Top Tips to tackle body image issues – Mental Health Awareness Week
13 -19 May is Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme for this year is Body Image.
Your body is amazing, there is no piece of technology that can match its complexity, sophistication and ability to heal itself. Despite this over a third of Adults in the UK have felt anxious or depressed because of concerns about their body image *. Many people struggle with their bodies and feel that they do not match a standard that is often presented to us in the media.
A recent report by the Royal Society for Public Health suggests that the pressure to conform to beauty standards that are sometimes praised online can encourage harmful behaviours. The study found that that 46% of girls compared and 38% of all young people reported that social media had a negative impact on their self-esteem and body image.
Louise Clifford is a Team Manager for Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust’s Eating Disorders Service. She said “Body image and altered thinking around what is and isn’t normal or acceptable can have a huge impact on a person’s self-esteem. This can cause anxiety and lead to issues like eating disorders. However, there are a few things that you can do to remain body positive…”
1) Appreciate all that your body can do
2) Keep a top 10 list of things you like about yourself – things that aren’t related to how much you weigh or what you look like
3) Look at yourself as a whole person, don’t focus on specific body parts
4) Surround yourself with positive people
5) Take the images you see on social media with a pinch of salt – perhaps try following #bodypositive.
Mental health problems can affect 1 in 4 people. Across Hampshire, support is available to you from services such as italk, MIND, Steps2Wellbeing and Talking Change. Nationally, you can get support by contacting BEAT, the UKs eating disorder charity or by calling the Samaritans 24/7 365 days a year.