A Different Kind of Holiday Gift Guide

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Beloved Body Holiday Gift Guide

I am so excited to have a holiday gift guide! Not just because gift guides are fun, but because it means there are multiple gift-worthy items focused on body image, mental health and compassion out there. And THAT is worth celebrating … (and buying and gifting!)

So let’s get to it. (From top left to right)

Her Body Can Book

Her Body Can: If you have a young girl in your life, buy Her Body Can. The goal of the book is to “encourage our girls to create a reality for themselves in which they love themselves and their bodies for exactly who and what they are, instead of learning to judge themselves and hate their bodies for what they are not” … and … “to teach all young girls that their bodies CAN DO ANYTHING and that what they look like is irrelevant—we are all beautiful exactly the way we are.”  There’s so much I want my daughter to know and learn about her body but often I don’t know how to say it. I’m thankful for books like this that give the vocabulary and format to share these messages with her. Also, my daughter enjoys this book. I’ve bought other books about life topics that have great messages but are way over her head or boring, and she doesn’t want to read them. This book has a great message AND she likes reading it. Win win.

Beyond Beautiful Book

Beyond Beautiful: I love this book so much that last year, I bought and gave away 10 copies of it. It’s “a practical guide to being happy, confident and you in a looks-obsessed world.” It touches on topics ranging from food & fitness to body hair, fashion/style, social media and beauty routines. If you’re worried that the book is going to tell you makeup is bad or you shouldn’t spend your money on the latest fashion accessory, don’t worry. The beauty of this book is it helps you identify what you enjoy or want to do vs. what you feel compelled/bound to do for others/society. It helps you identify what activities are “fear driven” or “pleasure driven.” And it helps to separate your value & worth from your looks. It’s written is such an approachable and interesting way, that it’s a fast and enjoyable read for teens all the way up to age 100.

Burnout Book

Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle – I first heard of the stress cycle in author Emily Nagoski’s book “Come as You Are” (another great book!) and then heard it again when Emily and her sister discussed this new book on Brene Brown’s podcast. Some of the big takeaways I’ve had from the book so far: Stressors and stress are different things. A stressor is the thing that causes the stress, and most of the time we can’t control the stressor (I.e., COVID, loss of a job, etc.) Stress is our body’s physiological response to the stressor. There should be a beginning and end to this stress response, but often times we are stuck in it … we don’t complete the stress cycle and it wreaks havoc on our bodies and lives. The good news is we CAN complete the stress cycle, and the podcast above and this book share ways to do so. I used some of the strategies during election week and it seriously helped.

an affirmation card that says I can challenge self-defeating thoughts.

Feel Deal Heal Affirmations: The first batch of these sold out quickly but you can pre-order a set to start 2021 off on a good foot. One of the biggest “aha’s” I’ve had this year is that we all have the ability to rewire our brain. To truly change our thinking. But we need different thoughts and we need to repeat them over and over again to create these new neural pathways (so the thoughts then become second-nature). That’s why I love these affirmations from Tiffany Roe. Not only are they super fun designs, they help provide the helpful thoughts. You could pick one card and put it up on your mirror or in front of your computer for the week. Or leave the box on your bedside and skim through them in the morning or before bed.

Sock

Sock Geek Grit & Grace Socks: Full disclosure, my husband and I co-own Sock Geek with another family but even if we didn’t, I’d still LOVE these socks. Balega’s Grit & Grace socks featuring empowering messages like “Brave Badass” and “Embrace Kindness” and the best part — $1/pair supports Breast Cancer Prevention Partners. Physical movement has been proven to help with mental health, and you need socks to do most exercise, right? So these socks – that also come with their own affirmations -support physical and mental health!

Woman sitting holding weights. Text: Your Fitness Educated.

Levo Wellness: (For a limited time, you can gift a month of Levo for $54.99). Some of you know my body has been giving me lots of trouble the last year — aches and pain from exercising/overuse and probably doing movements that weren’t actually great for my body. I’ve realized that all exercise and movements are NOT created equal. That’s why I love Levo. Created by a physical therapist, Levo is an online fitness program that is about “No pain, ALL gain.” Whether you currently have joint/body pain or just want to ensure you don’t in the future, Dr. Shannon Ritchey has something for you. She provides a variety of classes and also focuses on mobility and stability – two components for a healthy, functioning body. The other things that differentiate Levo from a lot of mainstream fitness programs are 1). Levo teaches you how your body functions, about the connection between your brain and muscles/joints, etc., and about why you are doing the different exercises, etc. And that knowledge is power. 2). The foundation of every Levo class and exercise is respect for the body. Shannon advocates you listen to your body and make (and celebrate) modifications. It may not feel like it in the moment or in the short term, but by listening to our body and making modifications, we actually take steps forward in our health and fitness journey. Everything she does is with a deep sense of gratitude and compassion for the body, which is so refreshing.

I hope these ideas are helpful. If you have any gifts you’d add to this gift guide, share them in the comments. Wishing you a physically and mentally healthy and happy holiday season!

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