Over the past several weeks, I have been writing about various topics that are included in The KARMA Method, the signature coaching and therapeutic method used by Bespoke Wellness Partners. My hope is that these topics will allow you to reflect and make you more aware of where you are on your specific journey with whatever struggles you may be facing. Today's blog was written by 21-year-old intern Katja.
As Summer time approaches, the days get longer, the weather gets warmer, and the winter coats disappear. Body image is a challenging subject for anybody to discuss, specifically during the summer months when sweaters and leggings are substituted for shorts, tank tops, and, most difficult for some, bathing suits. Wouldn't you rather spend your time with your friends in the pool, relaxing at the beach, and enjoying the sunshine than sitting on the sidelines in a baggy t-shirt? While being uncomfortable is unpleasant, missing out on opportunities and memories, in my opinion, is even worse.
So why can't we be comfortable in our summer attire and create memories? Below, I’ve compiled three big tips that have helped me. My hope is that you can implement them, sending you on your way to a carefree summer: one in which you don’t obsess about your body and insecurities.
#1 Wear What You Want
You don't have to have to be a size 00 to wear a bikini, you don't have to have toned arms to wear tank tops, and you can have cellulite and still be able to rock denim shorts. Forget about having a swimsuit figure. The misconception that only one type of physique can wear a bikini is detrimental and simply not true. Sometimes it can be hard to figure out what you feel comfortable in if fashion is not necessarily your thing.
My best advice is to figure out what you love about yourself. If you love how long your legs are, but are self conscious about your arms or stomach, try to start wearing more shorts or skirts in the future. Sometimes focusing on your strengths can help build your overall confidence unknowingly. Wear whatever makes you happy and disregard everyone else. In fashion, there are no rules concerning what you can and cannot wear. I truly believe that you can be happy at any size because each of you are unique and beautiful.
#2 Don't Be Fooled by Social Media
A possible roadblock in anyone's search for body positivity is becoming overly engrossed in social media. Take note that most of what you see on social media is a highlight reel. In other words, it is not a true depiction of reality. Comparing your personal insecurities to someone else's "picture perfect" existence on Instagram will never help. Start to notice how you feel after scrolling through social media. If you're feeling down each time you go on social media platforms, I recommend taking a break. Or, unfollow profiles that make you doubt or question your confidence.
On the other hand, there are several accounts that might boost your body confidence rather than damage it. Accounts that promote body positivity help to demonstrate that there is no such thing as a “bikini body,” and that everyone, regardless of shape or size, can look beautiful. I suggest following body-positive influencers like @Victoriagarrick or @Danaemercer, which can actually help you to gain security and be motivated to put on your swimsuit and hit the beach.
#3 If You Feel Beautiful, You are Beautiful
It sounds cliche, but people often neglect to prioritize how important it is to love yourself fully. Your vibe attracts how others perceive you: if you feel insecure on the inside it can reflect on the outside. People are drawn to people who are feeling themselves, looking good, and are aware of it. A relatively simple way to achieve confidence is by smiling. Smiling not only gives the face a more youthful glow, but I have found that it also provides my brain an instant mood boost.
We all have negative thoughts at some time in our lives since being critical of ourselves is part of the human experience. Acceptance is key. Accept and own compliments when they are given to you. Stop avoiding compliments regarding your appearance. When someone compliments your outfit, eyes, or hair, say with certainty, "thank you." You and the other person will feel good about the interaction, producing positive reinforcement that will unknowingly boost your self-confidence. Finally, put on a happy face every time you look in the mirror. Recognize your existence. Take pleasure in the fact that you are alive. And get as far away from self-pity as you can. Run as fast as you can away from the victim mentality. These are the negative obstacles in your path to self-love. Always remember that you are the only person who can bring you down. And the only person who can really help you is you.
I hope these tips gave you some concrete steps in overcoming your insecurities. However, body confidence isn’t something that happens overnight, as anyone can tell you. You have to do the work to make a change and acknowledging your insecurities is a good first step. There’s no time like the present to acknowledge the situation you are facing. As always, if you find you are facing challenges you can’t seem to face alone, it’s best to ask for help. It never hurts to reach out, and Bespoke Wellness Partners is always here to help you on your journey.