by Izzy Brown, MA, LPC, R-DMT, Reiki
Summer is a season that brings warmth, adventure and relaxation. It’s a time when many of us look forward to enjoying outdoor activities, lounging by the beach and soaking up the sun. However, for those struggling with body image challenges, the arrival of summer can also trigger feelings of anxiety, self-doubt and even shame. It’s important to remember that your body is beautiful just the way it is, and this summer can be a perfect opportunity to practice self-love and embrace body love.
First and foremost, it’s crucial to recognize that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Society tends to promote unrealistic standards of beauty and sometimes it can feel like there is only one way to look in order to be happy. It is essential to challenge these notions and celebrate diversity. Everybody is unique and deserves love and acceptance. Rather than focusing on fitting into a specific mold, shift your mindset towards appreciating your body for its strength, resilience and all the amazing things it allows you to do!
Another helpful strategy for improving body image is to be mindful of the media you consume. Social media platforms can be a double-edged sword when it comes to body love. While social media can provide spaces for self-expression and community, social media can also contribute to comparison and negative self-perception. Remember that many images online are edited and filtered, and do not represent reality. Consider curating your social media feed to include accounts that promote body acceptance, self-love and diversity!
Additionally, practicing self-care and self-compassion can greatly impact how you feel about your body. Engage in activities that make you feel good, whether it’s going for a walk in nature, dancing to your favorite music, or trying out a new hobby. Treat your body with kindness by nourishing it with yummy foods, engaging in movement that you enjoy, and getting enough rest. Surround yourself with positive influences and supportive individuals who uplift and encourage you on your journey towards body love.
Remember that it’s normal to have days when you feel less confident about your body. Instead of letting negative thoughts consume you, challenge them with neutral or positive affirmations. Practice gratitude for the incredible things your body allows you to experience and remind yourself of your unique qualities and strengths. Cultivating a neutral or positive mindset takes time and effort, but it can transform the way you view yourself and the world around you.
Lastly, don’t let body image concerns hold you back from enjoying all the wonderful experiences summer has to offer. Focus on creating meaningful memories, spending time with loved ones, and engage in activities that bring you joy. Shift your attention away from your appearance and redirect it towards the beauty of the present moment.
This summer, make a commitment to yourself to embrace body love. Celebrate your body, honor its journey and let go of unrealistic expectations. Remember that true beauty radiates from within, and the most important relationship you have is the one with yourself. By nurturing self-love, practicing self-love, and cultivating a neutral or positive mindset, you can confidently embrace the sunshine and love your best summer yet! For additional support, go to our website at bellavalorepsychotherapy.com to schedule an appointment with a therapist. You deserve to process your thoughts and feelings about your body in a nonjudgmental and safe space. You deserve body freedom!