Does the thought of a “summer body” stress you out? Take the pressure off with these few tips, and don’t let a season stop you from feeling your best.
Body confidence can be especially difficult in the summer. Everywhere you turn, there are conversations about “getting your summer body ready”, bringing about more pressure to look flawless and feeling perfect in your body.
It can start to feel debilitating, putting a damper on all things that are fun about summer – going to the beach, grilling out with friends, getting outdoors and enjoying the warm summer breeze.
Take a deep breath and relax your shoulders if you’ve found yourself tensing up thinking about all of this. Now, let’s get real about your summer body confidence.
First off, it’s not your fault you don’t feel confident in your body. Our culture puts so much pressure on us needing to look a certain way in order to have confidence in our bodies. However, you have a choice in whether you want to take it to heart and let it keep you stuck in body dissatisfaction…or you can push forward by not allowing it to take you captive.
Here are a few tips for owning confidence in your body this summer.
1. SET YOURSELF UP FOR CONFIDENCE
Our environments greatly influence who we know ourselves to be. If you are constantly being bombarded with negative body talk day in and day out, you’ll likely start to believe it.
No matter how confident you are, constantly hearing negative talk about your body will inevitably lead you to believe negative things about your body. Set yourself up for success by surrounding yourself with confidence-promoting influences, both in-person or online, and be around those who will empower you to feel confident.
Setting yourself up for confidence may also entail dressing for the body you have now, and wearing clothes that feel good. When you feel good in your body with the clothes you’re wearing, whether it’s a bathing suit, dress, or shorts, finding styles and sizes that make you feel comfortable will translate into confidence.
2. BE MINDFUL OF YOUR WORDS
The way you speak to yourself is often far from how we would speak to a friend. Be intentional, and listen for anything that sounds negative or isn’t something you would say to a friend. Try replacing it with something uplifting and positive, and notice how it makes you feel.
This exercise may take some time to notice a switch in your mindset, but know that even the act of being mindful and noticing the words you speak to yourself can be powerful. Consider making a chart with common negative words that you speak to yourself on one side, and something positive and uplifting on the other side. This gives you a real, tangible way to replace each negative phrase as soon as you notice it.
3. FIND WAYS TO RESPECT YOUR BODY
A great way to boost body confidence is to find ways to respect your body. Your mindset must shift from tearing yourself down, to one that focuses on respecting your body. Practice being introspective, and have regular conversations with yourself about what is going on internally.
For example, one way you can promote body confidence is to respect your body’s need for good sleep when you’re tired. Not honoring your body’s need for rest could set you up to lose confidence in your body, especially when you don’t feel physically well from the lack of sleep.
Another example is to eat intuitively. When you eat intuitively, you eat in a way that honors what your body is telling you. Sometimes, this looks like eating more veggies because something heavy wouldn’t feel good in your body. Other times, you may eat a burger and fries because that’s what sounds good at the moment. Trust that you have the knowledge that both are good choices for different times in your life. And when you respect your body, you build trust and confidence along with it.
4. DO THE THINGS YOU WANT TO DO THIS SUMMER.
However you feel about your body, don’t let your lack of confidence interfere with doing the things you really want. Push past the discomfort that may be holding you back, and allow yourself to grow from the experience.
When you challenge yourself, that is how you grow as individuals and gain confidence in your new abilities. Start with something small and see how it feels to do the uncomfortable. You may be surprised that it’s not as difficult as you had envisioned.
So get out there this summer, be confident, and rewrite your narrative.
Adapted from the original article.
HEADER IMAGE: ALEKSANDER BORZENETS
Victoria Yates, RN is a Registered Nurse & Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor based in Westchester, NY who focuses on helping women reach a healthier relationship with food and their bodies. She is passionate about guiding others reprogram negative thoughts around food and body image so they may experience a truly joyful life.