Whoever you are, whatever walk of life you’re from, I’m sure that at some point you’ve battled with the body image blues. Sometimes, no matter how strong you believe yourself to be – those pesky blues can sneak in and catch you unawares. Take me for example, I consider myself a body positive advocate and activist through and through, but that doesn’t stop me from looking in the mirror mid-period, mid-bloat and halfway to a mid-life crisis and deciding that I feel utterly shite about my body. But I know that it’s not forever!
The thing about the body image blues is this – you are allowed to wallow in them sometimes. It is impossible to remain 100% body positive 24/7 – and if you think it is possible then I don’t believe you. The world is a harsh place and often we are faced with criticism that can knock us for six, but as long as we know that the body image blues can be beaten, we can remain resilient when they come around. Here are 3 ways that you can beat the body image blues…
DETOX YOUR LIFE
The word detox has become a word associated with detox teas and negative relationships with food, but it doesn’t have to be. Banishing your body image blues can be achieved by detoxing your life, but there’s more than one way that this can be done:
- Detox your social media: often, we fall into a wicked spiral of stalking through the Instagram and Facebook pages of individuals whom we admire. Occasionally, this admiration can morph into an unhealthy aspiration whereby we are no longer admiring from afar, but routinely combing these social media pages wishing, hoping and praying that we could exist in their skin and live their lives. This is unhealthy behaviour which can become detrimental to our self-esteem – so, what can you do about this? It’s time to acknowledge which pages are making you feel bad about yourself, why this is happened and what needs to be done to overcome this. Usually, unfollowing will do the trick – make it your goal to bypass any social media accounts that you believe have become negative sources of energy for you.
- Detox your relationships: there is nothing wrong with calling it a day on relationships that you feel are contributing in a toxic way to your life. Those close to us believe that they have a right to say what they think and how they feel about things that don’t often concern them – and every now and again, this might reflect negatively on the way that you see your body. These may be friendships, romantic relationships or familial relationships and although it may be hard to address the existing issues, you will be 100% better off without those in your life who are not supporting you and the way that you feel about your body.
- Detox your wardrobe: how many of us are guilty of holding on to ‘goal clothes’ or outfits that we once could fit in, but no longer do? A lot of us, I bet. Although I bet that you didn’t know how much this behaviour contributes to your body image blues. Keeping hold of clothes that you can no longer wear, can make you feel like crap. De-clutter your wardrobe, sort through your clothes into piles and get rid of anything that you haven’t worn in the past 6 months. You’ll find it therapeutic, and as a bonus, you’ll have lots more space to fill with new clothes that DO serve you!
SEEK SOME SUPPORT
The way that our society conducts itself, means that to ask for help can seem like a weakness – but let me tell you this – asking for support is nothing to be ashamed of. We are discouraged from reaching out to others, but this is something that we need to encourage instead – not only are support systems integral to mental well-being, but they provide something to fall back on when you can’t summon the energy to be positive. Battling the body image blues can be a difficult task to undertake solo, but in sharing your feelings, you might just find that you’re not alone and you might find some solidarity.
Here are some of my favourite body positive and self-esteem-boosting Instagram accounts if you’re seeking some support:
LOOK AFTER YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
Often, when we slip back into previous ways of thinking whereby we believe our bodies to be ‘not worthy’ or ‘not good enough’, it’s because our mental health isn’t as well as it could be. When a shift happens in our emotions, it’s important to take note of this and not sweep it under the rug to deal with later. Our mental health is fragile, and beating the body image blues can seem like a difficult task to accomplish when we’re not feeling our best. When we feel like we’re alone, or if we’re feeling down, or if we’re hating on the way that we look, it’s so so so important to look after our mental well-being. Do what makes you feel good. Do what you feel that you need to do. Put yourself first for once and you’ll find that you’ve conquered the body image blues before you even realise it.