If you’re feeling dissatisfied with your body after weeks of eating more and moving less, good news! You may not need to spend months on the treadmill and off the pizza to feel more positive about your body. Instead? Just. Get. Moving.
The act of exercising itself may improve body image, regardless of actual physical changes such as fat loss and fitness progress, according to a study published in the Journal of Health Psychology.
And you don’t need to strive for maximum intensity or push yourself to the limit. While exercising regularly is a factor in reduced body dissatisfaction, the type, length, intensity and duration of exercise are less important. (No you don't have to squeeze into Lycra either. Wear a hoodie if it makes you more comfortable.)
If you experience body dissatisfaction or preoccupation that causes you distress, disrupts your daily life or causes restrictive eating behaviours or excessive exercise, consider consulting a psychologist who can help you to identify underlying issues and discover how to feel at peace with your body. We all deserve that. 🌱#keepsoaring .
Imagine your entire life changed overnight. Your usual routines were stopped in their tracks. Life, financial and career plans were put on hold indefinitely (maybe you even lost your job). You were separated from friends and loved ones. If you lived alone, you were isolated. And if you were a parent, suddenly you had to become a teacher, a peer and an occupational therapist. Even solid loving relationships would feel the strain. If this happened, it would make sense that many of us would struggle to maintain mental and emotional wellbeing. And it wouldn’t be surprising if many of us developed symptoms of anxiety and depression. Even those of us with good mental health may find it hard to function well. Why?
COVID-related stressors and restrictions are a recipe for overwhelming the coping skills and resilience that enable us to endure ‘ordinary’ curveballs. Many psychological principles that are integral to mental health have been challenged by the lack of control and certainty we now have over our own lives. In addition, worries, fears and anxieties are compounded by lack of usual support structures. We may also develop symptoms of grief as we grapple with a sense of loss. It’s unsurprising that there have recently been unprecedented numbers of calls to help lines such as Lifeline.
To mark the recent R U OK Day, which recognises the importance of support for those suffering mental and emotional health issues, our psychologists have teamed up with Hume City Council to bring you tips for both your own mental self-care and that of friends and loved ones.
Vulnerable groups include:
Dos and don’ts of asking someone if they’re okay:
If you or someone else is feeling or shows signs of being anxious, depressed, hopeless, confused or frustrated and angry, it’s important to recognise that such thoughts, feelings and behaviours are valid (and often normal) responses to abnormal circumstances. If you are struggling and don’t feel you can speak to a friend or family member, please reach out to a mental health professional such as a psychologist or a support line such as Lifeline (13 11 14) or Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636).
How to Ask https://www.ruok.org.au/how-to-ask