My Sister's Keeper

Summer 2018- Volume 1 Issue 5

Table of Contents

Summer Fun for Adults

Loving Your body at Every Size

What is Body Dysmorphia

Daily Self Care Ideas

Ask  A Sister Therapist

 

 

Summer Fun for Adults- Racquel P. Jones, LCSW

As a child summer meant playing outside and not having any school.  Most adults can't take the entire summer off but I've come up with a list off things to do in the summer that aren't too expensive and can be enjoyed anytime during the summer.

1. Go to an exotic ice cream place.

2. Go to a free outdoor  concert.

3. Go to a theme park or carnival.

4. Plan a mini vacation.

5. Take a road trip with your friends.

6. Go on a picnic.

7. Experience a new place.

8. Go to a museum or art gallery.

9. See a play.  You can often get discount tickets.

10. Go on a hike.

11. Go to a boardwalk.

12. Visit a friend from school.

13. Reconnect with an old friend.

14. Go to a waterpark.

15. Go to an open-mic night.

16. Have  night on the beach.

17. Go for a bike ride.

18. Have a game night with friends.

20. Do a scavenger hunt.

21. Take an art class.

22. Take a dance class.

23. Go to a new club or bar.

24. Make dinner for your friends or family.

25. Have a beach party.

Happy Summer.

 

Loving Your Body at Every Size- Racquel P. Jones, LCSW

I was a chubby baby, I weighed over 10 lbs and throughout my life I've been slim, average, chubby and what doctors call  obese.  It can be  a struggle but through all this, I've learned that I can't let my size determine my worth and I need to love myself no ,matter what size I am even if I'm not the size that society considers acceptable and attractive.  If you are struggling to love yourself or your body, you can let go of certain things in order to reach the love you desire. Here are 10 things to stop doing  in order to  help you  truly accept and love your body and all of yourself.

1. Stop blaming your body for  bad things in your life.

It's not your body's fault. Instead say,  "I'm  thankful to be on this journey in my life."

2. Stop letting a look or comment from someone else determine how you feel about yourself.

Say to yourself, "I'm beautiful and I love myself"

3. Stop thinking you aren't in the body you are supposed to have.

You are in the best body for you.   Learn to love yourself and offer yourself reassurance and acceptance.

4. Stop letting the number on the scale or your pant size define you.

What matters most is how you feel, not how much you weigh or the size of your clothing..

5. Stop judging yourself by what you can't do and instead celebrate what you can.

Don't be so hard on yourself.  Try to say "I can" more often than "I can't".

6. Stop being mean to yourself when you look in the mirror.

You are more beautiful than you can ever  truly see.

7. Stop joining in when your friends compare and trash their own bodies.

Instead, celebrate your natural beauty and each other's success.

8. Stop thinking your size is  more important than how you feel.

Your health is not determined by your size. Focus on feeling good and taking care of yourself.

9. Stop waiting to reach your goal to enjoy your body.

Your life is happening now. You can choose to hate yourself or love yourself.

10. Stop thinking you don't matter because of the size your body.

Life is hard enough without you hating yourself.   Love yourself no matter what your size.

Enjoy and love yourself because as RuPaul says "If you don't love yourself, how the hell are you going to love anyone else".

What is Body Dysmorphia?- Racquel P. Jones, LCSW

Body dysmorphia affects many people especially  women.  People with body dysmorphia often can't stop thinking about one or more perceived defects or flaws in their  appearance.  The  perceived flaw  is either minor or not observable to anyone else.  However they  may feel so ashamed and anxious that they  may avoid many social situations.

 A person with body dysmorphia  intensely obsesses over their  appearance and body image,  they may repeatedly check the mirror, groom themselves, weigh themselves or seek reassurance, sometimes for many hours each day.  The repetitive behaviors  can cause  significant distress, and impact their  ability to function in life.  People with body dysmorphia also often compare themselves to others and feel that they will never measure up in appearance to other people.  They also tend to be perfectionists.

