As temperatures rise, self-esteem dips as people everywhere are trying on their bikinis for the first time in a year. If just reading the word bikini made you shudder or wince with a pang of self-doubt, you are not alone my friend! It is natural to compare yourself to the carefree bikini-wearing goddess that you feel like you should be right when summer hits.
You can either look at this time of increased vulnerability as a scary time, one that inflicts a lot of worry and doubt into your heart and mind, or you can look at it as the BEST time to build self-esteem. Think about it: You have more opportunities than ever to combat the negative voice in your head because it is sure showing up more. Every time this voice comes up, you have a new opportunity to shut it down and choose a new thought and practice self-compassion. Try using this affirmation: “My body is a beautiful vehicle that carries me through life and I am going to honor it.”
No matter what you look like, you can choose to enjoy being in your body and radiate confidence instead. People really don’t remember what you looked like in a bikini, but they will remember your energy levels and how you made the people around you feel. If you are glowing and radiating really amazing relaxed energy, you are going to instantly come off more attractive than someone who is self-wallowing and clearly looks insecure.
If you have gained a few pounds while in quarantine, that’s totally normal. Accept it, don’t beat yourself up, and move on. What you can control now is what you do instead to build your self-esteem so you can let yourself actually relax with your friends in the sun instead of stressing out. Here are some points to consider when improving your body image:
How to improve your self-esteem and body image
1. Buy bathing suits that are flattering and make you feel better.
Figure out your body type and pick bathing suits accordingly. Your bathing suit should be a flattering cut and style. There is a style that will be most fitting.
2. Stop focusing on your flaws.
Instead, focus on what you like about your body and can control your health. For example – you can’t change your height or how long your legs are, but you can control your behavior regarding food and putting the right types of food and the correct amount in your body.
3. Visualize yourself looking radiant.
Think to yourself how glowing and healthy you are. This will signal to the brain that you actually are that person and your body will follow. Your mind is powerful- use it to your advantage!
4. Eat to nourish not to restrict
Nourishing your body will instantly make you feel better. Don’t cut out any major food groups. This is not only just a temporary solution, but it is also terrible for your mental and physical health and will cause you to gain more weight in the long run. Add plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables and give your body what it needs. It will look its best when it is given the proper amount of nutrition.
5. Pamper yourself, look after your body, smile.
When you give yourself a higher quality of care, you create a cycle of positivity and your body will care for you back. It is clear if you are feeling bad about yourself because you will look sunken and ill-groomed. Even if you don’t feel incredible about yourself, taking really good care of yourself will strengthen the neural pathways related to self-esteem because you are signaling to your body that you take good care of it
6. Likely you look back on old pictures of yourself and think “wow, I looked so good then!”
It is also likely that you did not see yourself this way at the time. Looking back on your former self and what you think now is your ideal body probably makes you wish you spent more time than not seeing your faults and just enjoying happy memories in the sun with your friends. So do that now.
Experience complete life and body transformation
The more relaxed and in the present moment you are coupled with loving your body and nourishing it with the right foods in the right portions will completely transform your body and life. It is much easier to take care of yourself at the moment than spend the rest of your life battling the body that is just keeping you alive and carrying you through life.
Talking to a therapist can help you manage symptoms of constantly worrying about your appearance. If you have symptoms of body dysmorphia or struggle with your relationship with food, talk therapy can help by helping you identify triggers and alter the way you think.