Summer is coming! And we could not be more excited, to do all of the things we have been missing for so long. But how can we go back to ‘normal’ when so much has changed? Including, for some of us, our relationship with our body? First things first, you’re not alone. So many of us are in this boat, and we’ve put together a few ways to help you feel confident with your body this summer.
- Remember to give thanks for what your body does for you.
Your body is so much more than how it looks. Think of how much you put your body through, and yet we put the emphasis on the way it looks rather how much it does for us. If we kept this at the forefront of our minds, we would find ourselves appreciating and truly loving ourselves. Focus on being grateful, and thankful, that this summer you can enjoy the great outdoors. That your body can take you into the sea and you can have a swim! Even if you don’t, be thankful for the fact that if you wanted to, you could!
The easiest way to explain ‘body neutrality’? Making peace with the way your body looks, and accepting there will be things that you don’t love all the time. A bloated tummy for instance, is something that comes and goes. And instead of focusing on eradication, focus on getting to a place of unconditional acceptance, loving who you are and in turn how you look.
- Exercise to feel good (not to punish your body)
Going for a walk was for many of us, a saving grace during lockdown. We learnt that moving your body, for 15 or 20 minutes a day, made a huge difference to our overall wellbeing. Being outside, with nature, moving our legs and getting our heart’s going felt good. We need to be in a position to re-frame our mind’s association with the word ‘exercise’. Because this comes in so many different forms, and none of it has to include a treadmill if that’s not for you!
- Give your body the nourishment it needs
If you want a healthier relationship with your body, it needs to start with what you fuel it with. How you feel after you eat certain foods will be directly linked to the way your body processes and breaks down these foods. Having said that, your body deserves to be nourished and you deserve these too! Like anything, life is about balance and moderation. So keep this at the forefront of your mind, and look at cooking as a fun hobby rather than a chore.
This might just be the most important rule of all! We have just been through a pandemic! And if you’ve come out the other side with some hesitations and feeling a bit nervous, that’s perfectly ok! Remember, if you’re feeling self conscious coming into summer, your friends and loved ones will be excited about seeing you and the fun you’re going to have, rather than focusing on your weight after lockdown! This period should have given us all perspective, our health being paramount. So be kind and forgiving to yourself, and of course, others.
- Talk about how you're feeling!
Like we said right at the start of this post, you’re not alone. Chances are, those nerves you’re feeling? Some of your friends are feeling them too! And like the old saying goes, ‘a problem shared, is a problem halved’. Your friends will remember and love you for your personality, your laugh, your spirit and your ability to love. So keep close to those who fill you up and make you smile, and you’ll come out of lockdown stronger and more resilient than ever. And that, is something to be proud of.