By Kristen Donia

Life is full. Between school, homework, time unwinding with friends and family, clubs, sports, and getting enough sleep to do it all, sometimes it can feel like life gets away from us. Regular check-ins help us get a clear picture of how we’re feeling about a certain area of our lives. First things first, grab your phone and open up the calculator app, or a simple pen and a piece of paper will do. We’re going to do a quick check-in with ourselves. Not to worry, the questions are easy and there are no wrong answers. The main goal here is to simply observe, without judgment. We want to bring awareness to how we think and act so that we can better understand what to work on so we feel better about our bodies and ourselves, every day.

On a scale from 1-5, please rate the following questions:

How happy would you say you are? (1-5)

How body-positive would you say you are? (1-5)

How often do you feel happy about your body? (1-5)

How often do you compliment your body? (1-5)

How frequently are you appreciative of your body? (1-5)

Do you take regular steps to positively influence the way you feel about your body? (1-5)

Add your numbers together. Look at the graphic below and your score will indicate where on the body positivity scale you are.

Body Negative → Body Neutral → Body Positive

If you answered with some 1s or 2s this informs where your opportunities for growth are. We all have them, getting a better idea of what they are narrows where to draw our focus. Example: perhaps you regard yourself as pretty positive about yourself but found you don’t practice gratitude for all your body does for you each day. This is an opportunity for growth in your life. Growing with gratitude has been shown to increase happy thoughts.

This check-in allows us to see where we are (which is perfect, wherever you are on this scale, there are no wrong answers.) And where we can be with some effort. Below are the 5 A’s of Body Positivity. Taking what we learned a step further to see how we can grow within our body awareness.

Asking – Asking your body how it is, how it feels, if it’s getting enough sleep, feeling nourished, etc.

Acknowledging – Looking at your body and seeing it for what it is, how it feels, right now.

Accepting – Accepting and honoring your body for what it is, your own perfectly-imperfect, beautiful body. (*we all have one)

Appreciating – Appreciating everything your body does for you each day. From taking in oxygen to having eyes to witness the world happening, your body is constantly working for you.

Advancing – Actively taking steps in the right direction, seeking out what you want and how you want to feel about, and in, your body. A place of empowerment for your happiness. After acknowledging, accepting, and appreciating, you have a more clear view of what you want.

I get it. Life can feel overwhelming at times. Just generally doing all the things that make up our days, is a lot. Being a person with a body takes work. And checking in with yourself while not always easy, or in the front of your mind, is a really great way to stay present and actively participating in your life. Because doing so helps you to see what you want, what you don’t want, and what to change to ultimately lead a life you love. Screenshot the questions above and put a calendar reminder in your phone to alert you to check-in every couple of months.