Self Care Sunday: Be Mindful of the Media

This week is a little different than usual — more about a shift, a spring cleaning, if you will. With the sun shining and windows open in my apartment, I am definitely ready for spring. (55 degrees, woohoo!)

Have you ever heard the expression “you are what you eat”? As I understand it, if you want to feel healthy, you should eat healthy foods. It’s pretty logical and easy argument to follow. But what about what you read and watch? What about which websites you browse? Would it make sense to say “you think what you see”? Numerous studies show this is true, whether it’s with body image concerns, racist mascots*, or sexism. Now that we know this, we can make healthy choices for our mind the same way we make healthy eating choices for our bodies. This can mean anything from choosing movies with positive female role models, to switching from violent video games to sports and racing games, or picking up a novel instead of a Cosmopolitan magazine. Just being conscious of the way that the media effects you can make a big difference. If you notice yourself getting bogged down by anti-gay slurs in your music, or impossibly beautiful women in the movie you’re watching, take a step back and ground yourself in reality. Read about some good news or reflect on the people in your life who are beautiful or strong to you — and notice that they don’t look anything like the pop stars you see on TV. Be careful about what you put in your mind, and make the best choices for yourself. 

Take care of yourselves, Hoosiers!

* Much of this research and advocacy work comes from IU professor Dr. Jesse Steinfeldt. GO HOOSIERS!

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