This year, it seems like no one is buying into the “New Year, New Me” mantra. Maybe it’s because millennials are burned out, or perhaps, its because body positivity is more truth than trend. Whichever the reason, there has been a cultural focus away from strict fitness and dieting routines (which statistically fail by February), and more of a focus on just being one’s self.
The attitude of contentment with who we truly are — especially as women — has reached a fever pitch, as cultural influencers from Jameela Jamil to Roxane Gay to countless fitness Instagrammers shutting down the idea of setting a “goal weight” or “goal persona” in January.
In the spirit of loving ourselves a little more this year — and kissing hyper-consumerism and body hatred goodbye once and for all — we made a list of all the things you can do this year that don’t require you to hate your body.
Instead, these will only make you love it a little more.
Try “Dry January”
Dry January — a month full of alcohol-free living— has become a big deal in the United States after launching in the U.K. by a charity group called Alcohol Change. During the month, millions of people swear off drinking after a long two-month holiday season filled with lots of wine, coquito, and all-out boozing.
People who have committed to a full drink-free month in the past have reported weight loss, improved skin, and reduced spending.
While one certainly shouldn’t swear off alcohol solely for weight loss, reports show that limited alcohol consumption can have long term health benefits, as alcohol is linked with more than 60 health conditions, including liver disease, high blood pressure, depression and seven types of cancer.
If you’ve gotten hooked on a heavy nightcap or going out several nights a week, now may be the time to recalibrate and help get your liver back on track.
Take on a fitness routine that actually feels good
Believe it or not, there are workouts you can try that you’ll actually love instead of dread. And those are the only workouts you should feel compelled to do.
We spoke to a few of the fitness instructors at Washington D.C. and Colorado’s Rock the Reformer Pilates studio, to learn more about what is most important when it comes to committing to a fitness routine.
“It’s about finding a workout that makes you stronger,” said Leeor Kelly, manager and instructor at the studio. “[We teach our clients] to embrace the body that they have. It’s about feeling better mentally, with stress, and with improving your self-esteem.”
Whether its yoga, pilates, spinning or dancing, find a way to move your body and love every second of it.
Learn more about your sexuality
As the women’s movement rages on, we are beginning to see more pink pussy hats, slut walks, and outright ownership of femme sexuality than ever before. There’s no better time than now to learn exactly how your body’s pleasure centers work.
Whether you pick up a copy of Come As You Are, a New York Times bestselling guide to creating a fulfilling sex life or consider enrolling in a pole dancing class, there are countless resources to help women get more in touch with what it means to literally love your body.
Track your body
While we may be moving away from unhealthy fascinations with calorie counting and nonstop workouts, some of the latest technology may be making body positivity easier and more fun.
For example, apps such as Glow allow you to track your menstruation cycle down to the day and can be great for women who are trying to conceive (or, trying not to) as each day it indicates your percent likelihood of getting pregnant.
Other apps we love are DownDog for its free yoga classes, Calm for daily guided meditation (a great way to start your day!), and MyFitnessPal for gaining a better awareness of how many nutrients you’re getting each day (don’t feel compelled to track it for calories, but for nourishment).
And, if you do still love a good old fashioned gym workout, Blink gym just launched a personalized mobile companion app that allows members to receive a daily, personalized feed full of healthy living content that helps encourage them to love their bodies a little more.
Consider Alternative Healing
There’s been a recent boom in all types of alternative Eastern healing practices — from reiki to chakra alignment — that are known to cater to your spiritual health and wellness.
However, these practices can also support physical health as well, addressing issues with inflammation, auto-immune disease, and several other ailments.
Many natural spas and wellness clubs offer a range of services, including acupuncture, reflexology (which is known to help with digestive health issues) and aromatherapy (helpful for headaches, digestion, and circulation).