As the holiday season progresses, many people become more self-critical of their bodies, resulting in declining mental health and unfair expectations. Below are some tips to remember this year to promote a more positive, kind environment.
#1 Remember what the holiday season is about: Friends and family
It is unrealistic to expect your body NOT to fluctuate in the context of family dinners, potluck meals, dessert swaps, holiday baking, and restaurant/bar outings. All of these events are important for spending time with your loved ones. If you skip out on them, you could miss out on fun memories. Don’t stress about your body; be present with those around you!
#2 Don’t comment on someone else’s body
Around the holidays, people reunite with friends and family members they haven’t seen for a while. Often, people accidentally contribute to toxic self-image issues with statements they perceive to be compliments: “Wow, you’re so much skinnier!” or “You lost so much weight!” You never know who is suffering or recovering from eating disorders, low self-esteem, body dysmorphia, etc. And, of course, the same goes for comments on the opposite end of the spectrum.
At the end of the day, there are so many other things to talk about than another person’s body. Choose another topic.
#3 Drastic New Year’s Resolutions are Impossible to Achieve
We’ve all said it: “After the holiday season, I’m going to lose so much weight!” or “After the holidays, I’m going to the gym every single day!” Creating impossible expectations and false hope only leads to pressure and disappointment. Instead, focus on small goals throughout the year instead of all-or-nothing statements.
#4 It’s Okay to Take a Break from Social Media
Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat become flooded with images of the “perfect” family, home, and more during the holidays. It is important to remember that most pictures are staged, filtered, or edited to some degree. And, often the best memories don’t end up being captured and posted online.
#5 REmember you are not alone!
So many people suffer from some form of body dysmorphia or low self-esteem. More people than you think can relate! Sometimes, just opening up the conversation with a family member or friend can make a world of difference.