activity that can help you better connect with yourself spiritually, take up yoga. Practicing yoga increases focus, which could help you take a deep dive into the narrative you speak every day and could help you create more positivity in your mind. You can also do postpartum prolapse recovery to repair weakened pelvic tissues which is the common effect of pregnancy.
Praise Your Body
If you find yourself down in the depths of negative talk, cut out 15 minutes of your day to journal all of the things you are proud of or consider accomplishments. Combating negative talk with gratitude can slow down the spiral that negative thoughts can ensue. This would also be a great time to revisit your body positive mantras you create.
Since body positivity aims to eliminate the negative speech around our bodies, it’s important to remember to have grace with yourself if you do have negative thoughts as you learn to love your body again and accept the changes it has undergone.