National Eating Disorders Association
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5 Ways to Stay Positive in the Face of January Diet Campaigns

Grace Bradley, Communications Intern

We’re over a week into the new year and you've likely encountered a plethora of diet ads telling you that happiness can only be achieved through weight loss. I'm calling BS on that idea. 

So often, the prospect of the new year is poisoned by notions of creating a “new and improved” you, as if the person you were on December 31st at 11:59pm was not worthy. Well, you are, and everyone has different desires for the new year, as we should!

Below are five ways to keep it positive this January and beyond, because 2018 should be what you want it to be, and because the only person who really has control over your year is you.

1. Make a list of tangible goals for the year.

Do you have a project coming up? A trip? Searching for a job, internship, or summer plans? Do you want to focus on your recovery? Start small, and prioritize what needs to get done. For me, I like to write out everything that I need to do in the next six months. To make it more exciting, I highlight what I am looking forward to the most, or make a note of what good will come out of that task. I’m not going to lie, it can be a bit overwhelming in the moment to see it laid out in front of you what needs to get done, but here’s the secret: it will all get done.

2. Practice self-care.

For so long, I put my self-care on the back burner because I felt selfish for putting myself before others. Now I know that in order to function and enjoy myself in the company of others, I need to take care of myself. Every person has different needs, and you’re the only person who knows what you need. For some, this may mean going to bed early, waking up early to have a leisurely morning, staying in instead of going out, going out instead of staying in, pampering yourself, or finding time for a nap. We only get one body in this lifetime, so we need to take care of it and the soul that inhabits it.

3. Try something new.

Spark your curiosity and creative mind by exposing yourself to something unfamiliar. Whether it be a new book, movie, album, museum, podcast, joining a body positive group, or rearranging your room, find something that shakes up your everyday routine and gives you a new perspective. Maybe you’ll find something you really like or dislike, and that’s great. No matter what, you can at least say that you tried something new!

4. Cleanse your social media.

If your social media has become a toxic feed, the good news is that you have the ability to change it! We don’t have the ability to control a lot of the things in our life, but luckily we can control what we see on social media. Follow body positive influencers that will create a feed that empowers you instead of telling you that you aren’t good enough because you are fabulous just the way you are! 

5. Challenge yourself to be fearless.

No matter how big or small they may seem, face your fears for a good cause. Throughout the month of January, NEDA is inviting people to face their fears while raising money for the organization. Once you’ve reached your fundraising goal, you’ll show that fear who’s boss. What better way to spend the beginning of the new year than challenging yourself to be fearless? Click here to learn more about the campaign.

Grace Bradley is a senior at Connecticut College majoring in dance and sociology. Working with the Active Minds chapter at Conn College and NEDA, she is an advocate of mental health and eating disorder awareness after personally dealing with both. Grace is dedicated to raising awareness about both of these issues, specifically within the dance community.