Surfacing After Silence

Life. After.

love and thanks


love and grace and kindness

I was recently inspired by a blog post of a friend of mine from college.  Five simple ways to show your thanks for other people on this holiday–such simple yet meaningful acts like clearing the table or doing dishes.  I know holidays can be a rough time for people with eating disorders and addictions and mental illnesses, but sometimes doing a small act of good for someone else can take the focus off your own anxiety.

Awhile ago, a friend of mine from grad school wrote an entry on her pregnancy blog

Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful (even someone who doesn’t major in english can figure out the correlation between those two words!)–but being thankful for our bodies can be extremely challenging for those of us who have struggled with eating disorders or abuse.  And I admit that I’m not always good at it.  Especially recently.  I have this “I’m thankful for knowing what’s wrong with my heart/I hate my heart” dialectic within me.  And yes, I still do struggle with body image.  But it really is amazing how much one simple act–taking the time to exfoliate and moisturize my skin each night–allows me to marvel at the strength and beauty of my body.  It’s not perfect.  It’s not “what I wanted.”  But it’s mine.  And there are some wonderful aspects about it.

I don’t really believe in New Year’s Resolutions, but I’ve recognized lately that I need to spend more time taking care of me.  I’m giving myself a challenge, similar to my friend’s challenge–to do one thing each day for me.  This may mean a nice bath, a walk, dancing, listening to my favorite cello concerto, using a facial mask, painting my nails, taking more time to write in my own journal rather than for school, stretching, doing a devotional. (For you DBT people, think Self-Sooth, Strong, Improve and Mindfulness).

There are so many ways we can show thanks for our bodies, regardless of where we are in recovery.  I’d love to hear other people’s ideas on possible acts of gratitude or things they are currently doing to honor their bodies.

And if you have ways to show thanks to other people, feel free to throw them in there as well.

Happy Turkey/Tofurkey Day to all of you!

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November 25, 2010 - Posted by | Body Image, coping, Eating Disorders, health, heart, mindfulness, recovery | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. Excellent thoughts

    Comment by sean carroll | November 25, 2010 | Reply

  2. thanks for this post, and for referencing mine. i know for me, the best way to take care of my body is to know when to take a break. if i shutdown early one night and just get proper rest, i stay healthy, more productive, and certainly in a better mood.

    Comment by sean carroll | November 25, 2010 | Reply

  3. putting lotion on does the same thing for me. as do:
    rare rare days without setting an alarm to wake up and being able to brew coffee and drink it on my couch.
    watching law and order under a big blanket.
    roaming bookstores and sitting down in the aisles and read.

    thats all my mind can muster up right now. its shutting down now…

    Comment by redeemedandfree | December 2, 2010 | Reply

  4. I see an art therapist, and a few months ago, she had me do a body tracing. After she traced me, I had to cut it out and then stand back and look at it, and I could write any positive or negative things down on my body that I wanted. Then she had me take it home and decorate my body, using anything I wanted. The key was that, this time, it could only be positive.

    I mostly did collage, as well as some stickers and stuff from Archivers. Then I had to hang it up somewhere where I would see it for a week, like over a mirror. After processing it with the art therapist, I decided I wanted to keep it up, so I got a piece of 4’x6′ super-sturdy cardboard, and glued my body to it (after which my husband used his fancy router thing to cut it out). It’s standing up in my craft room now, reminding me about all the incredible things my body helps me do.

    Comment by Elaina | December 3, 2010 | Reply


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