body, movement, & dance

Week Two: Vacation (The Body Positive New Year Challenge)

Sunday: cooked food to freeze for lunches/ dinners in January
Monday: went to the gym first thing in the morning
Tuesday: shopped for and purchased a bathing suit
Wednesday: wore a bathing suit as I packed and cleaned
Thursday: left for vacation!

I took a break from tracking daily body positive actions over my vacation. But I did not stop exploring body positive habits and feelings! Actually, I found vacation to be a fabulous way to reconnect with myself physically.

Mostly, just feeling more relaxed and happy makes my body more easy to listen to and makes me more eager to respond accordingly. I ate when I felt hungry and didn’t eat when I didn’t want to. I showered twice a day and dressed nicely — well, given the clothes that I packed. I slept, but did not track my hours; I walked, but did not track my miles. I lived in my body instead of in my head.

I could do all these things because I was on vacation. How can I bring this connection with myself back to my working life? That’s always a question for me when I enter a new year or a new semester. How soon am I going to get stressed out and unhealthy again?

I think I need to drop the false division I’m making between relaxed and stressed. I didn’t get stressed over vacation — oh my. But I said to myself, “I’m on vacation, so it’s okay, I’ll work it out.” I felt entitled to relax and enjoy my vacation, so I focused on it.

I hope this New Year’s resolution will help me bring that sense of being entitled to joy and relaxation into my everyday awareness. Through small and large daily actions, I’ll tell myself that I deserve to take care of myself and enjoy being in my body here and now even as I push myself and get stressed and strive to accomplish and achieve.

Let the challenge continue!

Published by Mimi Arbeit

applied developmental scientist, antifascist community organizer, sexuality educator