Summer is finally here and you have a heightened sense of awareness of the people around you: laughing and soaking up the sun. But not you. You notice how most people appear comfortable in their skin; wearing tank tops and short-shorts while even roaming around the mall. All you can think about is how uncomfortable you feel and how you don’t seem to be as tanned, thin, or toned as most of the people that pass you by.
All you want to do is conceal yourself by wearing baggy sweat clothes. The summer season can feel as though a drill sergeant is following you around, yelling and holding a microscope to every tiny flaw, whether you are female or male.
With constant reminders to have the perfect beach body or tight and toned abs, it can be a challenge for even the most confident people not to become critical of themselves this time of year. Advertisements for diet and exercise products that showcase ideal bikini bodies, and tabloids that harshly rate appearances can spark feelings of inadequacy and depression.
By recognizing that having the “perfect body” is not the ultimate source of happiness, and appreciating your body for all it does, you can begin to change the idea of how you define a healthy summer look.
Get moving: Work on finding joy and connection with yourself and others by engaging in a yoga class, boating, fishing, or playing street hockey. Identify physical activities that make you feel good spiritually, physically, and emotionally.
Positive social supports: Spend time with family members and friends who are supportive of you. Spending time with others can assist with improving mood and well-being.
Find your happy: It is so easy to get caught up in our physical appearance, or those of others. Take time to focus on the sun’s warmth, the way the warm earth feels beneath your toes, and the sounds of laughing children as they play.
Behind all the hype generated about our appearance, summer is about getting out in the warm weather, enjoying swimming, fishing, or boating without being dampened by fretting over insecurities. Having a positive body image is about respecting your health and well-being, and that of others.
As for your beach body, you already have a body. Now get to the beach!
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