Mental Health Awareness Week starts today and the theme is Body Image – how we think and feel about our bodies. Last year research from the Mental Health Foundation found that 30% of adults have felt so stressed about their body image of appearance that they’ve felt unable to cope.
Body confidence issues are real and valid and can have detrimental effects on mental health. Learning to love yourself- all of you- is not an overnight fix and some people find it easier than others to love their stretch marks, their hip dips, cellulite, large pores or whatever else we critique ourselves for.
Remember this, your body is your shell and what’s inside is so much more important. Focus on your health, how kind you are, what makes you feel good about yourself. We are not defined by how we look and our attributes go way beyond the surface level.
Social media makes it incredibly difficult not to compare ourselves but you are unique and beautiful because you are YOU. Love your body and be kind to other people and their bodies. Remove any assumption of how you should look because we come in all shapes and sizes and that’s ok.
Be Body Kind:
- Rest – get some rest and you’ll not only glow on the side but on the outside. Happiness is the real glow-getter here, rest can be a real game-changer for mental health.
- Nourish yourself – if you give your body the right nutrients you’ll have more energy, it’ll lift your mood, you’ll glow, and you’ll feel less lethargic
- Don’t compare – stop comparing yourself to people on social media. What you see might not be real and even if it is, you don’t have to look the same
- Don’t rely on external praise – external praise might give you a rush of dopamine but it’s only temporary. To be body kind you need to be happy in yourself. Practise looking in the mirror and each morning pick out something you like about yourself, both physically and spiritually. You’re interesting, beautiful and deserving of love.
Take care of yourself inside and out, don’t internalise the idea of a ‘perfect body’ and certainly don’t believe that your body equates to how deserving you are of love. If you’re seriously suffering from body image issues don’t be afraid to reach out and talk to someone, text Shout on 85258 and prioritise your mental health.