Let’s face it, it’s fun becoming more independent, BUT growing up can suck at times.
Our bodies are changing, our moods can be unpredictable and we may even be navigating the tricky minefield of relationships.
Not to mention, we now live in a digital world, so we are constantly bombarded with images detailing every aspect of people’s lives including their food, outfits, exercise regimes, events and quite frequently their bodies.
There’s no doubt it can all feel overwhelming at times and we might notice ourselves making comparisons that leave us feeling less than good about ourselves or just plain UGH!
This is a tricky time and space to navigate, so it is a good idea to have some tips handy for the days when you just don’t feel yourself. Start to include them in your daily routine for a happier, more confident you!
SELF-CARE/ ‘ME TIME’
It has become a bit of a buzz word, but that’s because it is so important. Taking time for yourself to do what makes you happy is INVALUABLE. Always saying ‘ye’ and over committing can impact on our energy and ability to challenge those self-critical thoughts. Set aside ‘me time’ and create a ‘self-care box’ to pick activities from.
Take a walk outside, read a book outdoors, go for a swim, anything you enjoy that gets you out of the house. You will be surprised the effect a little bit of Mother Nature can do for the mind.
On average, we are spending 9 hours a day on social media. SERIOUSLY!? Spending too much time online can directly impact our sleep, mood and how we feel about our bodies. Take a break from social and unfollow accounts that result in comparisons or self-critiquing. Even better; go one step further and start following pages that inspire and spread positive messages and which align with your interests. Your feed will have a totally new look and feel.
PART WITH PERFECTION
There is no such thing as ‘perfect’. There is no other way to say this, but what you believe to be perfect, the next person won’t. So quite simply, perfect DOES NOT exist! Actually, striving for perfection has been proven to be linked to procrastination and more seriously body image concerns and eating disorders.
DITCH THE INNER CRITIC
Imagine if we spoke about a friend the way we speak about ourselves? It is SO much easier said than done, but practice speaking kindly about yourself (and others). Where to start? One way is by accepting and listening to compliments particularly if they are about what kind of person you are and the things you’re doing well at rather than shutting them down. We can use these comments as reminders of our worth when the inner critic won’t shut-up.
Unfortunately, we will all experience days where we may not like the way we look or feel confident in our skin. It is OK to feel this way. However, if you notice that these feelings are quite frequent, long-lasting or affecting your mood or behaviours, it is a good idea to chat to someone you trust; whether that be a friend, family member, or a Helpline just to talk through your current feelings.
Save the best till last. Remember, you are never alone and there is always someone to talk to. If you are feeling down about your appearance, reach out for support! You can call Butterfly’s National Helpline on 1800 33 4673 or jump online to chat with them.
MOST IMPORTANTLY - YOU DO YOU!
Your appearance does not equate to your worth.
In fact, tomorrow, go and ask a friend what they like most about you? I can almost guarantee it will have nothing to do with your looks.
HELP AND SUPPORT
If you, or anyone you know is experiencing an eating disorder or body image concerns, you can call the Butterfly Foundation National Helpline on 1800 33 4673 (ED HOPE) or email firstname.lastname@example.org or jump on our website to chat www.thebutterflyfoundation.org.au
Today is World Eating Disorders Action Day and the theme is #WeDoAct2BreakStigma. We reached out to our community and asked them to share ONE thing they wish people understood about their eating disorder or their loved one's eating disorder.
By Fiona Wright
Fiona is an Australian poet and critic. Fiona wrote Small Acts of Disappearance: Essays in Hunger (2015) based on her personal experience of an eating disorder. She also shared some of her journey with us here. Fiona says co-morbidity was one of the defining features of her eating disorder, so we asked her to share a little more.
By Kevin Gatti
Kevin was previously a personal trainer and involved in the fitness industry. He experienced disordered eating for many years. After seeing the emphasis placed on appearance by people and the impact terminology and conversations have on perception, he is keen to talk about 'health' and how this has become a confusing term for society.