This time of year, it’s hard not to get caught up in the onslaught of societal pressure to achieve the “perfect summer body,” despite how unrealistic or unhealthy those standards may be. Shifting your focus to how your body feels instead of how it looks is a great way to prioritize your health and wellbeing, but mastering that mindset is easier said than done! If you’re struggling to tune out the summer body talk, here are some strategies to help embrace a more fulfilling approach to self-care.
Forge your own path
External pressures are all around us, making it even more critical to forge your own path by filtering out what does and doesn’t work for you in the context of your life. Setting realistic and sustainable goals that align with your lifestyle can help you achieve those milestones with the least amount of resistance. Remember that everyone’s needs are unique, and comparing yourself to others can often be counterproductive and lead to negative self-talk.
Be kind to yourself
It can feel frustrating to pursue new health-related goals, but the path to improved wellbeing isn’t always linear! Judging yourself too critically or holding yourself to impossible standards can make it difficult to continue your journey despite any perceived setbacks. Every healthy activity you achieve is progress in the right direction, so be kind to yourself and celebrate your achievements rather than getting bogged down with guilt.
Find happiness in movement
Rather than approaching exercise solely as a means to achieve a certain body shape, reframe it as a way to care for your body and mind. Walking, hiking, swimming, and yoga each have unique benefits, and experimenting with different forms of movement can help you find your go-to activity that’ll always leave you feeling refreshed and proud. Once you’ve found your groove, be sure to fuel your body with nutrient-dense foods that give you the energy you need to tackle your goals.
We only get one body in this life – so instead of punishing it for not looking a certain way, be grateful for all your body helps you achieve!