Are You Ready to Let go of Body Image Anxiety for a Funner Summer?

June 22, 2019

Alexandra, Anxiety, Blog, Body Image, Eating Disorders

If the idea of putting on a bikini (or any swimsuit) this summer fills you with an icy wave of anxiety that’s colder than any  pool in Arizona…you’re not alone. So many of us struggle with feelings of guilt, shame or terror around wearing a swimsuit. We know that no one is judging us but we still worry about comparing ourselves to everyone else. We miss out on events, hide under towels or spend what should be fun times stuck in our head. So how do you get bikini body confidence? I’m not talking about the type of confidence that influencers selling 21-day workout plans are trying to sell you. I’m talking about the ability to feel comfortable in your own skin and enjoy yourself. Building true body confidence is a process but there are some simple steps you can start practicing today so you don’t have to miss out on any more summer fun!

 

#1. Plug into body-positive social media

There is so much great body-positive content all over! This is one of my favorite ways to stay body positive. A few of my favorites are body positive activist and plus-size model Ashley Graham’s swimsuit campaign with her mom. https://www.today.com/series/love-your-body/ashley-graham-mom-linda-graham-star-swimsuit-ads-t122285

I love this add because both mom and daughter look like they’re having so much fun and seem super comfortable in their own skin. I also love  Chromomat’s new swimsuit campaign https://www.glamour.com/gallery/chromat-pool-rules-swim-campaign which creates it’s own list of “pool rules” to include things like “food shaming not tolerated” and “celebrate cellulite” heck yeah!

 

#2. Identify & Challenge Your Body Image Beliefs

Try to get real honest with yourself. Do you think you don’t deserve to wear a particular type of swimsuit? Or maybe you have a fear that other people really are judging you. Or maybe you focus in on a particular part of your body such as “my stomach is too big to wear this suit”. Whatever your beliefs are it’s important to identify them. Write them down on a piece of paper then imagine that a friend or someone you care about is looking at them. What would they say to you about those beliefs? How would they challenge them? Identifying and challenging our beliefs can help us take their power away, they may even seem kinda silly once you write them down.

 

#3 Practice Being in the Present Moment, Not Your Head

When we’re anxious about our body it’s so easy to get stuck in our head…and our feelings of anxiety. Unfortunately, this will only make your anxiety worse. Try catching your anxiety and then shifting your focus to the things going on around you. The conversation with your friends, the feel of the water on your skin. This is what I call a ‘pattern interrupt” and can help stop your anxiety and re-focus your thoughts. With practice this can really help reduce body anxiety.

Let me know your comments below! How are you building swimsuit confidence this summer?

by Alex House