Image credit: Pexels
Social media has become a great source of entertainment and connection during the digital age. The World Health Organization notes that Millennials and Gen Z are the most active participants across different digital platforms such as Twitter, TikTok, WeChat, and Instagram. But despite being a place of respite from loneliness during the pandemic, social media also has a few notable downsides ranging from the spread of misinformation to an unhealthy representation of what wellness should look like.
Why Perception of Health is Skewed?
With the rise of influencers and the ‘That Girl’ trend, people are given the impression that it’s easy to have it all– being good at your job, living a well-rounded life, and maintaining good mental health. Though it certainly isn’t impossible, these people tend to glamorize and romanticize unhealthy perspectives on what is truly achievable by the average person.
A study on ‘Social Comparison on Social Networking Sites’ found that individuals who are continuously exposed to people who look good and live great lives tend to compare themselves to these personalities, creating an unattainable standard for health and living. This can lead to feelings of demotivation (feeling like they are a lost cause), jealousy (wishing they could look as good as the influencers), and self-loathing (thinking they aren’t good enough).
Adding to these issues is the number of celebrities on social media. With physical fitness an increasingly big part of the entertainment industry many celebrities are in peak condition. In fact, there is a whole industry around achieving celebrity fitness. Author Steve Zim’s book 6 Weeks to a Hollywood Body allows people to follow the exact routines of celebrities such as Jessica Biel. Social media however often doesn’t show the hours of hard work that goes into creating these bodies, with people just seeing the final (and often digitally tweaked) result. Compared to most people, celebrities have access to the best fitness trainers (like Steve Zim) and the best equipment, as well as the free time needed to craft these bodies. Therefore, their health and fitness on full display is unattainable for those who don’t have the same access and time.
While it is true that social media has made being healthy seem like a pipe dream, and getting the perfect health is unattainable for most, it is possible to be much healthier with the below tips.
How to Become Healthier?
Get enough sleep
Rest is an important factor of health that people seem to miss because they are too busy trying to be as productive as they can. Not getting enough sleep can lead to a weaker immune system, lack of energy to do things you love, poor mental health, and overall lower quality of life. Our past article on How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep lists a few different ways you can get ample amounts of rest such as having a set schedule, avoiding screen time before going to bed, and taking the right supplements.
Diet and exercise
Another major aspect of health is physical wellbeing. The best way to attain this is by practicing good diet and exercise habits. This includes consuming protein, eating good carbs, committing to cardio, and working on your whole body rather than individual areas. This lifestyle shift will not only help you look great, but it will also aid in keeping your body healthy in the long run.
When talking about wellness, it is also necessary to address mental health. In a time when stress, anxiety, and depression are growing rampant, you should do what you can to keep your emotional wellbeing in check. Emily Fletcher writes in ‘Stress Less Accomplish More’ that meditation can be the key to managing anxiety and feeling healthier. Fletcher’s Z-technique claims to help with a wide range of physical problems too, like immunity problems, migraines, and even Parkinson’s disease. Taking a few minutes of your day to wind down and meditate will help your body recuperate and give you the strength to continue on your journey to becoming healthier.
While it isn’t so bad to look up to social media personalities for health inspiration, it is important to remember that they aren’t a be-all-end-all. Everyone is different and what can be healthy for them may not be for you. Comparing yourself to these people can do more harm than good so remember to just focus on your personal journey and what works for you.
Article written by Ruth Jamie
Holistic Medical Clinic