Fear, anxiety, depression — The COVID-19 pandemic has been a great stressor for many of us. Knowing that the health crisis isn’t going away anytime soon does not help us feel better. Various mental health concerns may have sprung up due to the current situation. These concerns include body image issues.
Pop culture and society have imposed on us a specific ideal body type, whether for males or females. This has gotten us feeling pressured to conform to these beauty standards to make us feel accepted and even loved.
Despite this situation being the norm, this should not be how people, especially the younger generation, should view their bodies. Each body is made differently, and it should be taken care of and not hated simply because of society’s unhealthy and impossible standards.
As an individual affected by society’s beauty standards, what can you do to alleviate body image issues?
Dealing With Body Image Issues
Facing society with confidence despite not conforming to the norm is considered a brave feat. Modern society, with the advent of technology, can be quite harsh in its judgment of individuals who don’t conform to their idea of what is beautiful. This society of judgment can oftentimes throw hurtful words and mean comments that may not be helpful to one’s mental health.
What can you do to alleviate body image issues?
For those who are going through mental health concerns, the first thing you should consider is to look for professional therapy. Find a center that offers individual counseling to help you overcome your personal issues that may have resulted in your body image concerns. Nowadays, getting professional help is slowly losing stigma. More people are getting a professional therapist to help them process emotions and experiences that would otherwise be bottled up inside them.
The next good thing you can do for yourself is to practice gratitude. No matter what stage or shape your body is in, you are still alive and breathing, and that is what matters most. Be thankful for what you can do with your body because it can do wonders if only you would see its potential.
In line with practicing gratitude is to listen to what your body needs. What your body needs and wants is to feel good, and you can do this through movement, stretching, nourishing, and touching. Apart from the usual consumption of junk food such as sweets and salty snacks, some other ways to make you feel good about your body are to meditate and eat healthy food.
There are many ways to practice self-love to deal with your body image issues. If things get worse, seeking professional help is always a good option. You should listen to your therapist about what to do and what not to do to keep yourself healthy and happy.
Importance of A Healthy Lifestyle on Mental Health
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not only good for your body, but it is also good for your mental health. Body image concerns aside, you should try to maintain a healthy lifestyle no matter your body shape because staying healthy is the key to happiness.
Have you been feeling down lately? Physical activity or a regular workout will help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. You should consider engaging in physical activity for a few minutes every day to reap the benefits of exercise. Being active releases a happy hormone that keeps your mood uplifted longer.
As part of a healthy lifestyle, you should also try to get as much vitamin D as you can to keep yourself from having symptoms of depression. Where can you get vitamin D? While there are supplements available in the market, you can easily get vitamin D from the sun. Spend a few minutes under the sun each day to keep your mood up. This will allow you to be happier and healthier despite the current situation we are facing.
Staying healthy is not only a good way to boost your happy hormones, but it is also a good way to beat the body image blues.
Social Media and Body Image
Images on social media are often filled with filtered images of what constitutes the “ideal” body. Seeing these images can make us feel as if we are unworthy of love and attention because we can’t seem to achieve that standard of beauty. Feeling this way is understandable but in no way acceptable.
Despite what social media wants us to believe, we should love ourselves in whatever shape and form we may be. We are given a body that is breathing and functioning well. Everything else is just a bonus. Besides, the supposed ideal standard of beauty is simply subjective. No one should use it as a basis for true beauty.
Dealing with body image issues during the pandemic can induce anxiety. This is why you should seek professional help if your negative thoughts have started to become too much to bear. Your body is a gift, and you should be thankful for all the things it can do. You have to look closer to see its potential.