Coronavirus 'Glow Up' Trend And Mental Health Impacts

May 12, 2020

 

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Being stuck at home all day has led many people to feel they should get more done-- get their side hustle going, learn to play the piano, get in shape. Social media may fuel or heighten this pressure as people see others post their goals online as part of a trend that is sometimes called "quarantine glow-up."

Carrie Durward is a nutritionist specialist at Utah State University and she said this pressure is often unhealthy. 

“At the beginning there were a lot of people talking about how this is going to be great," Dunward said. "We’re going to get so much done. We’re all going  to be so organized. But the reality is this isn’t a vacation. This isn’t free time."

If you’ve been laid off from work, Durward said you will be dealing with the stress of lost income while at home . People who are home with children will deal with that stress. And working from home, no matter your situation, has a lot of challenges.

“I don’t think people should feel pressured to improve themselves during this time," Dunward said. "I think instead we should try and think of it more as surviving because that’s really what everyone is trying to do is survive the quarantine.”

Zuri Garcia is a mental health counselor at Utah State University and agreed with Durward.

“I think it can be fun, and we can actually become their cheerleaders, especially through social media," Garcia said. "But what sometimes happens is we can easily allow ourselves to get lost in those thoughts of what we should be doing and make up stories of the things that brings us shame and guilt.”

As an antidote to that shame and guilt, Garcia recommends practicing mindfulness. 

 “The basic idea is that of being in the now in the present moment, rather than in the past or the future," Garcia said. "It can help us figure out the reason for the feeling. and then just focus on the present moment without trying to do anything about that feeling.”