Ah summer, a beautiful season to be outdoors, to be adventurous, and to fully embrace what the world has to offer. The only unfortunate downside during these warmer months is that many women struggle with the pressure to look a certain way. Since we all have to show a bit more skin on hotter summer days to stay cool, staying body positive can become a bit more difficult. For anyone who might be dreading wearing shorts this season, or for those who want to avoid going to the beach, this one’s for you! The best way to really enjoy your experiences this summer is to recognize that everybody is a beach body. Here are a few easy ways to embrace a body-positive mindset:
Accept Your Body as It Is Now
Over the course of the pandemic, 35.82% of people have reported weight gain globally. We’ll say that again: globally. Being cooped up inside in most cases will naturally cause some weight fluctuation/gain, so if you do fall into the percentage of people who have gained weight worldwide, give yourself a break! Remember that it’s important for you to accept your body as it is right now as opposed to criticizing it. In the final weeks of May, try to practice positive self-talk each morning. Some examples of affirmations you can say to your body include:
- My body carried me through 2020, and it is beautiful.
- I am more than a size or a weight.
- I am my own unique person.
- I choose self-love over self-criticism.
- My body provides me with the energy and nourishment I need to get through each day.
Use the options above as inspiration to create your own affirmations unique to the parts of your body you know you need to show more love to. If you find that affirming yourself is working in your favor, try to form a habit of this practice for the rest of the summer!
Wear Clothes That You Love
Staying body positive throughout the summer means wearing clothes that make you feel confident without sacrificing your comfort level. While the temptation to pounce on summer clothing trends is definitely real, don’t force yourself to fit a certain mold with your style if it’s not representative of who you are. Instead, build your own unique summer wardrobe with pieces that compliment your figure and can be worn again and again, as opposed to only on specific occasions. Summer staples that are both versatile and comfortable for all body types include breathable underwear, linen shorts, and flowy maxi dresses.
Having seamless cotton underwear in your closet that molds to your body without causing discomfort or stickiness is a must. The right underwear will blend with the rest of your summer fits and allow you to focus on having fun in the sun instead of worrying about how you might look. Similarly, relaxed linen shorts offer enough airflow to prevent unwanted sweat marks or bunching when you sit down for that much anticipated outdoor date. And, the same goes for classic maxi dresses. Maxi dresses fit every woman of all shapes and sizes and can be found in many different styles allowing you to put your own personal touch on your look.
Don’t be mistaken. By no means do you have to add the items listed above into your summer wardrobe, but hopefully, these types of clothing can give you some inspiration on where to start!
Do Things That Boost Confidence
Many easy practices and activities have been proven to boost confidence to try this summer to help you with your body image. The unfortunate truth, however, is that confidence will not sprout overnight. Gaining confidence and staying body positive this summer will sometimes require you to put in a little extra work, but we promise it’ll be worth it in the long run. To get you started on the right track, consider trying the following throughout the summer months:
- Exercise: You had to know this was coming, right? Exercise for the sake of feeling good as opposed to losing weight can truly serve to help you support and regain your self-confidence. Going for a morning walk, a short jog on the beach, or even paddle boating with a friend are all summer activities that will allow you to get your exercise in and boost your confidence.
- Meditate: Meditating is an amazing practice for anyone who wants to form a deeper connection with themselves while also achieving a healthy mind and body. You don’t have to dedicate too much time to perform this practice either. Just ten minutes a day can work to reset and rejuvenate yourself when you’re feeling down about your self-image.
- Set goals: Setting small goals for yourself to check off a list has improved confidence and fulfillment. The feeling you get when you’ve accomplished something and can move onto a new task is unmatched, so get to goal setting this summer! This can range anywhere from creating a reading list for yourself to a personal chore chart. Just make sure the goals are attainable.
Be Selective About Your Media Intake
Over the course of the next three days, try logging how social media makes you feel as you’re scrolling through it. Are there some platforms that make you feel sad? Others that make you happy? Write it down. Take note of any negative mood patterns you’re noticing from certain apps, and ask yourself if you could go without them for a while or even forever.
Not only does social media have the ability to take its toll on your mind, but it can also especially impact your body image. One 2019 study found that 87% of women and 65% of men compare their bodies to the images they see on social media. If you know you fall into one of these percentages, also know that you’re not alone. An all too easy way to avoid making these comparisons this summer is to get rid of your social media. However, if you know you can’t do this, come up with a plan to hide certain accounts from your feed if you know they’re a trigger for you. Doing so will allow you to stop the cycle of comparison and hopefully begin loving more of who you are during the summer of 2021 and beyond.
Staying body positive this summer is a process that will involve a lot of ups and downs. Don’t stop working towards self-love just because you have a bad day, because you will have a bad day. Be kind to yourself. Accept your body as it is now, wear clothes you love, practice confidence-boosting activities, and get rid of toxic social media. Any and all of these steps are sure to help you have the summer season you deserve!
Featured Photo by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash