It’s already summer again, and this means that it’s back to short shorts, t-shirts, tank tops… and various other pieces of clothing aimed at revealing as much skin as possible, to give the steam coming off our bodies more space to escape. Summer is the time to go to the beach, to splash around and have time with loved ones and friends, while soaking up some much deserved vitamin D. Unfortunately, this period of time also brings with it uncertainty, and issues around how our bodies will look. Particularly when every time you’re at the beach, there’s some chiseled man with an 8-pack, or a gorgeous woman who looks absolutely flawless in a bikini.
The thoughts surrounding “I’m not good enough”, or I’m not “beautiful” enough, end up dampening our mood and end up making us feel bad, while everyone else seems to be having a good time.
Here are some tips that could help you during this time:
- Sounds like a cliche, but do you know how to get a summer body? Be a body in summer. Remember that all bodies look different and are unique in their own way, so not everyone has an 8-pack or toned muscles…and that’s ok! Frankly, our unique bodies are what make us so beautiful!
- Mindsets need to change… and this doesn’t just mean society’s at large! You need to change the way you think. Do you idealise thinness? Do you idolize people who spend 5 hours at the gym every day? Instead of looking at yourself in the mirror and listing all that you hate about yourself, why not try list what you like about yourself, your strengths, what makes you beautiful? Maybe you can even ask a friend for help, as sometimes it can be hard to notice things ourselves. Maybe we have beautiful eyes, or maybe our wider shoulders make us seem strong and supportive, maybe our round stomachs make us better to cuddle with.
- Work out, if you want to. Exercise can be great, it releases hormones that alleviate our mood long term, it can give us confidence. But exercise needs to be done when we want to do it, and if we want to do it. It cannot be done because we want to reach a certain number on the scale, that’s like saying you’re unworthy unless you reach that number. Is there a sport you like, or always wanted to try? Fancy going for a daily walk? Go for it, do what makes you happy!
- Unfollow what’s negative to you. When we follow certain accounts or people, we’re seeing what they want us to see, which usually means photoshop. Unfortunately, our brains end up thinking that this is the norm, and so, we are the “different” ones. Follow more real people, people who are diverse and honest about the way they look, and who aren’t ashamed to show their bodies, scars, spots and all.
With these simple tips, I hope that you have a more enjoyable summer, where you can show off your body with all its flaws and beautiful aspects.
Mel McElhatton holds a degree in Social Work from the University of Malta. With Willingness, Mel does life coaching and is one of the facilitators in the IRL – In Real Life team. They are also the producer of the radio show Niddiskutu s-Sess. They can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 79291817.