Beat Those Body Blues on The Beach!
That buzzword ‘Beach Body’ is everywhere at the moment and is being attacked from all corners of the marketing ‘racket’, the fitness gurus showing us how to crunch our abs and tone our thighs, the beauty peeps telling us to buff and de-rug and the fashionistas showcasing the tight bodies in skimpy stringed bikinis. Not always very helpful is it?
I’m not an “Ideal Body Evangelist” nor a “Do nothing at all” kind of girl, but I do appreciate the everyday form in all its glory and realise that you should do things that make YOU feel more confident so I’m not here to knock any of the above nor proclaim to help eliminate clinical psychological issues around body image. I just want to tap into the more resourceful body vibes we can achieve if we want a boost, “Better Body Juju” as it were.
Our actions, attitudes and beliefs about our bodies are, of course, results from our unconscious thought patterns and life experiences that have become ingrained, but they aren’t always supportive, especially when you want to enjoy the beach or pool. You want to enjoy your holiday, you want a ‘safe’ tan and you want to avoid being a ‘boil in the bag’ in 90 degrees plus, end of!
However, that ‘ugly voice’ in your head has a tendency to plant the seeds of body doubt.
So I want to offer some practical advice alongside your other holiday prep to limber up your mind set and flex some authority over that naughty little voice before your hols, or indeed when you actually hit the pool or beach to de-robe. You are uniquely beautiful and you deserve to embrace your bod, even your gorgeous wobblier bits.
So here’s just a few things you can try or remember, as and when you feel you need them. Pick one or two that works for you, we're all different.
5 THINGS TO REMEMBER
Don’t worry too much about others looking at you, believe me, they are far too busy worrying about how they think they look to you! You are not alone and not the only one with body foibles, No one is ever completely 100% happy.
Don’t presume everyone is looking at you and thinking negative things. You are not born with mind reading capabilities else you’d make a fortune. It’s just your belief that they are and you can’t provide any tangible evidence, so get rid of that voice, it’s eating into your fun. Remember, people look at people for lots of reasons, line of sight, sudden movement, surveying the area plus lots of positive thoughts too. Most people are generally good people.
When it’s your turn to peruse the view, notice those peeps confident in their own skin (see we're not always looking for the negative stuff). Believe me, they are not always the slim and toned people either, many are just happy to be on their holidays albeit old or young, they just know there's more to life! Look at their body language, smiling faces and how they hold themselves and think about doing the same little things... they are comfortable in their swimmers so you can be too. The difference usually is that they just don't give a flying f"@k. We are all given a body so help it to experience the good times and fill the mind with fab new memories.
Ease yourself into bearing your body if you like, there’s no rush. Take off bits at a time, maybe a sarong first or top then shorts and you can do this sitting down. There’s no rule that you have to strip off and do a Bo Derek down the beach.
People look different in clothes, so even if you felt uncomfortable in your swimwear and greased up limbs earlier on, chances are when it comes to the evening meal, no one will recognise you or remember you in the same way. The holiday clothes and freshly preened ensemble takes front stage…looking good baby!
5 THINGS YOU CAN TRY:
When you get some quiet time to yourself, think about a time when you felt really good about yourself (it doesn’t have to be body related) and revisit it in your mind, running like a film. See it, hear it, smell it and feel it and take it all in, then when you get to a 'feel good' bit, pinch your thumb and forefinger together hard and hold it until the feeling passes. Repeat the same visualisation again but this time pinch the same fingers when you feel the good bit coming (the trigger) and squeeze harder for longer until it passes. Repeat three more times to reinforce. This exercise will help you summon those great feelings when you pinch those fingers in the future. Use your happy trigger fingers when you need a confidence boost aka, on the beach. This process is much more effective when done with an NLP coach/practitioner but it gives you a taster of how powerful and changeable the mind is.
Give your inner critic less of a voice. Have a quick talk (out loud if you can) to yourself whilst looking in a mirror, before you hit the beach in your attire. Look at your positive attributes first, we all have them and describe them well. Then should any negative stuff creep in CHALLENGE them with a positive “BUT” e.g., my belly is wobbly BUT hey I’ve had the gift of a child “Clever body”. You are a living, breathing, unique example of life and that is a great thing. Any scars are a mark of your victories, There is always more to a book than it's cover and you are a walking book.
Get yourself a mantra. Find a meme or quote that helps your body positivity, in this case and print it out, the simpler the better. You can make it small and put it in your purse or beach bag, hell you can print it on a beach towel if you like, but love it, repeat it, say it and absorb it daily.
Sleep naked. Though obviously not on your lounger, at night in your room silly! I know this sounds weird but trust me it’s very empowering if it’s not something you already do! Just do it on holiday if you like. Get used to the feeling of your skin and body uncovered. Here’s a few reasons
Your inner critic is just that- a belief! For when you have more time (bedtime maybe), write down all the things that inner critic says to you that bother you about your body, then look at it again, but this time write it out and respond in the way a good friend would, if she’d read what you’d written. It will give you a middle ground to work with and by putting pen to paper you’ll quieten your critic down. It’s like playing devil’s advocate.
LASTLY, MY INNER STYLIST’S TIP
Little tweaks can make massive differences, so think about choosing swimwear that you feel great in and wear accessories that feed your confidence further (hats, beads, kaftans, sarongs). Beautiful and flattering colours and prints can enhance or distract where needed. Ooh you could check out my Swimwear blog for further assistance here.
I hope that you can find at least one of these points helpful to re-establish your relationship with yourself and your thoughts about bearing your bod this summer, or indeed anytime you find those unhelpful voices ruining your fun.
Have a fabulous time whatever, wherever and whoever you are going on holiday with and REMEMBER, you deserve to enjoy it!
Bye for now
IF YOU HAVE ANY TIPS YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE ON THIS MATTER, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO COMMENT, I'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU.