Scrolling through my Instagram, I noticed some friends who seemed to be agonising over the perceived perfection of certain celebs. Coming across an article on graphic designer James Fridman, a guy on Twitter who enjoys trolling people who request a free Photoshop job, I found similar sentiments. Girls who wanted their asses to be filled out a bit more, “Kim K Style”, or who wanted “that real Kylie look” applied to their faces seemed to be traipsing over to his Twitter for some attention.
Why does this seem to be the current norm? My peers are spending time and energy trying to glean that glamorous look that they are certain the Beyoncés, Lordes, or Gigis of the world have. That time could instead be spent elsewhere. It could even be spent off your phone. Working to boost your physical, mental, and relational health as you embrace who you are- rather than worrying about what you are not- does not have to be as exhausting as it may sound to some.
One - Rekindle a forgotten friendship.
BBC / via giphy.com
Life takes us on an amazing ride, but sometimes we fly right past people who stood by us for years. If you have friends you haven’t spoken to in ages, with no good reason, now could be a good time to send them a little greeting. It can help you realise that despite all the stress, tension, events, and change that you go through, inside of you exists the same awesome qualities that made them want to be your friend in the first place. Remember when you used to share opinions concerning Slumdog Millionaire, or geek out together about Owl City’s upcoming concert after falling in love with Fireflies?
Two - Ask your friends a question.
Fox / via: giphy.com
Someone once told me that it can be rather advantageous to ask your friends how exactly you are helpful to them. This may seem like such a silly question to pose, but it can actually add another layer to your friendship. It also has the potential to show you a more positive side of yourself.
Even if you ask them and they come up empty, don’t let it get you down. Sometimes optimism is a muscle that does not get enough exercise. Not everyone was blessed with Jessica Day's demeanor.
Three - Visit the gym.
And no, I don’t mean the virtual one that is located at the church around the corner if you're still into that. Exercise has been proven to increase dopamine production, which helps boost mood and productivity levels. The trick is sticking with the gym even when it isn’t warm enough to show off your toned legs, and those oh-so-comfy sweatpants come out to defend against the chilly air. Even if you're a homebody like me, there are plenty of exercises that you can do without leaving your house or even putting on pants. Push ups, sit ups, and squats are all fairly standard no-fuss workouts. If you add a few other exercises, at ten reps each, fifteen minutes a day can go a long way.
Four - Take a break from social media.
Paramount Pictures / via: giphy.com
This one can be pretty difficult to wrap your mind around, unless you’re one of those people who pride themselves by "not being on social media" and have been staving off the never-ending onslaught of their friends’ repetitive status updates as well as the plethora of nonchalant selfies. But even if it’s just taking one day off from checking either your Facebook or Instagram, and checking up on other things in the world instead, it can be so worth it.
Not long ago, I went for a week without logging in to my Facebook. I began reading through Google’s news page, and it was then that I realised how long it had been since I had heard anything about the news (aside from the political campaign which is thrust in our faces from every angle). Precious few proper news articles have ever made it to my news feed, and I hardly ventured outside it. I mean, did you know that Rome just elected their first woman mayor? Go Rome!
Five - Lastly: Relax.
20th Century Fox / via: giphy.com
Anxiety disorders affect at least 18% of the population, and women are 60% more likely to experience an anxiety disorder than men. That means that for us, it is steadily becoming more common to struggle with unavoidable stress, anxiety, and feelings of inadequacy. It is important to steer your mind towards other things so as to not be constantly overwhelmed by trying to keep up with the Joneses.
Every morning you wake up, try to plan an extra 20 minutes for meditation. If your schedule is simply too full to allot for that much time, even five minutes of meditation can be quite beneficial.