**This article will discuss body image and eating disorders. This may be a triggering topic for some readers. Cottons hope that, if you choose to read this, you are feeling safe, supported and comfortable with the issues discussed. If not, that’s ok too! The Butterfly foundation, Beyond Blue and Life Line are great resources for information and support if you need to talk.
This month on the Cottons Blog we are celebrating our bodies in all of their beautiful glory. There is no blanket way to tackle a subject like this. The truth is, its complex. Each person has individual needs that deserve to be recognised and met. Body image issues are not feelings that you might just grow out of when you become an adult. Insecurities are normal to have at any age. They may evolve as you grow and change with experience. But we want you to know that no matter what age you are, and no matter what gender you identify with; you are not alone in this experience.
We’ve come up with some tips for reminding ourselves to stay body positive. We recognise that some days may be easier or more challenging than others; that’s why we also have some resources for you to reach out to if you need.
Put your phone down
You might be reading this article on your phone and if so awesome! But when you finish don’t just switch to another app (unless it’s a meditation one!). Put your phone down and take 10 minutes to make a tea or sit outside if you can. Take a breath and notice your surroundings.
Studies have shown that body image can be negatively impacted by social media. We talked to Dr Gemma Sharp about her research into body image and social media which you can read about here.
Shake it out
You might roll your eyes and say LAME at this one but come on! how good does it feel to blast some music and tire yourself out with a good dance?! Doesn’t have to be Swifty pop music it can be trap music or classical for all we care, just get up and move. If anything, it might be a great distraction from a negative narrative.
Oh, you knew this one was coming don’t act surprised. We don’t have to tell you all of the benefits of meditation, if you’re on our blog you probably already know. Apps like Insight Timer and Calm have meditations that range from 2 minutes to more than an hour. They can help you reset, refocus and relax.
When you just need that reminder to show up and bring you back to the present; a mantra written somewhere is a great way to carry the positive with you all the time. It could be the wallpaper of your phone, desktop or a post it note in your wallet – write down something that makes you feel good and reminds you of how worthy you are of your dreams.
Join the club
Joining a group or community of likeminded people is an incredible feeling. Feeling a sense of belonging and having a place where you can be 100% your authentic self is empowering and freeing. Take it from us, we know this from first-hand experience.
So many studios like dance, Pilates and yoga promote their community vibe and ethos in their studio, through word of mouth and also on social media. Reach out and ask them what they’re about. We know we just told you to put your phone down, but if the content you’re seeing on their page makes you feel or reminds you of positive things about yourself then that’s what you should be following!
Call your girlfriend
You know your best friend, who, if ever said a bad word about themselves, would make you want to slap them silly? Even though you never would slap them and would instead gently listen to them never deny their feelings. Call them. Making plans to hang out with an awesome friend who loves you exactly as you are. This is the lift that always feels good. You don’t have to experience what you’re feeling alone.
Highly recommended by psychologist Dr Gemma Sharp “Butterfly Foundation represents all people affected by eating disorders and negative body image – a person with the illness, their family and their friends.”
Their website is a great resource providing information where to find help and their latest research.
Equipped with a national helpline open from 8am-Midnight AEST 7 days a week, support from this incredible foundation is accessible via phone, online chat or email.
1800 33 4673
If there is anything in this article you have read that you’re unsure about, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. If we haven’t got an answer for you here, we’ll do our best to help get it for you. Alternatively, you can message us on Instagram @cottonsblog. You can be assured we do our best to ensure the imagery we re-gram isn’t triggering and only intended to make you feel good about you.
Header image via Pinerest