June 6, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
June 6, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

By Brian Pollack

The arrival of warmer months often heralds a season of outdoor activities, beach outings and social gatherings. For many, this transition can also bring about heightened concerns and insecurities about our bodies. The pressure to achieve a certain idealized type can feel overwhelming, leading to feelings of dissatisfaction and self-doubt. However, it’s important to remember that every body is unique and deserving of acceptance and love. Here are some tips to help navigate body image dissatisfaction as the warmer months begin:

  1. Practice Self-Compassion: If a friend were in need, would you offer kindness to that friend? Be kind to yourself and acknowledge that it’s normal to have moments of insecurity about your body. Instead of shaming yourself for perceived flaws, practice self-compassion by treating yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you would offer from your heart.
  2. Focus on Health, Not Appearance: Shift your focus away from achieving a certain aesthetic, prioritize your overall health and well-being by engaging in activities that make you feel strong, energized and happy. Whether it’s going for a walk, practicing yoga or trying a new sport. Remember that a healthy body comes in all sizes.
  3. Challenge Unrealistic Standards: Recognize that beauty standards perpetuated by the media and society are often unrealistic. They’re even unattainable. Take a critical look at the images and messages you’re exposed to, and seek out content that celebrates positivity and inclusivity.
  4. Celebrate Your Body’s Strengths: Instead of fixating on perceived flaws, celebrate the unique strengths and abilities of your body. Whether it’s your endurance, flexibility or resilience, take pride in what your body can accomplish and focus on nurturing these qualities.
  5. Surround Yourself With Supportive People: Seek out friends, family members and communities that uplift and support you, regardless of your appearance. Surrounding yourself with positive influences can help reinforce a healthy body image and remind you that you are valued for who you are, not how you look.
  6. Practice Thoughtful Eating: Instead of viewing food as the enemy, cultivate an approach to eating that focuses on nourishing your body. Listen to your hunger and fullness cues, and choose foods that make you feel good both physically and emotionally.
  7. Seek Professional Help if Needed: If feelings of body image dissatisfaction persist and significantly impact your daily life, consider seeking support from a mental health professional. Therapy can provide a safe space to explore these feelings and develop coping strategies to improve your relationship with your body.

Brian Pollack, LCSW, CEDS-S, is an adjunct professor at Yeshiva University, Certified Eating Disorder Specialist and owner of Hilltop Behavioral Health. His work encompasses advocacy, national keynote presentations and continuing education surrounding the treatment and prevention of eating disorders.

 

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles