5 ways to slay at autumn body acceptance
Recently I asked my Instagram fam how they felt in the changing season i.e from summer to autumn, and literally everyone shouted JUMPERS with a true joy that can only come from from genuine relief from body insecurities. And so it got me thinking, why is autumn so great for body acceptance?
We all know that summer is relentless in it’s messaging to ‘get a bikini body’ or don’t dare wear one (cheers diet culture). The hot weather invariably means either pushing yourself to show some skin or should that feel like a fate worse than death, sweating it out as best as you can.
Autumn is kinder. Autumn says, ‘oh hey jumpers and boots!’. It’s hot chocolate, root vegetables, woolly hats and it’s seeing what gems you might find the pocket when you put on your winter coat again (like discovering last year’s snotty tissues and an occasional fiver). If you’ve not yet heard of Hygge then spend 5 minutes seeing how the Danes kick ass at the art of cosiness.
It’s with the same intention of embracing the falling leaves and the drawing in of the evenings that we can spend a little time thinking about your relationship with your body. After all, you live in your body - much as you might want to cut yourself off at the neck - this is your shell. Time to check in with yourself.
What’s also great about autumn is that it’s ‘back to school’ and this feeling filters through as a useful reset for everyone.
The rosé Wednesdays of a summer BBQ no longer feel like a good idea (because as much as everyone says it after two large glasses, Wednesday really will never be the new Friday).
The unhelpful habits we let slide in summer, because - summer, now don’t feel as hard to want to change.
September gives everyone a moment of self-reflection before November creeps in and freaks everyone out by reminding us that soon we’ll all lose our heads to… Chri… god I can’t even write it down (like if I were to say the word three times in a mirror with a candle then Saint Nick will appear covered in tinsel to turn everyone mad with ‘festive cheer’). You know what I mean anyway.
September is free from any sort of seasonal pressure. It’s got that ‘new year, new you’ vibe without the January bullshit.
So these two thing, the cosiness and the back to school vibe are the perfect combination to slay at autumn body acceptance.
Here's are my top 5 tips for autumn body acceptance:
1. Work out WTF body acceptance looks like for you
If you’re not sure what body acceptance means read the full blog here. But in a nutshell (or conker shell) is appreciating that you do not need to meet a certain goal weight to be happy and worthy of love - and being compassionate that this is really hard to do when the cultural landscape in society is telling us the opposite. Body acceptance will look different for everyone as we each have our own insecurities. One thing is it not, is failing or giving up. It’s actually giving yourself the freedom to live your best life (just imagine the brainspace you’ll have to take over the world when you stop hating on yourself).
Carve out (pumpkin pun unintentional!) some time to do the following visualisation:
Write a list of 5 things you’ve been holding yourself back from doing because of your body hang ups. Then think about how your life would change if you stopped hating on your body.
Write 5 things you would be able to do more of if you liked your body more or if you stopped dieting.
Once you’ve got your two lists (one list is what you’re moving away from and one list if what you’re moving towards) sit somewhere cosy (embracing autumn remember) and close your eyes.
Think about the things that are holding you back and then in your mind, turn them black and white and make the smaller and smaller.
Next, begin to think about all the things you want to do more of. Make them brighter, more colourful and bigger in your mind. See if you can bring the feeling into your body of what it would look like to do all these things.
When you’re ready, come back into the space and write a few notes about the feeling. Use this to visualisation to motivate you further on this path.
2. Journal on what needs to be let go or where you’re wasting your energy.
Again, take a little time and think about your life in 360. Where are you putting in time and not getting the reward back? It could be relationships, your job, family, hobbies, friendships or even those annoying tasks you can’t stop thinking about but never get done. Now, once you’ve penned a list, like the rapidly falling leaves, think about what you can let go. Nature knows it’s impossible to hold on to everything all the time - time to tap into this magic. Look at your list and write down 3 ways you can put up some new boundaries on your time, which is precious.
3. Feed your soul
Surely one of the best things about autumn is the food? Embrace the warming, nourishing flavours of this time of year and literally feed your soul. See if your area has a farmer’s market - not to be hipster AF - but to go and check out what’s in season and even meet someone growing your food! The more fruit and veggies you put in there, the better you’re going to feel (but you’re not 5 years old, you know this, so go do it). Don't forget, when you're out of diet culture mindset, food is just food and it's magical. Find out how I can support your journey here.
Want to add some extra good vibe tingles? Invite your friends round and get everyone to bring a dish. Enjoy sitting down with the people you love. It’s what the Danes do to bump up the Hygge, and as I said before, Danes do it right).
4. Layering up on the self-care
Oh knitwear, how I love thee. Layers are a fucking joy aren’t they?! The great thing about layering up when it starts to get cold is that it’s an automatic self-care mindset. What else can you do this season to make yourself feel good? Maybe it’s treating yourself to a new coat (it’s an investment piece) or running a candle lit bath (I love this one). Or perhaps you could try getting a hot stone massage (don’t just go to anyone, find a good therapist, trust me on this one) or just taking yourself out for a date. Showing yourself some love tells your brain, and your body, that you’re worth it.
5. Acknowledging small moments of happiness in nature
Crunchy leaves under foot, berries in the hedgerows, seeing your breathe, robins, the colours of the trees, the change of light - these are some of my favourite things about autumn. Embrace the tiny moments of joy and get out into nature now (before winter arrives and we all barricade ourselves inside for three months). Practicing noticing life’s small pleasures and expressing some gratitude for them is a sure fire way to boost your mood.
So there we go! How to slay body acceptance by harnessing the power of autumn.
One last note: body acceptance doesn’t mean feeling positive about your body every day. That’s near impossible. No. It’s about flipping your mindset to see that you are more than your body and that you deserve to be able to live your life free from worrying that you’re not good enough. It’s also feeling worthy enough to nourish your mind, body and soul in ways that make you feel good - regardless of your size.
What’s your favourite thing about autumn or what do you think of these tips? Pop on over to Instagram and drop me a DM.
Want more help getting to a place of true body acceptance? Join my coaching programme.
The sessions are done via Skype so you can be anywhere in the world. woo! I offer a free 30 min discovery call to anyone interested in finding out more about body acceptance coaching. Just fill out the form here and I’ll get back to you.
Love Harri x