Mumaleary's Blog

Cheaper than therapy

Body Image…How’s yours?

When I drafted this post I initially started by saying; “I am sure that it hasn’t escaped your attention that it is Mental Health Awareness week” but then I realised that maybe it had… Maybe the conversation about mental health is like Brexit all over again- I think we are staying in because the people I follow, the feeds I read, the papers I skim all tell me we all share the same view and the UK will remain in the European Union except oh…wait…URG Maybe I think that everyone is becoming more open and aware about mental health, mental illness and ways to self care because that’s where I’m at but actually, there are still huge swathes of people who are affected and feeling afraid and alone with those around them scared and unsure of what to do.
Maybe I see and hear so much about mental health and self care because these are the posts I like and share on social media and then the clever algorithms/ scary big brother types think- like that? You might like this too… and, often, they are right. I love to see posts of people doing good stuff- of Bryony Gordon in her pants saying “this is me and if you don’t like it; jog on. Of people wild swimming or surfing or just enjoying the sunshine. They make me feel good; they make me think- “I might try that” and it has taught me loads, It led me to climb Snowdon at Midnight, it has directed my to brilliant books, perfect podcasts and awesome insta accounts full of positivity and inspiration but, that’s not how it is across the board.
News this week tells me that:

  • 12.5% of adults in the UK today have felt so distressed about their body image that they consider ending their lives.
  • Locally we know that serious issues still remain with Birkenhead recently listed as one of the most depressed communities in the country.
  • Today I hear that yet another teenager has ended her life following a social media poll asking should she live or die.

It is becoming clearer than ever that social media can be a really harmful tool. In the same way that my algorithms keep showing me little squares of healthy recipes, yoga retreats and dogs on surfboards, there will be other people, most likely young people, being shown images of self harm and devastating details on suicide; reinforcing their beliefs and thought patterns. It has to stop and, until social media giants do something tangible to make a difference, we need to know what positive steps we can take for the benefit of both our own mind and body as well as our children’s. I was invited on to Radio City Talk earlier today to speak about Body Image and the impact that can potentially have on our mental health and, because I am so passionate about this, I couldn’t possibly fit in everything I wanted to say in the 20 minutes we had (They should give me my own show really) so, for those that missed it, you can catch it again here and, for those that want to know more, read on! Read the rest of this entry »

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