During quarantine, spend time with your reflection

COVID-19 has taken a lot from the world including jobs, regular social habits and lives. One thing that must not be taken by the virus is confidence and love for oneself, even though quarantine has made many want to eat their feelings, which results in weight gain.

It is important that people do not give in to the deceit a mirror can reflect. Instead, celebrate health. A healthy body does not necessarily mean a flat tummy or a six-pack and ripped arms.

The body is a fortress that deserves appreciation and proper care. Now, as a pandemic threatens billions of lives, this concept is more important than ever to remember. 

It’s time to throw away the scale, unfollow the unrealistic Instagram models and allow the body to signal when it is hungry. Find a healthily balanced diet that works and give yourself some extra self-love in the mirror.

The trendy trait of being jokingly self-deprecating toward your own body is over. 

Poor body image has a much more substantial effect on a person than most may think. The Mayo Clinic has an entire website dedicated just to the importance of a healthy body image. 

The page states, “Natural weight gain and other changes caused by puberty, peer pressure to look a certain way, media images that promote the ideal female body as thin, and having a mother who’s overly concerned about her own weight or her daughter’s weight or appearance.”

These are all factors that may cause a person to have a negative body image. It is important to correlate these causes with their effects. Specifically, eating disorders and lifelong mental health issues. 

According to a journal published by the Elsevier Public Health Emergency Coalition, “Psychosocial stressors stemming from COVID-19 pandemic and resultant stay-at-home orders, may exacerbate ED-related triggers and present a challenging environment for individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN) and binge eating disorder.”

Furthermore, the journal states isolation has affected the fragile state of people’s social lives. By taking away this support from friends and family and increasing in social media intake, which pushes toxic diet culture and at-home exercise while coining weight gain as  “the quarantine 15,” it is all linked to the rise in people suffering from eating disorders.

On top of this, the authors bring up the fact that “following the 2003 SARS outbreak, eating restrictions were found to trigger the development of psychological disorders in 26.2% of respondents of the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ).” 

This goes to show COVID-19 is certainly not the first situation that has led to a rise in individuals with eating disorders and it is important for these people to receive the proper support and treatment so they may recover mentally and physically.

Speaking of support, I was thrilled to find out NAU has its very own Body Positivity club. They have weekly meetings to discuss struggles and triumphs they’re experiencing while self-isolating and social distancing. 

As stated in an article from The Lumberjack, the NAU Body Positivity Club wishes for “the community to know that whatever someone looks like, they are worthy and should always hold love for themself.”

I think this club deserves much more recognition, as body image is something people battle with daily, and it is wonderful NAU has a community dedicated to supporting and uplifting fellow Lumberjacks.

In this day and age, it is all too easy to give in to the negativity that is placed into the minds of people through a screen. This is a fight no one should be forced to endure alone. Especially right now, it can be extremely beneficial to unplug from social media and reward oneself with a day to do anything they want and are permitted to. I encourage you all to unplug, practice self-care and show your body some love.