A picture of a narrow empty residential street in Europe

Throughout quarantine, our lives were limited. We were confined to our homes, and with the absence of work, meetings, lunch dates and gym time, it left us more aware of the space our bodies inhabit. In that space, our insecurities became alarmingly tangible and loud. 

I completely understand the struggle of finding peace in one’s own skin. One good thing about quarantine was that it was a chance to rebuild and redefine the meaning of rest for our minds and bodies. This was the time to replace old mentalities with new ones. 

Body image is an interesting term because it refers to an idea or perception of ourselves. When it is negative, body image doesn’t always reflect the reality of who we are. The perception of ourselves doesn’t capture our story, our strengths or our joys.

Body image…refers to an idea or perception of ourselves.

However, it can. As we learn to view and care for ourselves with grace, no matter our outward appearance, our bodies and minds will begin to tell the stories of what makes us who we are. Here are some ways I learned to accept myself in the skin I’m in during quarantine 2020 and how you can too:

Write down the truth.

To begin, write down the negative things you believe about your body and about food. Pinpoint where the anxiety comes from. Replace the negatives with the truth of who you are and what matters to you.

If you struggle to do this on your own, then call your best friend, ask your sister, your spouse or someone who will speak the truth. Read over these truths daily, multiple times a day if necessary. Say them out loud and to the mirror. Don’t be discouraged by difficult days. These words will begin to solidify in your mind and heart.

Begin the day by calming your mind.

While it is cliche, how you begin your day matters. Mornings used to be the most anxious part of my day. I began to start the day off reading, making coffee, writing, watching a TedTalk, listening to a podcast or stretching.

The purpose is to give my mind space to breathe and allow anxious thoughts to calm down so that I can go into the day without the weight of insecurity. This space helps me approach exercise and eating in a lighter, more grounded way. I have a better idea of what my body is saying, not just my mind. Remember, you are more than what you think and feel about yourself.

You are more than what you think and feel about yourself.

Find a balance.

Finally, give yourself the grace to learn the balance between rest and exercise. Find new ways to love yourself outside of exercising. For those of you who are diligent with exercise, allow yourself to rest. If you feel you haven’t built good healthy disciplines, then this may be a good time to learn what this means for your body. Take a bath, reorganize your dresser, take a walk with your camera, pull out your watercolors and learn a new skill.

In whatever it may be, take the time. You are worthy of the process. 

What are some tools you have for practicing self-acceptance? Why is it so important to honor the skin you are in?

Image via Raisa Zwart Photography

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