How to Deal With Feeling Bad About Your Body During Isolation
If you’ve noticed self-isolation is making you feel worse than usual about your body, experts say you’re not alone. But there are many ways you can manage negative feelings about your body, even in our isolated times.
As if Instagram posts pushing you to sculpt a "beach body" weren’t enough, how about adding pandemic pressure to it? Be aware: those accounts may not be managed by qualified health and wellness professionals, and even if they are, you could be watching fitness videos that were recorded long before the COVID.
- Dani Gonzales, psychologist and professor at the University of Southern California
Studies have shown that we are happier and healthier when we eat meals together. You’ve probably already been using video platforms for class or work. To counter loneliness' potential effects on your body image, add a midday social meal into the mix, too.
-Leslie Sim, Mayo Clinic psychologist
Gonzales and Sim said it can be helpful to reframe a focus on fitness as “what can my body do” versus “how should my body look.” Even a new hobby counts when it comes to bodily appreciation—think about how your body helps you write letters, or how it moves when you take a walk.
It comes down to practicing self-compassion. But how does one… do that? Should we engage with our not-good thoughts? Block them out? The answer is: kind of both. Sim suggested observing your judgmental thoughts, without necessarily listening to them.
For additional support, Gonzales pointed again to the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA). NEDA assembled a list of virtual support groups and created a COVID-specific forum that’s open and monitored 24/7.