Mental Health Awareness Week: Body Image – Reflection

I suffer from extremely negative body image, which is not a nice thing to have to deal with. The lack of accurate self-perception can really mess with your head and make you doubt everything that other people tell you. So, I was somewhat surprised to hear that Mental Health Awareness Week was going to be focused around Body Image as it’s something that constantly plays a big part in my life. 

I was worried about the posts that I would be putting out during Mental Health Awareness Week because of my own issues with negative body image. I wanted to be a positive element to the week that offered people resources and advice on how they can promote their own body positivity. But, then, how would I be able to do that when suffering from such negative thoughts myself?

Body Image Is Rocky Territory For Me 

I don’t want to make it seem like I’m preaching to people to love their bodies, because I know it’s so much more difficult than that. Even if we want to accept ourselves, there are a lot of reasons why we just can’t find the ability to do so. I mean, who doesn’t want to be able to appreciate themselves for who they are? Who doesn’t eventually want to achieve self-acceptance? I don’t think there’s anybody who genuinely enjoys feeling uncomfortable in their own skin. But still, it’s something that a lot of us have to deal with on a daily basis. 

I understand that even if somebody seems like they’re comfortable in their skin, that doesn’t mean they necessarily really are. We’re constantly putting on a front for people throughout society for one reason or another. A person who’s in the eye of the public might seem like they’re full of self-acceptance, but they may only be making it seem that way so that other people don’t doubt themselves or worry too much. 

However, I also don’t want to make it seem like I’m completely fine with self-dislike either, because I’m not. I wish with every fibre of my being that I was able to accept myself, because it would make my life so much easier. I wouldn’t care what other people thought of me, and I wouldn’t worry constantly about how my body looked. Self-dislike and self-deprivation does really breed further negative thinking, and it can really make your head a dark place. It really has effected my mental health.

I Try To Promote Self-Kindness, But It’s Tough

For me, it’s easy to tell other people the reasons why they’re amazing and the reasons why they should appreciate all that their bodies can do for them, but it’s not easy to listen to those comments myself. Coming to terms with who you are naturally is a really long, tough process, and it’s one that I haven’t even begun. 

Though, I’ll be damned if anybody tried to tell me that I don’t think other people should appreciate their own bodies. I am an advocate for self-kindness, even if I can’t practice it myself. Through my posts, whether they be posted on Mental Health Awareness week or not, I aim to remind people of the reasons why their bodies are exceptionally good at all they’re meant to do. I want people to appreciate the shell that they live in, rather than battling with it. 

I’m not trying to convince you to love yourself, because I know that, no matter how many times you’re told to like your body, it’s not quite as easy as just doing so. But, what I am trying to do is remind you of the reasons why it’s okay to be kind to your body, and maybe offer you methods of doing so.

Did Mental Health Awareness Week Help Me?

Yes and no. I wish I could turn around and say that it’s given me an entirely new outlook on life and now I will always accept who I am for what I am, but I just can’t say that. I’m nowhere near the self-acceptance part of life, not yet. 

But I can say that, by creating a variety of posts revolving around body image for Mental Health Awareness week, I have been able to gain more knowledge and formulate a new perspective. By sharing methods to boost your self image or reasons to like yourself, I’ve also found out more strategies which will, hopefully, one day help me in liking myself too. 

With each blog post, there’s consideration, research, and reflection that goes into it, so obviously I’m going to be reading the words that I’m telling others. I hope to eventually be able to look back on my posts and see that my words also apply to me, rather than just the reader that may stumble upon them. 

If you are interested in my posts for Mental Health Awareness week 2019 and it’s theme around body image, you can find them all here: 

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