Tsvetina, placement student with the Counselling, Health and Wellbeing Team, shares some of the best body image apps to boost your self-love and wellbeing.
With summer approaching a lot of us will become more conscious of our bodies than usual. The hype surrounding getting a ‘summer body’ is only one of the triggers that can cause distress in people struggling with their body image. Media influences and modern perceptions of beauty can make it even harder for some of us to realise how amazing our uniqueness is and to find our way to self-love.
Difficulties with body image can coincide with or relate to low self-esteem, anxiety or abnormal eating habits. It is essential to recognise these relations within yourself, if you are anxious or unhappy because of how you look. Most often if we are stressed or experiencing difficult times with our mental health, we project our problems on our body. Mistakenly, we may work out, go on a diet or adopt unhealthy habits to lose weight, just because it gives us a sense of ‘control’ of our lives without actually addressing our issues.
Healing negative self-perception
The process of figuring out your concerns can be longer than you have expected, which is why it is really important to be aware of the different factors that may have caused your negative self-perception. You may find it useful to read the personal insight from the inspiring Bel who shares her experiences with Eating Disorders, or to read more about the different Eating Disorders by reading her Eating Disorders Awareness week blog. Having a look at the online resources at our Wellbeing central can also give you some clarity about your emotional and mental health.
If you are aware of the causes and triggers of your negative body image or you feel like occasionally, you may need some extra support with it, you may find it useful using some of our recommended body image apps.
4 of the best body image apps:
Body Beautiful constitutes all the positivity and self-care every woman or a girl should include in her daily routine. The idea behind the app is to empower females to appreciate their beauty with the help of inspirational quotes, media articles, videos and tools. Users are encouraged to take and share the ‘Body Beautiful Pledge’ which is basically a vow they make to themselves to respect and love their bodies and try to make peace with their self-image. It is an incredible tool that also allows you to stamp photos of your friends or yourself, and share them via Facebook, Twitter or email.
Good Blocks is a Psychological Training Game (PTG) that is scientifically designed to improve your self-esteem and mood. Although it works like a game, it can actually help you develop some incredibly helpful habits if you use it on a regular basis. The app is based on learning to identify and react accordingly to positive and negative thoughts related to your self-image. For example, healthy thoughts like ‘I can succeed’ require a specific response and bad ones such as ‘I am a loser’ should be responded to differently. This allows for a therapeutic process of acceptance of both thought patterns so that they are dealt with in a balanced way when they arise in real life situations.
Record Recovery Eating Disorder Management
RR Eating Disorder Management is a perfect recovery tool for individuals with experiences of eating disorders. It features a diary for your meals and the thoughts and feelings that come with them, so you can keep track of your progress, set reminders or alarms and be more mindful of your experiences. The app allows you to share your records easily so that if you are working with a counsellor or a therapist, they can understand better your behavioural trends and triggers. It is a great space to share your journey and connect with others experiencing similar difficulties. You can send encouraging messages and gifts to other users to show your support. Even if you are not officially diagnosed, this app can help you gain a better understanding of your wellbeing and how it may be affected by your eating habits.
Guided Mind is a wonderful app that targets different topics through the relaxing techniques of meditation. The targeted topics vary greatly and are ideal if you are struggling to find what you need to work on the most – you can just give it a try with all of them! Examples include: anxiety, body image, career, confidence and motivation. You can choose short (5 minutes) or longer meditations, for beginners or experienced meditators and there are instructions on each step to help your experience.
Get started on your self-love journey…
You may feel lost or unmotivated to even give yourself the chance to try to change your negative self-image, but there are a number of reasons why you should. Respecting your body and mind is the way to go about happiness and each one of us deserves that respect just for being here and experiencing the world through our own prism. You have the privilege to be different from everybody else and the moment you realise how valuable that is, you will be able give your body the peace it deserves to function.
We realise this may not be as easy as it sounds, which is why you can always start by doing small things for yourself. Write down five sentences that you would say to somebody you admire – you may want to tell them they are inspiring, ambitious or hard-working. Stick your list somewhere you can see it every day and read it or say it out loud as frequently as you can – address these sentences to yourself. See how that feels and appreciate yourself for just sparing those minutes to compliment yourself.
I will just end by leaving this wonderful ‘mindapple’ that we had from our Thrive hotspot in relation to Mental Health Awareness week on 10th May:
Contacting Counselling Health and Wellbeing
If you are struggling to improve your wellbeing, please know Cardiff University Support Services are here for you – there is no problem too big or too small and we would be happy to provide you with some support. We offer a range of flexible support options including:
- Counselling and Wellbeing Appointments
- Face to Face, Online or Telephone
- Wellbeing Walk-in: Drop-in Service running Monday to Friday
- Wellbeing Workshops
- Therapeutic Groups
- Wellbeing Champion Support
- Self-help resources
Bookable appointments are available via our online referral questionnaire. We also offer a Wellbeing Walk-In Service, Monday to Friday, 3pm to 3.45pm and Wednesday mornings, 9.30am to 10.15am, at the Student Support Centre at 50 Park Place. We also hold a walk-in service at our Student Support Centre in Cardigan House at the Heath, on Wednesday afternoons 3pm to 3.45pm.
Watch our video and see for yourself that we have friendly and approachable staff. Staff who are able to listen to you non-judgmentally, in a safe and confidential space.
If talking to a member of staff is something you are not sure about, why not chat to one of our Student Wellbeing Champions. They are trained student volunteers who can signpost you to support, offer you a peer ear and give you basic health and wellbeing advice. If you would like to see our Champions in action, check out their video.
If you are worried that you are experiencing physical symptoms that may be affecting your health, we strongly advise you to make a GP appointment to discuss this. If you do not already have a GP, please contact NHS Wales on 0845 46 47 or check out their website to view all of your GP options. The University also has its own GP Practice – Park Place Surgery for those in their catchment area.
Your feedback and help please
Have you found this blog post useful? Please help us by commenting in the comments bar below, and if there is anything further you’d like to know ask your questions there too.
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Tsvetina, Placement Student.
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