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Sharing your real story is a powerful thing

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, women’s mental health has seen a huge decline.

One of the biggest causes of anxiety symptoms in women has been social media. There’s a lot of pressure for people to make themselves or their lives look great with the perfect filter, but sometimes they’re just trying to cover up what’s really going on.

At Bupa, we're here to let you know that it's ok to share the real, unfiltered you. Revealing a more balanced view of your life with all its ups and downs can mean you get the support you need. It could even help someone else feel less alone with their struggles.

Together we can make sharing real life a positive step. And whether you have health insurance with Bupa or not, you can turn to us for help.

Support when you need it

Free women’s health and wellbeing support

We’ve got a wealth of information to help support your mental health, whether you have health insurance with us or not

Pablo Vandenabeele, Clinical Director of Mental Health, shares the impact social media filters may have on mental health:

"Selfies and some filters can be light-hearted, but for some, they can be harmful to mental health. For example, image-altering filters that 'beautify' your appearance can negatively affect your self-esteem. They set unrealistic expectations and a strive for perfection.

"There's also a huge difference between these images and your reflection in the mirror. One is your ideal’ version, and the other is your real self. This can lead to a low mood, anxiety, and depression; as well as body image issues (such as body dysmorphia).

Tips for protecting your mental health
if you think unrealistic filters are affecting you

  • Put your mental health first

  • Practise self-compassion

  • Seek support

Check in on yourself and your social media habits. It’s crucial to have a healthy relationship with these apps. There are lots of benefits to social media, especially as it’s helped us stay closer over the last year. But unfortunately, it can make mental health issues worse.

If these apps or filters are making you feel stressed or anxious, prioritise yourself. Do this by switching off and deleting these apps. Regular exercise, a balanced diet and spending time with loved ones can improve your wellbeing.

Social media filters can set unrealistic expectations for yourself. And this can leave you feeling low. Try tuning in to your inner voice and noticing how it speaks to you. It’s important to be kind to yourself and accept your strengths and weaknesses.

Writing down three things everyday you’re proud of can be a great way to practise self-care. The idea is to build up a picture of yourself that’s based on truth and evidence, which you can turn to for reassurance.

If social media filters are impacting your day-to-day life and taking a break isn’t helping, seek help. Speak to your GP, a mental health professional or a loved one.

There is always support available. It can feel a huge relief to open up about any negative feelings you’re experiencing.

Real life, real stories

Bupa health insurance is provided by Bupa Insurance Limited. Registered in England and Wales No. 3956433. Bupa Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Arranged and administered by Bupa Insurance Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales No. 3829851. Registered office: 1 Angel Court, London, EC2R 7HJ.

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