Activity Goals: Based on the tenants of Dialectical Behavior Therapy, to deal with anxiety and body image anxiety, we want to build four major skills— Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Interpersonal Effectiveness, and Emotional Regulation.
Social Media Cleanse
While not inherently negative, social media can contribute to negative emotions. A main harmful effect of social media is the social-comparison effect. In particular, there are four types of social comparisons.
- Upward contrast comparison leads to feelings of inferiority (this is when you follow people you look up to but cannot relate to).
- Downward contrast comparison leads to feelings of superiority (this is when you follow people you look down upon and cannot relate to).
- Upward identification leads to feelings of hopefulness (this is when you follow people whom you look up to and relate to).
- Downward identification leads to feelings of disappointment (this is when you follow people whom you look down upon, but also relate to).
Those with downward identification and upward contrast showed the highest levels of depression and anxiety, and the lowest levels of self-esteem and life satisfaction.
With this in mind, time to quit the comparing! Remove the accounts that make you view yourself in a more negative light. Spend an hour going through your social media, and unfollowing accounts that make you feel less than. Delete the apps that affect your self-worth and download ones that uplift you, and fill your feed with positive role models.
Link for Positive Apps:
List of Positive Creators to Follow:
- Victoria Garrick, a former D1 athlete who is a creator whose content revolves around mental health & body-image
- @victoriagarrick on Instagram
- Carly – ED survivor, self-love and confidence educator
- @Paradisefitnesswithcarly on Instagram
- Shana Minei Spense, MS, RDN, CDN, an anti-diet content creator who promotes a healthy relationship with food and exercise. She’s a great source for science-backed nutrition with a mindful approach
- @thenutritiontea on Instagram
- Sienna Mae Gomez, a 17 year old Tik-Tok star who promotes body-image positivity, food-neutrality, and a positive lifestyle
- @siennamae on Tik-Tok
- Tarek Ali, influencer and youtuber with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology who promotes positive body image and creating a safe space for conversations about mental health
- @itstarekali on Instagram, Tarek Ali on youtube
- Sarah Nicole Landry – Body Positivity
- @thebirdspapaya on Instagram
Check-in With Yourself
It is important to understand where your anxiety is at and what your triggers are. In mental health terms, a trigger refers to something that affects your emotional state, often significantly, by causing extreme emotions of being overwhelmed or distressed. Here is the link to an anxiety assessment document:
Additional Activities and Resources
The Worry Tree
This tree is useful for worrying related to relationships, academics, body image, etc. Try using this “Worry Tree” when you are worried about something and see how you should react or deal with it. For example, if you find yourself stressing about the number on the scale or how you look in a pair of jeans from a few years ago, it is time to use the worry tree!
Coloring can be a great way to get your mind off of comparing yourself to others, and allow you to relax and focus on being creative. Use this website to find something to print and color: 🙂
Anti-stress (Relaxation) – Printable coloring pages