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 your body 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 it’s not your be all and end all 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 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
- Take care of 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. In fact learn more about the idea of being body neutral.
- Don’t rely on external praise – external praise might give you a rush of dopamine but it’s only temporary. To be comfortable with how you look on the outside you have to be comfortable with yourself on the inside. Practise looking in the mirror and each morning pick out something you like about yourself, both physically and spiritually.
Take care of your body, 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.