How to Be Body Positive During the Holidays

Three women laughing together on a couch in front of a Christmas tree

Feeling positive about your body is an important part of good mental and emotional health. But we all know that it’s challenging at certain times of the year. Maintaining body positivity during the holidays can be especially difficult. Lots of social events, indulgent meals and treats, and potentially judgmental family members can add up to negative feelings about your appearance.

Holidays and body positivity certainly don’t go hand-in-hand for most people. But there are ways you can continue to feel good about who you are and what you look like during the holidays. Learning what those strategies are and doing your best to practice them can change your perspective on the holiday season, making it your favorite time of the year. 


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5 Body Positivity Tips for the Holidays

As the holidays approach, it feels great to have a plan for how to deal with body image issues. Your strategy allows you to “lean in” to the holidays rather than feeling like the season puts you on the defensive. Use some or all of the tips below to stay happy with who you are.

1. Build a support network

Many people struggle with how to be body positive during the holidays. By connecting with others who have challenges like yours, you can support one another and talk about how to deal with body image issues. The tips for a positive body image that you all share can become a helpful “toolkit” for everyone.

2. Use positive self-talk

Convincing yourself that a social event is going to be unpleasant can contribute to it turning out that way. On the flip side, repeating to yourself that you’re going to enjoy seeing family and friends can help create that outcome. You’re a strong, confident person who’s comfortable in your skin and worthy of love and respect — you just need to keep reminding yourself of that fact.

3. Learn to say “No”

Being able to say “No” is an important skill that can help you establish important boundaries. For example, it’s important to decline the invitation to an event or the offer of a delicious dessert if that’s what’s best for your emotional or physical health. And remember: You’re not obligated to explain why you’re declining.

4. Be comfortable changing or ending a conversation

You feel a family member starting to move into an area of conversation that you’re not comfortable with, like: “I noticed the dress you’re wearing…” Don’t sit back and wait for it to get worse — take charge. For example, say, “Thanks. I love it. And I’m so happy to be here. How have you been?” If the person keeps coming back to that area, politely excuse yourself and strike up a conversation with someone else.

5. Minimize your time on social media

Looking at pictures and videos of others and comparing yourself to them is never a good idea. It can be particularly hard on your emotional health during the holidays. Pick something else you’ll do when the urge to look at your phone comes up. Whether that’s diving into a good book, taking a brisk walk, or something else you enjoy, the result is less time spent on social media, and that’s a good thing.

Take Care of Your Mental Health with Baptist Health

Body positivity during the holidays is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. One more addition to the list of body positivity tips is to reach out to a mental health provider if necessary. They can talk with you about how to deal with body image issues. Plus, just having someone listen to you as you express your hopes and fears about the holidays is very helpful. 

If you need mental health support during the holidays, find a behavioral health provider near you in Kentucky and Southern Indiana. 


Next Steps and Useful Resources:

Find a Provider
Supporting Mental Wellness During the Holidays
Body-Positive Parenting
Did You Gain Weight During Quarantine? Here’s How to Lose It.

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