These warnings help keep the environment positive rather than harmful, and it’s important that those navigating the Internet are prepared for what they might encounter as well as the potential consequences of what they might post. Below are tips and reminders to help keep triggers to a minimum both in posting and reading content.
1) Avoid numbers
All of them. Do not post about your lowest weight, goal weight or the number of calories you have eaten. These are the ultimate invitations to compare oneself to another, and are unnecessary to discuss.
2) You don’t have to only highlight the positives
While sharing recovery victories and good days is an excellent thing and should definitely be done more on social media, it doesn’t mean you can’t admit to struggle. Recovery is bound to have difficult obstacles, and painting the image that it is a constant breeze forward can just create a false perception for others that they shouldn’t anticipate struggles. Some of the greatest inspirations found on social media has been from individuals who admit to a difficult experience but announce that they will not let it stop them from getting back on their feet and continuing the fight!
3) Remember that everyone is different and in different places
With photos on Instagram and Tumblr, excited tweets on Twitter and constant life updates, it can become very easy to compare yourself to others on social media. Always keep in mind that everyone is at a different point in their recovery. What worked for one person might not work for another, or might have taken weeks to accomplish while you are only seeing the end result. Avoid taking or giving advice with the assumption that it will work or not work for you in exactly the same way. The online recovery community is meant to be a supportive environment, not a place for professional therapy, so remember to take suggestions with some caution.
4) Stop criticizing your body
Often, women see selfie posts on Instagram and think “wow, they look beautiful!” only to scroll down and find a long, ranting caption pointing out their flaws or calling themselves names. Such hatred is not only difficult to read, but it can discourage others from admiring their bodies rather than trashing them. Self-love is a practice that takes time during recovery, but it can be contagious on social media platforms when you are in a supportive, pro-recovery community. Seriously, try it! You have the ability to inspire others to love themselves and you may begin to see just how wonderful it can feel to let go of negativity.
5) Be honest with yourself
When it comes to posting content on social media, try putting yourself in your followers’ shoes and consider if the content would be triggering to you if posted by an individual you didn’t know personally. If so, see if you can reword the content so that it won’t require a warning and can keep your blog being a safe, encouraging environment.
Let’s try to overshadow all the harmful “thinspiration” and pro-anorexia websites out there and keep changing the Internet for the better! Together, we can help each other maintain a loving community and spread the inspiration through all social media platforms.
Tip of the Day
Shellfish counts too! Oysters, mussels, clams, and calamari (squid) all supply healthy omega-3s. Try mussels marinara, oyster stew, steamed clams, or pasta with calamari.