Staff Ed: The government’s prying eyes, a dangerous future of SURVEILLANCE

Let’s admit it. As much as we love to say that we love this time of year, it’s also one of the more stressful times of the year — especially for those struggling with their looks and body image.

We feel vulnerable to judgement. As much as we probably hate to say it, we really do care about what others think of us. It’s human nature, after all. 

We live in a society which tends to equate our sense of self-worth with our appearance. This only fuels the further judgements people make about one another. Catching up with relatives, whether we do that in-person or online, leaves us feeling susceptible to snide remarks or harsh advice during the holiday season.  

2020 has been a wild ride, and we should be thankful to our bodies for helping us get through it. Our lives and mindset are changing everyday. So wouldn’t it be natural for our bodies to do the same?

When quarantine started, we were coerced to change our lifestyles. Some of us maybe had too much time on our hands and some of us had too little. We didn’t have the time or the opportunity to fulfill our schedules in the way we used to. There was a switch in priorities-which is completely natural.

Our bodies are so amazing. They allow us to study, work, play music, play our favorite sport, take walks, bake, anything and everything. They still continue to support us even if we tell them that they are not enough and that they need to change. They let us breathe. They keep us moving, something that is inevitable in life. 

Nobody can take away your body, it’s yours and it loves you. 

So it’s up to us to nourish our bodies and allow ourselves to wear whatever we want, eat whatever we want, and show them some love. 

Look what they did for us when everyone went into quarantine. Look how they supported our new habits and allowed us to take better care of ourselves. Look at how they adjusted to our schedules. Our bodies are not our enemies, and they never were.

Talks with family around the dinner table can be awkward and triggering. It’s not uncommon for family members who we haven’t seen for a long time to make remarks on appearance. This can have a really big impact on those struggling with body image. 

We must try our best not to interpret the  intention behind their commentary as ill will. All commentary doesn’t stem from a negative place. If we seek to analyze intention, the only people it will negatively affect is ourselves. So let’s spare ourselves of that mental cacophony.

It’s important we surround ourselves with people who support us and bring us joy this season. It’s been a rough year for a lot of us.

Even though it may be hard to find time in the holiday season, self-care is a must. Just like there’s dental hygiene, there’s mental hygiene as well.

When topics surrounding body image come up, we can choose to table them at the dinner table. However if some of us are comfortable enough, we can encourage discussion. We can utilize talks at the table to open up and encourage conversation within our families. And who knows? Maybe we can be helping someone else struggling as well. 

Let’s all use this holiday season to show gratitude to not only our loved ones, but our bodies are well. Let’s be thankful to them for being so strong, powerful, and capable.

Happy Holidays from The Chronicle Family!