Many women feel a sense of rising panic as Summer approaches and they know that there will be a beach involved. If you don’t fit the very narrow body-perfect standard we are bombarded with by social and mainstream media, you may believe your body isn’t good enough to be seen in a swimsuit – hence the anxiety.
Swimsuit Anxiety is a real thing. Here are some statistics
- 18% would rather go to the dentist than wear a swimsuit.
- 45% plan to wear a cover up at the beach on account of swimsuit anxiety.
- 50% would turn down an invitation that requires wearing a swimsuit altogether.
I have lived with this anxiety as my body has matured and changed shape post-children and post-life! There are a few tips I can offer reflecting my journey.
Set yourself up.
The first step toward feeling good in the skin you’re in is making sure your skin feels good! This can be as simple as exfoliating your skin yourself, using a nice moisturiser, using a nail polish on your toes.
Do a makeover on your favourite slides or buy a new fabulous pair for Summer and look for the things you need to feel great on the beach – a stylish sunhat, great sunnies. Have things that make you feel relaxed and happy; your favourite music to listen to and a great book to read.
Summer brings the opportunity to eat well with meals featuring salads and fruit. Enjoy being in control of your life by eating well. It’s a well-known fact that these foods, plus plenty of water, help our skin look its best, so load up on fresh foods to help you feel great in the skin you’re in.
Of course, you can’t go past being in the fresh air and Summer enables us to walk, cycle and swim. Exercise also has a hugely beneficial effect on both physical and mental well-being, and your sense of control.
Being able to self-love and be OK with the body you are in is a huge step in feeling more comfortable with yourself. When I feel anxiety, I try and re-frame; what has my body achieved, what has it been able to do and how has it supported me. The lumps and bumps, the scars and irregularities are just part of our journey; one we can celebrate because it is who we are now.
Think about accepting the body you have and know there are people who matter to you who love you just the way you are. Think about the joys you will feel when you sit on a warm beach, plunge into clear water, and have sunsets with friends and family watching the waves gently roll in and out.
The perfect beach body is the one you already have.
Surprisingly, even though almost 70% of U.S. women are above a size 14 in clothes, which is known as “plus-size”, only 2% of women in the media are “plus-size”. Another tip I work with is simply not to follow unrealistic, unhelpful, heavily photoshopped media feeds. Instead I opt for real people of all ages and across diversity, and for a laugh, I watch Celeste Barber, who hilariously takes the mickey of this whole scene.
Be kind to yourself and choose to live your beach life to the fullest.