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Recovery blog

Social Media and Body Image

By: Megan Coral, MS, LMFT from The Renfrew Center of Northern New Jersey

Posted on September 25, 2017

Social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter - to name a few) seems to be everywhere and most of us belong to at least one network. We can't look at a picture, read an article, or check the weather without an invitation to share what we are seeing with others in our social network(s). By having such access to each other, we would think it would bring us closer together, but it seems to drive us further apart. Some of us feel more alone, isolated, insecure, and not good enough after viewing images of our peers or friends engaging in fun activities, achieving milestones, or seemingly enjoying themselves. For people who are struggling with an eating disorder and for anyone who is experiencing negative body image, these images can increase self-criticism and possibly other negative thoughts. To help combat this negativity, I have a few suggestions:

•Take a break from social media temporarily or indefinitely
•If taking a break is too much, turn off notifications to decrease the time you check your account(s)
•Decrease social media and internet usage daily
•Think about the intended purpose of the post or images
•Find body positive social media
•Seek out recovery focused blogs
•Look for inspirational messages to help keep you on track

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