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positive body image

“Every body is a beach body.” That’s the mantra that’s been circulating this season, and we couldn’t be more thrilled — or on board. For many women, summer comes with a serious dose of anxiety about wearing more skin-baring clothes, but slipping on a bikini shouldn’t be stressful, and no one should dread beach season.

If you’re seeking a little extra help feeling confident in your own skin this summer, follow these body positive tips for an instant boost.

Limit your time on social media

Scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, etc. may seem like a harmless habit, but it can actually do a number on your self-esteem without you even knowing it. Think about it: In the summertime, your feed may very well be filled with images that promote only one form of beauty — setting unrealistic standards and spurring you to compare yourself to every bikini-clad model, celebrity, or friend. Fortunately, you have control over what you subject yourself to. That’s why it’s a good idea to limit the time you spend on social networks — we recommend 10 minutes max per day. And whenever you come across a photo that takes a blow to your self-confidence go ahead and hit “unfollow” and replace that account with one who promotes body positivity. Seeing women of all shapes and sizes on your feed is bound to have you feeling better in no time.

Ditch the clothes that don’t fit

Sometimes we get in a habit of holding on to clothes that don’t fit us. Maybe we think we’ll lose some weight and be able to wear them again. Or maybe we feel guilty tossing them because they’ve never been worn but just don’t look flattering. Now is the time to toss any pieces that don’t make you feel completely fabulous. Whether you donate them, sell them, give them to a friend or trash them, you’re sure to feel a whole lot more accepting of your body — as is — when they’re gone. Besides, doing so gives you an excuse to go shopping for some new clothes that do fit and flatter your figure.

Related: A Beginner’s Guide To Body Positivity

Thank your body for what it does

It’s easy to focus on how your body looks during bikini season, but you’ll feel a whole lot better if you shift that focus to what it does for you. Think about it: Your body allows you to dance, take long walks on the beach, carry a baby, create a piece of artwork, and so much more. Every day, thank your body for something it does for you. Write it down, and when you’re feeling down about your appearance and need a lift, pull out the list you’ve compiled.

Practice affirmations

Cognitive behavioral therapy is aimed at replacing negative thoughts with positive ones — and affirmations can be a big part of that. Consider coming up with some positive affirmations that specifically revolve around your body. It’s a great way to banish any negative self-talk and learn to celebrate your body at the same time. Some examples of positive body affirmations include: “I love my (insert body part that you tend to feel insecure about) because ____.” “Thank you, body, for allowing me to ____.” “I am not defined by my weight or shape. I am worthy because I am (insert positive qualities you’re proud of).” For extra impact, we suggest that you say these mantras aloud to yourself in the mirror. Try saying them in the morning to set yourself up for a body positive day. You might also want to type them into the reminders app on your phone — it can be helpful to have them pop up from time to time and offer you a self-confidence boost.

Beach season should be about two things: enjoying the sun, sand, and ocean and appreciating nature in all its glory, and making new memories with loved ones that you’ll remember for years to come. It should not be about criticizing your body or comparing yourself to others. Take the previously mentioned steps toward loving your body the way it is, and you’ll finally be able to take advantage of summer without the hangups.

Related: 5 Ways The Right Lingerie Can Boost Your Confidence

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Published by

Rebecca Strong

Rebecca is a Boston-based freelance writer who focuses on style, fitness, food, and travel. She has contributed to such publications as HuffPost, Elite Daily and U.S. News & World Report. When she's not writing, she can be found at home or in the studio working on the songs for her upcoming album. Her favorite bra is a black demi-cup style with all-over-lace — timeless and feminine.

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