A few months ago, I announced I was going to start doing some “Thursday Thoughts” posts - and then I promptly ceased blogging or doing anything creative for about 3 months. I shared more about that in my newsletter this week and may write a separate post about it in the future but suffice it to say, I was tired and stressed and needed a break (also if you haven’t subscribed to my newsletter yet, what are you waiting for? You can sign up here to hear from me every month and get blog, book, and podcast recommendations in addition to other thoughts and diet culture rants). Anyhoo- the bottom line here is that I’m back and happy to be sharing some thoughts with you all.
I’ve been talking a lot about self-care this week with my clients- I don’t know whether it’s the time of year or what, but it seems like a lot of people I’m talking to this week are feeling particularly anxious. And it’s this time of year- holidays, finals, parties, wrapping up the year - that can feel really challenging to make time for yourself and engage in that good ol’ self-care. I’m not talking about spa days and fancy bath products from Lush - I mean the kind of self-care that makes your life more manageable (and enjoyable) and allows you to better connect to yourself and others. When’s the last time you took some time for yourself? If you can’t remember, if it was more than 24 hours ago, or if it’s something that feels really uncomfortable for you - those are all signs that maybe it’s something you need to create some space for in your life.
Two things I want to acknowledge: first, the title of this post is a play on the 25 days of Christmas because it seemed timely but the post itself is as secular as they come. Second, most of the things on this list require some degree of privilege whether that’s time or money or ability or food access. But I tried to make a list that felt accessible to all bodies in some way. I certainly can’t tell you how to best take care of yourself- but these are some things that help me personally as well as some of my clients.
As a dietitian, I find myself talking about hunger with my clients a lot. Recognizing and being able to identify our hunger is, of course, a critical component of healing our relationship with food and listening to our intuition. But so often, those cues get muddied and buried under layers of diet culture and/or are dormant completely after periods of restriction and other disordered behaviors. The bottom line is diet culture teaches us to ignore our own body's signals - especially hunger.