Pinterest searches for ‘self love’ tips have soared during the pandemic. Gen Z’s in particular are driving the trend, as they strive to love and accept themselves for who they really are. This is reinforced by body positive social media trends such as ‘Instagram vs reality‘ that show side-by-side photos of a posed or edited image against the real version, in a bid to bring awareness to the deceitful nature of social media. In this article, we speak to five women who share self love tips and experiences of how they learnt to love their bodies…
Self love tips: How to love your body
Sabi Kerr, Self Love Coach
Sabi Kerr is a self love coach who helps women to love themselves, feel worthy and manifest a ‘lit up’ life.
“Our bodies are the containers through which everything else in our life happens”, she says. “Our thoughts, our day-to-day movement, our breathing, even our soul calling and the big life decisions we make all start inside our bodies. So the more love we give to our bodies, the better we will feel about our lives in general.
The biggest shift for me came when I took the focus off what my body looked like, and instead nourished it as a celebration for all it does for me. Sensual dancing in front of the mirror is a game-changer!” Sabi’s self love tips include putting on a “song that makes you feel good, move your body and admire yourself in the mirror while you do so. Whatever you choose, find some time daily to lovingly be with your body and appreciate all that you are”.
Listen to Sabi’s I Am Worthy Playlist here.
Dayle Hill, pre & postnatal yoga teacher
Dayle Hill is a pre and post natal yoga teacher whose aim is for pupils to leave feeling happier, more relaxed and at home in their bodies at the end of class.
“I’m one of those people who didn’t give their body much thought and I took it for granted until it ‘failed’ me”, she says. “We had a journey to becoming pregnant and until that point, I just had an expectation of it. Each of our babies were years in the making and each time we needed some help. But from that struggle and feelings of resentment and failure later came a huge amount of respect and gratitude for just what my body is capable of.
I’ve grown two perfect babies and found myself in a new version after two abdominal births. I’ve watched in awe as my body slowly returned from physically soft, because that was what was needed, to strong – stronger than before in fact. It’s a process I’m still in the early stages of the second time around after welcoming my youngest son at the beginning of the year.
It has taught me how to trust my body to do its own thing. It’s all about how I feel, and that’s enough. I haven’t mourned the ‘old me’ but instead respected the evolution and my deeper sense of body awareness”.
Ianthe Mellors, dancer & founder of Move For The Culture
Ianthe Mellors is a dancer and founder of Move For The Culture, an international day of cultural celebration and fundraising classes pushing for inclusivity in the fitness and wellness industry.
“Last year I suddenly couldn’t connect with my body and felt numb due to racial trauma”, she says. “In order to feel anything, I had to run two hours in the morning. I quickly realised how unhealthy this was and that it wasn’t solving anything. I kept focusing on moving but I’d forgotten about functionality and being patient with my body: the two things I’d learnt over the years I needed to focus on in order to have a good relationship with my body. So I took three weeks off to check in with myself. What was I eating? Was I eating enough? What was my internal dialogue with myself? When I workout am I thinking about functionality or aesthetics?”
Speaking about her self love tips, she says “Properly taking care of your body and your mental health is essential. The mind-body connection is so strong and the body holds onto stress. In order to have a good relationship with your body, you need to see it as a whole. A functioning physical and mental being. Setting goals that focus on achieving and not putting yourself down is key to having a good relationship with your body and yourself. For me what’s always brought me back is focusing on the ‘why’ and telling myself ‘I get to’ instead of ‘I have to’.”
Sarah Malcolm, yoga teacher & founder of At Home with Sarah
Sarah Malcom is a yoga teacher and founder of At Home with Sarah. “Like any young woman, I’ve had real ups and downs with my body – and still do”, she says. “But for me, the biggest shift was battling my health and practicing yoga. At age 15 I was diagnosed with a heart condition that would severely impact my life if not treated immediately. I was thrown into a whirlwind of having to really take note of my body. Of understanding just how important it is and how it truly is a gift to be healthy. Thankfully, three surgeries later, I am as fit and able as any woman and I really do have my body to thank (and amazing doctors of course)”.
Her self love tips include exercise and yoga, which she says is “the most fulfilling shift in my practice of loving my body”. Practicing yoga gave me an invitation to tune in to the inner landscape of my own body and to trust there is so much more than what’s on the outside. Moving in a way that feels good, rather than looks a certain way is key for me and I really can’t shout about that enough.
Of course, I have days where I don’t feel my most confident or sexy in my body (usually pre-period when my body is holding extra water weight). When this happens, I sit still, close my eyes and think how utterly grateful I am to have a capable body. And especially as a female, to have a working body that can do so much and goes through such a rollercoaster of hormones each month. We’re pretty incredible, so let’s celebrate that instead of tearing ourselves down”.
Bex Jade Fountain, designer & blogger
Blogger, designer and blogger Bex Jade Fountain says that finally at the age of 29 she has accepted her body. “I spent many years of my teens being sad and hating myself, when I should’ve been loving myself first! When I was at my thinnest I wasn’t happy, being thin doesn’t equal happiness. It comes from within and as soon as you realise that, that is when you become your happiest. I have learned to love myself as I have got older, through experiences and taking time to find out who I really am.
We can all stand in front of a mirror and analyse and critique our bodies. But as soon as you start thanking your body for looking after you as you go through difficult times, for getting you from A to B and ultimately keeping you alive that is when you have the best body acceptance. I now look at my body and say to myself what I like about it”.
Her self love tips include “wearing clothes I know I look and feel good in. I have good and bad days with my body but I have learned to accept this is me and I am beautiful”.
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