Hands up if you've spent countless hours scrolling through Instagram, clicking "like" on women you think look great in that new dress, or with the new haircut or house only to come away feeling down about yourself or your own life? We've all been guilty of it at some point I'm sure. I'm a huge fan of social media as it's brought so many real life connections with some fabulous women but there can also be a very negative side to it. You definitely need to remind yourself that it's not all real; sadly lots of women still filter and photoshop the hell out of themselves, you wouldn't recognise them if you passed them in the street. We very rarely show the bad or mundane aspects of our lives, although those that do often get the most support and engagement from others. We all need this reality check sometimes and learn to be kinder to ourselves.
It doesn't help when media advertising constantly feed us images of perfect, youthful women who we can't possibly relate to because she's 4 inches taller or three sizes smaller and thirty years younger! Some brands have begun to understand the real need for diversity in their campaigns; I honestly believe one day we won't even need this conversation and it will just be the norm, but we are a long way off. Our natural default setting seems to lead us to compare ourselves to others and very rarely in a positive way. If you do struggle with this and it leaves you feeling negative about yourself I would suggest you curate the list of people you follow. Follow the people that leave you feeling inspired, motivated and happy and it will definitely help your mental well-being. The saying 'comparison is the thief of joy' is so true.
Monday Motivation from Emily Barclay, the Perimenopause Hub
Thank you to Emily Barclay from The Perimenopause Hub, for this weeks' Monday Motivation with a gentle reminder to be kinder to ourselves and as Emily says...."be more dog"!
"In an age of social media, it is very easy for us to become all consumed with the idea of 'perfection'. Physically this comes from the constant messages that we are bombarded with from all angles; how being slimmer will make us happier, being overweight means we automatically lazy and unhealthy, that to lose weight is simply a question of willpower. It’s no surprise many of us struggle to feel anything positive about our bodies.
Then there’s the mental health aspect. If it isn’t enough that we have learnt to hate our bodies, we also are constantly surrounded by images of others’ ideal lives. On a conscious level, we know that they have just as many bad days and troublesome issues to deal with as we do, yet most only post the positive aspect of their lives on social media, so we can very easily end up with a skewed outlook, which can lead to feelings of low self-worth, and even depression and anxiety.
And yet each and every one of us is just so special. Our body is our vessel through life. It enables us to do so many amazing things. Just today my body has let me wear Mr Men leggings, it has allowed me to lift weights, it has enabled me to hug my dogs, it has enjoyed some sunshine and cold winter air.
Our minds are amazing places that hold onto information we have learnt along the way, that interpret the tiny things we see and hear all the time, that come up with crazy dreams.
So why the title: Be More Dog. I have six dogs. They don’t compare themselves to celebrity dogs on instadog. They don’t have hang-ups about their hair length or their tail colour. No, they use their body to do what they want to do – to run around, to chase each other, to play, to eat, to walk. They don’t worry about an imagined future or panic that Buster from up the road is better at chasing a ball than they are.
We can learn a lot from our furry friends. If we need to feel more comfortable in our skin, just look at different breeds of dog: the Greyhound isn’t judging the Labrador for having a big appetite; the Great Dane isn’t thinking the Dachshund is somehow lesser because his legs are short; the Frenchie doesn’t think the Doberman has a ridiculously big nose. Yet these are all things we judge ourselves on.
Likewise, the Spaniel is happy sniffing around until she next has a ball to chase; the Jack Russel is snoozing until the postman comes and needs seeing off; the Retriever is curled up on the sofa until her human comes home.
The next time you catch yourself inwardly judging yourself, whether physically or mentally, just take a moment and see how you can be more dog in the situation. Be kind to yourself. Canine you isn’t comparing to anyone else or stressing over the unimportant, and you don’t need to either."
Keep being fabulous