Yes, the Covid-19 pandemic has somehow affected us, but it doesn’t have to change your approach to body positivity forever! We may not be able to change how we look, but that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate it and feel good about ourselves.
With some determination and willpower, you can keep your body positivity alive and well after Covid-19. Here are some ideas on maintaining body positivity in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Covid’s Impact on Body Image
Although there’s no way to know precisely how many people were affected by Covid’s effect on body image, experts estimate that 50-60% of people became overly self-conscious after lockdown.
Risk Factors for Developing Post Lockdown Anxiety:
While everyone is susceptible to developing post lockdown anxiety, some risk factors make it more likely. These include being a woman; being someone who struggles with body image; having a family history of mental illness; and being younger than 35 years old.
If you’re at an increased risk of developing post lockdown anxiety, it’s essential to know how to recognize symptoms early on to get help before your condition worsens.
If you struggle with a poor body image and are suffering from post lockdown anxiety, there are a few things you can do to help you get back into balance. These include:
- Talking to friends about your feelings;
- Exercising regularly;
- Journaling about your thoughts;
- Listening to music;
- Writing letters to loved ones or even an imagined version of yourself at a time when you felt happy and confident.
Coping with Pandemic Weight Changes
Self-acceptance is one of our most potent defenses against body shame and anxiety; if we can accept ourselves for who we are, whatever our size, it becomes easier to overcome post lockdown anxiety. But self-acceptance and self-love are hard work; as a culture, we have a long way to go before accepting bodies of all sizes and shapes as usual. Try some of these strategies if you’re struggling with negative feelings about your body after being stuck indoors.
#1. Eat Healthily
Food is fuel, and your body will perform better when it’s operating on all four cylinders. It’s hard for some people to eat healthily, but it doesn’t have to be. You can incorporate small changes into your diet without completely overhauling everything. Eating well is just as important as getting an exercise routine going—maybe even more so.
Do You Practice Mindful Eating?- Tap here to check if you have control over your eating habits
#2. Practicing Acceptance and Positivity
Can we be happy all of our lives? The answer is no. There will always be parts and episodes of our life that won’t be pleasurable. It’s impossible. We should expect that these periods will occur, learn how to avoid them if possible, or cope with them if they can’t be avoided. The more accepting we are about unpleasantness in life, the less negatively it affects us and our sense of happiness overall.
#3. Add Exercise
If you’re having a hard time adding exercise into your day, try finding new activities that you enjoy. If running isn’t working for you, find an alternative activity that does work for you—whether it’s playing basketball or going on long walks around your neighborhood. Being more active will give you extra energy, which can help with weight loss! It also releases endorphins and gives us something else to focus on rather than our physical appearance.
#4. Be Mindful of Social Media
Social media is a powerful tool for maintaining body positivity, but it can also be a breeding ground for negativity. How you present yourself on social media can have real implications on your mood and self-esteem. Use social media mindfully—post pictures that make you feel good; surround yourself with friends who value positive body image, and avoid liking photos or posts that shame certain bodies. Remember, what goes around comes around!
#5. Don’t Stress
We’re all under a lot of pressure these days. So much so that stress has become an epidemic, affecting even those who don’t realize they are stressed. Stress can negatively impact your health and body image. It can also greatly influence how you feel about yourself and how you carry yourself in front of others, especially when you consider that many people perceive overweight individuals as lazy or unmotivated.
Check your stress levels by taking this quick assessment.
#6. Change Your Perspective
An often-overlooked mental health component is how much power your perspective has on your reality. Suppose you’re constantly putting yourself down and worrying about how you look. In that case, that will impact your mental state negatively and make you feel worse about yourself, which leads to negative behaviors like eating poorly or restricting calories. If you want positive results, change your perspective by focusing on what makes you feel good about yourself.
#7. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
It can be easy to feel like your body doesn’t measure up when you compare yourself to others. It’s important not to put too much stock into comparisons; everyone has a different body type, and everyone’s journey will be different. While you may need several attempts before finding a weight that works for you, remember that you are worth every attempt. Stay positive and focused on what truly matters: being healthy and happy with yourself.
#8. Look at Yourself Without Shame
The concept of body positivity may seem like a direct response to fat-shaming, but it is something that everyone should practice, especially those without body issues. The idea behind body positivity is that everyone should have self-acceptance and confidence no matter what their size or appearance is. This can be hard for anyone, especially after being so affected by someone’s nasty words, but there are ways you can overcome these feelings.
It may seem obvious, but we must stay positive during these trying times. We know that our bodies are susceptible to illness and pain, but nothing stops us from staying positive every step of the way. Above all else, remember that you deserve love just as much as anyone else; do not let this disease keep you from living a life free from hatred and self-doubt.