You’ve wandered into a travel agent and got the holiday of a lifetime at a bargain price. As your departure date looms ever closer you’re ready to start packing, picking up all the little odds and ends you need for your travels (where did that bottle of sunscreen left over from last year go?) and looking forward to your coming adventures. There’s just one thing that’s preventing you from getting into the spirit of things… swimsuit anxiety. While the rational part of your mind may know better, you can’t silence that little voice in the back of your mind that tells you that you have absolutely no right to wear a bikini, swimsuit or anything short of a full muumuu dress on the beach.
But no matter what your size or shape, you have absolutely every right to step out and own that beach. Here are some tips for battling swimsuit anxiety and ensuring that you enjoy every moment of your well-earned holiday.
Break the fad diet cycle
Don’t join the herd of people flooding into health food shops to purchase ludicrously priced detox teas prior to your holiday. Don’t fall into the trap of expunging carbs or fats or any other food groups from your diet. Fad dieting is an industry that exists for the sole purpose of separating you from your money. Any initial weight loss that they do facilitate is designed to be unsustainable.
Check out this article on the summer body diet. You’ll find no fads or quick fixes here. Just common-sense advice. It’s never too early or too late to start exercising more and making more responsible food choices. Breaking the fad diet cycle and treating your body to proper exercise and nourishment will help to ensure that your metabolism is operating at peak efficiency. Thus, you can keep your summer body all year round and not have to fret when you eat a slice of toast at your favourite brunch spot or take an extra burger from the barbecue.
Pack clothes that make you feel beautiful and empowered
Clothes may not maketh the woman but one thing they can do-eth, is help to (as the old song says) accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative. All of us, no matter what our body hang-ups have certain outfits that make us feel at our best. When we wear them, we don’t feel quite so conscious of our wobbly bits and feel more confident in the parts of ourselves that we’re proudest of.
Make sure that you take these with you and find an excuse to wear them. When we wear our favourite clothes it can work wonders for our self-image which in turn affects the way in which we project ourselves. This can create a positive loop that can make us feel as confident on our travels as we deserve to be.
Reduce your media consumption
Advertising and the media can create an impossible standard of beauty against which we will always feel that we fall short. As much as we know that the images we see on billboards, fashion magazines and beauty websites are airbrushed and touched up to create an unrealistic impression of beauty we can still compare ourselves negatively to it.
Limiting your media consumption before you go away can prevent you from comparing your body to an unattainable standard and help you to compare you to yourself.
Get a head start on your tan
Healthy glowing tanned skin is a good look on anyone and can help to mute any aspects of your appearance that you’re less than comfortable with. As such, don’t be afraid to book yourself an appointment at a local tanning salon or simply use a bronzing sunscreen before you go away. That way you can get a head start on your tan while also ensuring that your skin is well protected.
Talk to your partner, friends or family
Each of us is our own harshest critic, especially when it comes to our bodies and appearance. They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and if you feel as though you’ve lost some necessary perspective on your appearance, maybe you need to borrow someone else’s.
Share your anxieties with your loved one, your parents, your sibling or your best friend. Tell them honestly how you feel about yourself and the anxiety that comes over you when you think about donning a bikini or swimsuit. They may well be able to shift your focus away from the areas of which you’re so critical and towards the beautiful parts of yourself that you take for granted.