For most women summer can often come with a side serving of dread and quite often panic, as we are filled with the thought of having to display more flesh than we have done throughout the winter months. We become self-conscious and fraught with worry at revealing parts of our body we don’t like and quite frankly wish we could keep covered for the whole year through!
This isn’t helped by the magazines and T.V. ads bombarding us with messages to change our bodies, especially at this time of year, and what I’ve found is it doesn’t matter what size or shape you are, as women we all have the same issues and hang ups about our bodies.
BUT there is lots you can do to help yourself feel more confident and body positive this summer. It’s about accepting where you are now and taking simple action to make yourself feel the best you can at this point. None of it involves starving yourself or starting a crazy exercise routine, but all of it can help you feel a million times better and more confident in your body as it is right now.
Spoil your body
This is something I advocate all year through, not just during the summer months. Things like exfoliating, getting your hair done, painting your nails, getting a pedicure, putting some moisturiser on can all make a difference to how you feel. I know when I have a shower, wash my hair and take the time to moisturise and put on some make up I feel 1000 times more confident.
Surround yourself with body positive images
Remember there is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ body. Bodies come in all different shapes and sizes, yet we are only ever presented with one in the media and in summer adverts for a beach body. Start surrounding yourself with body positive images. This doesn’t just mean curvier bodies, but a range of different body types. It will get you used to seeing a wide range of bodies and help alter your mindset around what’s normal. Instagram is a great place to start with this. Unfollow all the accounts that make you feel like your body isn’t right or that you need to change. Then look for positive body role models, accounts such as @bodyposipanda, @thebodyimagemovement, and @iskra are all great places to start.
Invest in summer clothes/swimwear that make you feel good
I don’t know how many times in the past summer has come rolling around, I’ve got out my summer wardrobe only to find I can’t fit in any of it. Instead of going to buy myself some new clothes that would have felt comfortable I’ve spent weeks squeezing myself into shorts and dresses that don’t fit and then spent days pulling tops down, wedgies out and basically feeling super uncomfortable the whole season! If this sounds familiar please don’t do that to yourself this summer. Forget the label in the clothes/swimwear and buy pieces that make you feel comfortable and confident. Another thing I do here is try to disregard what fashion says or what is in and go with what I know works for me. I’m never going to feel confident enough to wear a thong bikini, but I do feel comfortable in high legged swimsuits that have a bright pattern. We are all individual and it’s about figuring out what makes you feel good and at ease on the beach or around the pool.
Avoid some of the foods that are going to make you feel more bloated
I’m not talking about starting a diet here, cutting out all of the foods you love or restricting yourself in order to lose weight. I’m talking about being mindful of those foods that make you feel bloated or uncomfortable and avoiding them, or reducing them in order to make yourself feel better when you are out and about. For example, I know that bread makes me feel bloated, heavy and sluggish so I will try to avoid eating it throughout the summer so that I feel light and confident in my summer clothes. Increasing how much water you’re drinking, having some salads and green smoothies is all going to make you feel better and more confident when it comes to showing off a bit more flesh.
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When you feel yourself worrying about your body spend a few minutes practicing gratitude.
Appreciate where you are, who you’re with and the memories you’re making in that moment. Think about the small details and bring yourself back to being present. If you’re at the beach think about how nice the sand feels between your toes, take in the smell of the sea, listen to the water. It will be these things you remember when you look back and these things that matter, try to be in the moment and look at what you are truly thankful for.
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Remember summer is meant to be fun, it’s not meant to be about worry. As women we can often feel like our purpose for the summer is to look ‘good’ and be looked at, remember it is not! Take the pressure off yourself, you don’t need to look any way apart from the way you look right now (and trust me, that’s gorgeous!).
I hope you find these tips helpful and can go into summer feeling more confident and body positive.
Do you have any tips for feeling confident and body positive in the summer (or any time of year)? I’d love it if you left them in the comments below.
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