Shame and embarrassment about your appearance may keep you from seeking treatment for body dysmorphia.  However if you have any signs or symptoms,  it is  important to seek help from a mental health professional.   Body dysmorphia   usually doesn't get better on its own, and if untreated, it may get worse over time and may lead  to depression, anxiety and in some cases  may lead to suicidal thoughts and behavior.

While there is no known cause, certain factors seem to increase the risk of developing body dysmorphia.

This is a list of some risk factors:

  • Having blood relatives with body dysmorphia or obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Negative life experiences, such as childhood teasing and trauma
  • Certain personality traits, such as perfectionism
  • Societal pressure or expectations of beauty
  • Having a psychiatric disorder, such as anxiety or depression

One of the specialties of my private practice is body dysmorphia,  I have extensive personal and professional experience with it.  While there is no cure, it is possible to learn techniques to live a full life where you don't obsess over perceived flaws.         

Daily Self Care Ideas- Racquel P. Jones, LCSW

1. Go for a walk

2. Read a chapter or two of your favorite book

3. Take a bubble or essential oil bath 

4. Eat dessert 

5. Call a friend

6. Get a manicure or pedicure

7. Play your favorite song

8. Write a letter, or in a journal

9. Have a warm cup of tea

10. Go for a run

11. Take a mid-day nap

12. Get a massage

13. Color or draw

14. Try yoga or meditation

15. Declutter,or organize your house

16. Watch your favorite Netflix show

17. Make a list of your positive qualities

18. Have sex (with someone, or alone, your choice)

19. Turn off your phone

20. Take the day off of work

21. Go to a farmer’s market

22. Paint your nails

23. Light some candles

24. Sit and think 

25. Stretch

26. Treat yourself to a fancy dinner

27. Visit a museum

28. Buy flowers for your home

29. Have a glass of your favorite drink

30. Start something you’ve been putting off

31. Meet for coffee with a friend

32. Laugh

33.. Plan your day ahead

34. Day dream

35. Buy yourself a little gift

36.. Get to bed early for a restful nights sleep

Ask a Sister Therapist

Dear Racquel,

My sisters had a fight and have put me in the middle of it.  I love both of my sisters and refuse to take sides but now they both don't talk to me.  I'm so upset about this situation.

Rita K

Hi Rita,

I'm sorry about the problems with your sisters.  I understand your decision to stay out of the situation.  Try to talk to each separately and explain why you don't want to take either side. I hope it can be resolved and things will improve for your family.

Warmly,

Racquel

 

Dear Racquel,

I'm 29 and I've never been on a date.  I like men and want to get married but always feel awkward around men.  My friend wants to fix me up with someone but I don't know if I want to go, all my friends are getting married and I feel like it will never happen for me.

Melissa T

Hi Melissa,

Try not to feel in a rush to get married.  I know it's hard to see your friends getting married and you're not but remember there are many other wonderful things in your life besides being married or having a boyfriend.  Do activities where you will naturally meet people who have similar interests, don't do this solely to meet someone but as a way to get out and enjoy your life.  Decide if you want to go  out with the guy your friend wants to set you up with and if you do go, just think of it as a nice night out and put less pressure on yourself.

Warmly,

Racquel

Thank you

Thank you for reading and subscribing to My Sister's Keeper, the newsletter of Transforming Lives Counseling Service.  I founded Transforming Lives in 2016 to provide therapy to women and adolescents especially Black women and girls.  Along with my colleague Jennifer Dorsey, MHC- LP we provide therapy within a  holistic and culturally sensitive framework.  You can visit our website at www.transforminglivesonline.org.  Thanks for reading and the newsletter will be back in September,

Warmly

Racquel

Transforming Lives Counseling Service

10 Main Street

P.O. Box 263

Woodbridge, NJ 07095

347-450-5744

www.transforminglivesonline.org

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