It’s that time of year – my friends who are involved in academia are talking about what they are doing on Spring Break – vacations, staycations, taking a break from school, from work. It got me thinking about a couple other things that we might try taking a break from this spring. As always, these are just suggestions, if you have other ideas feel free to leave them in the comments!
Negative Body Talk
Consider taking Spring Break from making negative comments about people’s bodies, including yours. We live in a world where companies make billions of dollars convincing us that our bodies will never be good enough. We are encouraged to hate ourselves and all too often this leads to us putting down other people to try to make ourselves feel better – directing our anger at each other instead of a culture of body hate and the industries that create and profit from it. Putting down others to lift ourselves up didn’t work in Junior High and it won’t work now. This is the perfect time to take a break from negative body talk – notice your thoughts about your body and replace negative thoughts with gratitude for the things that your body does (check out this post for more specifics on this.) Look for something to compliment in every person that you see. When people start engaging in negative body talk resist the urge to join in – consider walking way or even interrupting it by changing the subject or saying something like “I wish we lived in a world where all bodies were celebrated.” or “I’m on a Spring Break from negative body talk.”
Food Policing, Morality and Performance
We all make choices about what to eat for lots of different reasons – many people have choices that are limited by lack of accessibility (to foods and/or cooking methods that they might prefer), time, sensitivities etc… Our culture encourages us to make these choices into morality and public performance.. and to comment and judge other people’s choices. Consider taking a Spring Break from from thinking of food as good/bad/sinful/clean/dirty etc. Consider taking a Spring Break from talking about what you’re eating and why (and instead thinking of something else to talk about,) and consider taking a Spring Break from food policing.
Who knows, maybe these will start as a Spring Break but end up lasting the whole year long!
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