Weight stigma enhances feeling fat and uncomfortable in public and can lead to greater and greater isolation. At Green Mountain at Fox Run, we know that loneliness can interrupt self care and increase isolation.
Harriet Brown discusses in Science Times how, in a time of public acceptance and tolerance of differences, the stigma of being obese may be at an all-time high:
Public attitudes about fat have never been more judgmental; stigmatizing fat people has become not just acceptable but, in some circles, de rigueur. I’ve sat in meetings with colleagues who wouldn’t dream of disparaging anyone’s color, sex, economic status or general attractiveness, yet feel free to comment witheringly on a person’s weight.
Weight stigma can keep you frozen inside your house, mindlessly eating to comfort yourself and not feel the loneliness. How can you start to break out of the negative self talk and behaviors that keep you isolated?
3 Loneliness Busters
Go and then give yourself permission to leave
- Strike a deal with yourself to risk going to the office party or calling an old friend, and then tell yourself that you can leave or get off the phone any time you want. Don’t expect yourself to stay more than 15 or 20 minutes. This can help you get out the door and out of your head.
Be with yourself instead of all alone
- Think about the things that used to be fun for you with or without someone else. Plan an outing for yourself that could be pleasurable. It might or might not be, but give these a try: Going to a movie or the museum, hitting up the mall, browsing a bookstore, doing arts & crafts, testing out a new coffee shop.
Celebrate your small successes
- Write your successes down. Big or small, partial or complete. Notice what is working rather than what you did wrong. It is so easy for us to focus on what isn’t right, what we are not happy about. Just for a moment, notice a small success, and see how that feels.
Do you have any loneliness busters that have worked for you in the past?