Struggling teen :(((

Hello! I’m currently a student who is struggling with body image issues and dealing with stress and, depression. Ive been struggling with my weight for about 3 years and lost about 15 kg last year. Recently I’ve been eating more due to stress and gained a lot of weight back. I’ve been excessively eating because of stress and i feel so guilty everytime. I have been trying to cut down from eating but i find myself binge eating every day. I notice a difference in my body and it has made me feel very insecure about myself. Not only that, I’ve been feeling very numb these past few days. I feel so unproductive and I do nothing but scroll through hours of social media after school despot have a huge test coming up. I feel so lazy but I have no mood to do anything. Please give me some advice :pray:

Dear @honeybunbuns,

Firstly, thank you for reaching out to us on this platform. We value your trust. I can only imagine how tough it is for you to experience such strong and uncomfortable emotions frequently. Dealing with body image issues, stress, and depression can be incredibly challenging, especially as a student juggling academic pressures and personal struggles. It takes courage to open up about these feelings, and I want to acknowledge your strength in reaching out for advice. :saluting_face:

Let’s take a moment and celebrate your resilience, acknowledging your bravery in sharing your struggles. Your incredible strength in navigating these feelings for such a long time is truly commendable. :clap:t4: :clap:t4:

Learning to cope with multiple things that demand our attention is a life skill. It’s important to give yourself the time and grace to learn these skills. May I suggest as a first step is practicing self compassion and acceptance. Self-compassion means being kind and understanding towards yourself, just like you would be towards a good friend. It involves recognising that everyone makes mistakes and experiences challenges, and that’s okay. Self-compassion also means being patient with yourself and not being too hard on yourself when things don’t go as planned. It’s about treating yourself with the same care and empathy that you would show to others who are going through a tough time. Ultimately, self-compassion helps you build a positive relationship with yourself and promotes mental and emotional well-being.

Feeling numb, comfort eating, mindless scrolling are some of the ways how the body helps us to cope when we feel overwhelmed. This tells me that your body is doing its best to help you feel safe even though the strategy may no longer be helpful. Please know that there is nothing wrong with you, you are amazing just the way you are even if it doesn’t feel like that now. There is enough time to help our brain and body learn new skills and strategies that can be more helpful.

Here are some suggestions that might help:

  1. Seek Support: I’d like to encourage you to reach out to your school counsellor, teacher, or a trusted adult and share your challenges with them. You don’t have to face these challenges alone. A counsellor can offer personalised guidance and support specifically tailored to your needs.

  2. Healthy Coping Strategies: Explore healthier ways to cope with stress instead of turning to food. This could include activities like exercise, meditation, journaling, or spending time outdoors. Whenever the urge comes for you to do something that is no longer helpful, set a timer for 5mins and do a different activity. For example, listen to a song, do some jumping jacks, take deep breaths, or do one of the following guided activities:
    Rescue Session: Rescue Sessions |
    Learning Paths: Learning Paths |
    Feel More Control: Mental Support & Wellbeing Resources in Singapore to Improve Your Mental Health |
    Gain Perspectives:
    Defeating the Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTS) in Your Head:
    Managing Feelings & Emotions:

  3. Mindful Eating: Practice mindful eating by paying attention to your body’s hunger and fullness cues. Try to eat balanced meals and avoid skipping meals, as this can lead to overeating later on. Start off with one meal where you mindfull eat and enjoy the meal without any distractions. Take your time to chew and savour the taste. You can begin with just one minute at each meal and work your way up to practicing mindful eating at each meal.

  4. Challenge Negative Thoughts: Challenge negative thoughts about your body by focusing on your strengths and accomplishments. Surround yourself with positive influences and practice self-compassion. Start a “book of wins”, in this book you jot down every win that you had in the day. It can be as simple as you got up and brushed your teeth even though you didn’t feel like it. Over time this will help you see all the gains you have rather than focusing on the gaps in your life.

  5. Limit Social Media: Limit your time on social media, as excessive scrolling can contribute to negative self-image and feelings of inadequacy. Instead, engage in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. Activate the digital well-being option on your phone and set time limits on the apps.

  6. Set Realistic Goals: Set small, achievable goals for yourself, both academically and personally. Celebrate your progress along the way and be kind to yourself during setbacks. Aim to improve just by 1% a day, at the end of the month you would have improved by 30%.

Remember, progress takes time, and it’s okay to seek support and take small steps towards feeling better. Take care of yourself and keep prioritise your mental and emotional well-being. You got this! :muscle:t4:

I hope the above has been helpful and if you’d like more resources or if there is anything else you’d like to share with us, please do. We’re here to listen to you, your feelings are vailed and you matter! :grinning:

Warm regards,
Cool Breeze =)

Wa I read your post and I feel like I can relate eh, the struggles with body image and feeling unproductive ><
I don’t think I’ve overcame my own struggles in this area fully yet but some ppl has given my advice in that:

  1. put less emphasis on other’s opinions and care a lot more for what you feel abt yourself. I used to wanna lose weight cos I feel like others find me undesirable in some ways, so my motivation was not right and it made me feel worse. Now I changed my perspective in focusing on myself yknow, I realise I also don’t like myself when I’m heavy cos I feel unfit and unhealthy, so now I focus on keeping myself fit, doing some efforts in exercising for the right reason, and it is so much less demoralising for me. Dk if you can relate~
  2. when it comes to productivity, focus on finding ways to enjoy the process when doing things you need/want to do. Like the idea is to focus your energy on doing things in ways that brings you more energy. I may not like studying, but if I make it fun for myself by drawing mind maps instead of only writing notes. Or I give myself small breaks in between work cos I cannot do long hours at one go.
    we can get things done but choose exactly how we wanna do it that works best for us​:muscle:t3::muscle:t3::muscle:t3:
    Hope these help🫰🏼