Loving Your Body During Swimsuit Season

    It’s spring break, ladies. Cue the Instagram feeds littered with tropical paradises, the Snapchats of good times with friends, and of course, the beach selfies. While spring break is supposed to be relaxing to many, the rapidly-approaching warm bathing suit weather can be a source of great stress if you don't feel totally ready to show of your body. And while there’s no single fix to eliminate apprehension completely, here are four ways to promote self-love during swimsuit season.

Wear what you want

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    I believe a lot of anxiety stems from comparisons of ourselves to others, and in the golden age of social media, this is unfortunately very common and almost inevitable. I’ve seen videos floating around about different sizes wearing the same bathing suit, and scathing comments about how certain body types should not wear certain swimsuit styles. Unfortunately, it’s this kind of criticism that makes people feel ashamed for wearing pieces that show a little more skin if they don’t fit this “ideal” size. In reality, you’re going to look cute regardless of what some internet haters say (because really, who asked for their opinions anyway?). Feeling comfortable and confident in what you’re wearing is all that matters.

Acknowledge your feelings

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    A lot of people promote this idea of loving yourself and refusing to accept any negative self-talk. While this in theory, sounds like a good idea, it makes feeling anything other than body-positivity a step in the wrong direction towards self-love. It’s important to recognize if you’re not feeling particularly great about yourself some days, because according to research, faking positive thinking can actually be detrimental to self-esteem, which is quite counterintuitive. Recognizing a negative thought or mood is far more beneficial than admonishing it, and will actually help you get over it faster.

Surround yourself with a positive environment

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    I am a firm believer in the notion that our environments play heavily into our attitudes and can directly influence how we see ourselves. Therefore, it’s important to note the people that surround you. In high school, I was in a friend group that placed a strong emphasis on appearance. One friend in particular had a habit of pointing out the flaws in other people’s appearances that I would never have considered flaws at all, and this made me extremely self-conscious. I later learned that this was her own insecurities speaking, but it was apparent this was a vicious cycle of hers and I was beginning to get sucked in. Luckily, I was able to remove myself from that toxic situation, but it’s important to look around and note if there are any environmental factors that could be hindering your confidence, and if so, if there are any ways to reduce their impact. If you surround yourself with people who build themselves and others up, you'll find that you'll pick up on this as well. Soon enough, a more optimistic self-view on both yourself and others will become almost implicit, and self-love will become second nature.

Be kind to your body

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    It’s tempting to want to do something extreme in an attempt to shed extra pounds, but in truth, even doing so or reaching some goal you set for yourself won’t necessarily change your attitude about your body. More often than not, toning up or losing some weight in a short amount of time through dramatic measures will actually fuel unhealthy habits. Instead of feeling like you need to change yourself to be happy, understand that you don't need to change the way you are now at all. It takes some effort to become comfortable in your own skin, but recognizing all of the wonderful qualities and aspects you possess is a step in the right direction.

    It’s always important to love your body, but it’s even more important to enjoy yourself this spring break and during summer vacation. Remember that above all, every body is a swimsuit body. At the end of the day, what matters is how you feel about yourself.

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