Body Image Tips For People Coming Out of Lockdown
With the easing of restrictions many people are rejoicing at the thought of normality and socialising with loved ones again. However, for those who have been struggling with negative body image, getting back out into the world can come with a lot of anxieties. Here are a few tips we’ve found that can assist to minimise negative self-talk and help you feel a bit more confident when going out and about.
1. Focus on what your body does for you and thank it for everything it allows you to achieve:
With people fixating on appearance, we sometimes forget our bodies have a function. It’s important to appreciate everything our bodies do for us, whether it be our brains which allow us to think, our legs which allow us to move or our eyes which allow us to watch our favourite TV shows. Instead of focusing on what you would like to change, celebrate the things your body does for you.
2. Move your body in whatever way you enjoy and is in line with your recovery plan:
Whether it’s going for a stroll around the block, practicing yoga or dancing around your room, mindful and joyful movement can release endorphins, make you feel better about yourself and help relieve built up stress.
Being outside and around nature can also give you an opportunity to engage in self-care and take you away from triggers of negative body image. If you’re on a treatment plan, ensure you move your body in line with what your health professionals recommend.
3. Surround yourself with people who make you feel positive:
When getting back into social situations, it’s important to surround yourself with caring people, who accept and appreciate all bodies. Being around others who are body-accepting and body positive will allow you to practice body acceptance and can increase your own positive body image.
Creating a safe and supportive environment for yourself with the people you spend time with can also help refrain from engaging in body comparison and letting go of negative thinking patterns around body image.
4. Practice self-compassion:
It is easy to let negative body image and negative self-talk take over your thoughts, but it’s important to remind yourself to be kind. Replace the negative self-talk with caring words and self-love.
Imagine how you would talk to your best friend if you heard them speaking negatively about themselves, what things would you say to them? Implement this technique in the way you speak to yourself.
5. Tell someone how you’re feeling:
It’s important to recognise that you are not alone. Opening up to family, friends or professionals about how you are feeling can help relieve stress and remind you that you have people who care and support you.
The Butterfly National Helpline is also available for people struggling with eating disorders and negative body image to seek help and support.
1800 ED HOPE (1800 33 4673), via webchat or email firstname.lastname@example.org 7 days a week 8am-midnight AEST.