Earlier this week, we asked you to get in touch if you had any mental health and wellbeing queries for our Guest Entertainment Editor Scarlett Moffatt, as part of our Mental Health Awareness Week Takeover.
From life after lockdown to dealing with low body confidence, here Scarlett turns agony aunt to offer her advice.
My weight worries consume me; how can I accept myself for who I am?
Hi Scarlett. I’ve struggled with my weight for years and although I’ve lost some of it and I am not as overweight as I used to be, I still have an issue with how I look and how I see myself.
The body-positive movement on Instagram has helped me a bit but I just feel so disgusting compared to all the ‘pretty’ bigger people out there, like I don’t match up even to them. And I feel like everyone is just looking at me and judging me all the time even though I know they probably aren’t.
I put a bit of weight back on in lockdown and I’m having such a hard time with myself – I feel so low and can’t stop staring at my body in the mirror. It’s overwhelming how much I care about it. How can I sort my head out with my body image and weight?
I know that losing more weight isn’t the answer so would really love some advice about how to finally accept myself for who I am, size 14 or size 18.
Firstly my lovely, I believe that beauty comes from within and you sound like a wonderful and kind soul, which in itself is beautiful.
Try to not compare yourself to what you see online because a lot of it isn’t real and remember the media isn’t as body positive as you think. Some of the ‘plus size’ models you see online may actually be slimmer women with body padding in, which I know some online retailers still use
Bodies come in all shapes and sizes otherwise the world would be boring. Focus on the parts of your body that you love. Realise you are your own worst critic and nobody thinks the things that you say to yourself when you’re looking in the mirror, so give yourself a break my beautiful girl.
Remember bodies are vessels to carry our personalities around, our personality doesn’t exist to just carry a skeleton and skin around. Do what makes you happy, because as long as you’re happy and healthy that’s all that matters.
Coming out of lockdown worries me so much, how can I get used to socialising again?
I am so worried about coming out of lockdown. I have suffered with depression and anxiety for many years. The thought of being in close proximity to people again is terrifying.
As Boris Johnson is about to announce we won’t have to social distance anymore, do you have any advice for people in my shoes who are terrified at the thought of being up close with people again?
Hi my lovely – please know that having some social anxiety after this crazy year is completely normal and that you are not alone in feeling this way.
Try taking small steps rather than diving straight into the deep end of socialising. Start by organising to meet up with a friend for a walk in a park that you know won’t be super busy.
Celebrate little victories, so if you do go to the shops or even for a walk, then treat yourself with a pat on the back, your favourite magazine, or a nice coffee as you deserve it, and you will have done a great job in taking that first step to getting back out there.
Also try not to put too much pressure on yourself as that will make you more anxious – however, if it ends up getting too much, contact your GP. You’re doing great, I promise.
I feel so low but I can’t speak to my husband about it…
Hi Scarlett… I’ve been feeling really low and whatever I try to do it doesn’t seem to get me out of this black hole I’m in.
I can’t talk to my husband as he is ill in hospital.
Hi lovely, know that you are not alone and it is OK not to be OK.
It sounds like you are going through a tough time especially as the person you would normally confide in isn’t well. Try not to bottle your feelings up and make sure you surround yourself with people that love you. Call your friends and family and tell them how you are feeling.
If you feel like you maybe want to speak to someone outside of family and friends, who is not connected to your life or doesn’t know you, it can be easier to share everything you’re going through without feeling judged. You can give Samaritans a call on 116 123 or if you find it easier to write down your feelings, give them an email on [email protected]
And always remember if it gets too much to contact your GP. There is light at the end of that black hole I promise you, you have got through all of your darkest days so far, you can do it again.
Scarlett is taking part in Samaritans’ virtual fundraising marathon Samarathon, click here to find out more.
Metro.co.uk MHAW Takeover
This year, to mark Mental Health Awareness Week, Metro.co.uk has invited eight well-known mental health advocates to take over our site.
With a brilliant team that includes Alex Beresford, Russell Kane, Frankie Bridge, Anton Ferdinand, Sam Thompson, Scarlett Moffatt, Katie Piper and Joe Tracini, each of our guest editors have worked closely with us to share their own stories, and also educate, support and engage with our readers.
If you need help or advice for any mental health matter, here are just some of the organisations that were vital in helping us put together our MHAW Takeover:
- Mental Health Foundation
- Rethink Mental Illness
To contact any of the charities mentioned in the Metro.co.uk MHAW Takeover click here
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