Mental Health Awareness Week: Body Image
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, and this year’s theme is on Body Image. Our bodies change so much over the course of our lives and can be a source of great stress for some. If you’re having some trouble with your body positivity, we’ve written a short guide that might help improve your self esteem!
Social media has now become a huge part of our lives, and what we see on apps such as Instagram can be really damaging to our own body image. Remember that what you see on there is often not true! Photographs can be edited, and pose and lighting can make a huge difference.
If you’re finding social media damaging, consider having a break from things that make you feel uncomfortable. Uninstall apps or unfollow/block certain things, and instead, use social media for a positive reason. Use it to get inspired and look at things that make you feel happy.
TALK TO SOMEONE
If you’re having a tough time, always remember to talk to someone. You might be surprise to hear that most people have negative thoughts about their appearance, and confiding in a friend or loved one can help you feel better.
STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS
No two people on the planet are the same, and no one is exactly like you. That makes you completely unique and special! Don’t feel like you have to be someone else, and certainly don’t feel like you need to compare yourself to images that aren’t even real. Our bodies are a physical map of our lives, and learning to be proud of what makes you you can make a huge difference.
FOCUS ON SOMETHING ELSE
Instead of spending your time thinking about negative things about your body, focus your energy on something else. Why not try a new creative project or start a new hobby? If you’re not sure where to start, try joining a course in your area. We have courses available on digital arts and media and health, fitness and wellbeing. Check our courses page for more information.
TREAT YOURSELF AS YOU WOULD TREAT OTHERS
Would you say the things to someone else that you would say to yourself? Probably not. Try having that mentality when you’re thinking negatively about yourself; it’s not good to be unkind, even if you’re being unkind only to yourself.
LOOK AFTER YOUR BODY (and mind!)
Sometimes having negative thoughts about our bodies can cause us to adopt unhealthy habits, such as comfort eating or not exercising as regularly as we should. In the long run, this can be more damaging as it can have a negative impact on your appearance, as well as your mental health.