In this month of July, we have talked about investment, investing in ourselves and becoming aware of our personal self-value. Today, we are going to take a look at how this all comes together and affects our overall mental health.
We create many road blocks in our own mind that stop us from seeing true value in ourselves and making ourselves a priority in our every day lives. Those road blocks are things like self-comparison, self-doubt and negative self-thoughts. We have dug deep to identify what our own self-worth looks like and what has shaped that self-worth. I am a boudoir photographer and I probably see more self-denial and lack of self-esteem examples than the average person does. Boudoir can be scary at first. We always make the joke that normally people buy each other dinner before they get naked in front of one another. (Well, only one of us gets naked in this case! haha)
We live in a world where we are super hard on ourselves and as we talked about last week, we compare ourselves to everyone and everything. The beauty industry has set un-reachable standards on size, shape and typical looks of a woman. And yes, they do the same for men as well, in case you are a man reading this!
In a boudoir session, you are completely vulnerable and exposed whether you’re in lingerie, modern clothes or nude. The reason being is because that is the point of the session! We get down to the nitty gritty of who you are and we expose your raw true beauty. So it is natural that my clients feel a certain way about themselves. Because I see this unfiltered fear and insecurity play out in session planning, first meetings and even during their sessions, I see more self-doubt first hand than the average person sees.
All of these feelings about ourselves is a reflection on our mental health state. You cannot truly love yourself and invest in yourself if you are suffering from poor mental health in relation to who you are!
Last week we talked a lot about the root of social and self-comparison. We identified where we see unrealistic examples and how they make us feel thus causing us to self reflect and self-compare ourselves. It is a super unhealthy habit we have learned since childhood and continue to do as adults.
But as adults, we now have a choice!
Honestly, Facebook and other social platforms are probably the WORST offender when it comes to how it affects our mental health. There is just so many examples and outlets for us to compare ourselves and dwell on. Social media tends to be the biggest outlet for us when it comes to social-comparison. We see more of the medias marketing, social influencers and our peers’ expectations on social platforms than we do out in the everyday world.
Yes the news! Do you watch a lot of the news everyday? If yes, then I encourage you to pay attention the next time to all the news portrayed and after its done ask yourself how it left you feeling. Do you feel empowered, encouraged and energized? or are you left feeling fearful, frustrated and anxious?
This goes for online articles as well. Especially those political ones! It doesn’t really matter which side you are on or where you stand on the topics. Those articles are typically nasty and full of hate and negative feelings. Neither party says nice things about the other and neither goes anywhere near the middle on subjects. Most of these articles are just nasty when you step back and look at them.
We all have them! And if you don’t, I am so happy for you and I hope it stays that way!
You know who I’m talking about. That person that is very narcissistic, leaves you feeling uneasy and drained of emotion. The closer this person is to you, their opinions and emotions will sit more strongly within you.
You know the ones! I am guilty of them too. These are groups that thrive on drama and are mostly found online now. They may share posts or images that cut each other down for a laugh or that attack other people. In a sad reality, these groups have group in popularity and we see it so much, it has almost desensitizes us and we start to forget that what we are seeing is not acceptable ways to treat ourselves and others. Most times, these actions are very heartless but because they may be funny, we don’t think twice about it.
Now I know that’s a lot of stuff that is probably in your everyday life. I get it. But the sad truth is that 100% of that has an effect on your overall mental health. The effect may not be an immediate one but it is the trigger to a ripple effect.
We’ll keep it short and simple for options to limit the negative influences. I challenge you to try if not all, at least some of these changes and reflect on how it makes you feel. See if removing some of these negative influences lightens and betters your overall mental health.
Social Media – Limit the amount of time you send on it daily, on all platforms. Download an app to help you track your time and keep your screen time to a minimum.
Online News and Articles – Turn it off. We stopped watching the news for many many years now. We read articles that are important but beyond that we felt that the news was just filled with trauma and sparked emotions like sadness, anxiety and fear. If you cant cut it out, then cut it down.
Negative Family and Friends – We know you cant just cut these people out of your lives forever in most cases. If you can, that is something I definitely challenge you to do but for the individuals you’re attached to or are stuck with, I encourage you to prioritize and limit your time with these individuals and learn to set better boundaries with them.
Hate and Drama Groups – If they don’t benefit your life in a positive way, drop them. Its as simple as that. You choose what you want in your life so decide what needs to stay and needs to go.
Self-Comparison in General – Limiting all these things above will help with this issue but overall, work on yourself and work on eliminating those negative thoughts about yourself. Those comparisons you make are unrealistic and not reachable so stop making them!
If anything, I hope you take away from this that your mental health is important! You are important! And above all, you are worthy of making yourself a priority and investing in yourself.
Announcing tomorrow, is a FREE live training I am doing on Friday July 29th at 12:00PM EST. We are going to talk more about mental health, self-investment and 3 tools we can use to learn to invest in ourselves more. It is so important to prioritize ourselves and our own needs.
If interested in the training, you can click on the image below or can head to www.sandyprintsphotography.com/self-invest/ to learn more and register your FREE seat in the class.
As I stated above, I am a boudoir photographer and help women every day tackle insecurities and build better connections with themselves. Boudoir is empowering and inspiring and can be a great way to reconnect with the self you have lost for a long time now. So if a day comes that you are ever ready for your Boudoir journey, I will be here waiting for you!
Until then, you can check out more on Sandy Prints Photography at www.sandyprintsphotography.com and all who are interested in a Boudoir Session can head HERE to fill out our session inquiry form and start our conversation today!
If you missed our previous weeks and would like to check them out you can head to the links below:
Looking Into Ourselves; Do You See Value In Yourself?
Are You Guilty Of Living A Life Of Constant Self-Comparison?