7 Things To Remember If You’re Feeling Self-Conscious On Holiday This Summer
August is one of the most popular months of the year for a holiday. Generally, people flock to somewhere warmer than where they spend the other 11 months of the year, hoping for beach frolicking and a nice summer glow. But when you struggle with body image, the absolute last thing you want to think about is getting your kit off and laying in the sun, even more so in public spaces. Everything from ordering in swimwear and holiday clothes to the thought of taking a dip in the pool can be an anxiety-inducing process, and the stress that comes with it can ruin your holiday more than bad weather or a not-so-great hotel. So with that, here’s a list of things you need to remember to (mentally) pack on your trip alongside your sunscreen.
1. You deserve a break, just like everyone else.
This concept seems to blow minds, but with lack of body confidence generally comes a lack of self worth, which could leave you sat in a resort surrounded by people, with the sunken feeling that you don’t deserve to be there. You do. This is your time to sit back, relax, and take some time out. You’ve put your out of office on your emails, do the same for the negative talk.
2. Nobody is even paying attention.
Honestly. You might feel like every set of peepers are on you, but I can promise you that they really aren’t. Sure, you have the odd loser who likes to stare and make people feel uncomfortable, but karma will deal with them later. For the most part, though, absolutely nobody is watching you. They’re there enjoying their holiday, just like you should be too.
3. If someone is looking at you, it might not be for the reason you think.
Whilst yes, we live in a world where you may have the odd asshole look you up and down in a judgemental way, don’t believe that that’s always the case. Your self-esteem (or lack thereof) can do a pretty great job of convincing you that you’re capable of reading people’s minds. You can’t. Someone’s looking at you? Ever thought that maybe they like your swimsuit/tattoo/the look of the book you’re reading?
4. You’re not the only one feeling this way.
If you had an honest show of hands in a holiday resort/round a pool/on a beach of who felt even the slightest bit insecure about how they look, there would be a fair few. It’s a sad notion, but it’s true. Go online and you’ll find plenty of surveys and research that show that large percentages of women avoid places like the beach in the summer because of being self-conscious of their bodies, and holidays and ‘bikini body season’ are two of the top causes of body panic. You’re not alone.
5. Memories are to be made, not to be missed.
Holidays are a prime opportunity to make incredible memories. How would you feel, looking back in 30 years, to think about all those summers you spent hidden under kaftans to hide your body, or making up excuses to not go out jet skiing or whatever other cool experiences you’ve turned down. Make moments count.
6. Beach bodies come in all shapes and sizes, regardless of what trashy media outlets tell you.
Remember, the media, diet companies, pharmaceutical companies, all make money off of your insecurities. The concept of a ‘beach body’ is one that literally 98% of women in the world do not have the genetic or any other type of capability to achieve. It is nigh impossible. The idea that only one kind of body — or one set of #bodygoals — are the only ones deserving of space, worth, or respect is despicable, and it doesn’t take long for you to look around and realise that nobody looks the same. Why punish yourself by striving for something that doesn’t even exist in real life?
7. Don’t be so damn hard on yourself.
This isn’t the first time you’ve heard this. This won’t be the last time you’ll hear this. You wouldn’t say such horrible things to your best friend, so why would you think it about yourself? Be kind to your body, it’s got you this far and it’s allowed you to do incredible things, regardless of what kind of body it is.
This is your summer. It’s your body. Go out there and enjoy them both.