Hi friends! I have a little bit of a personal and somewhat vulnerable topic this week. If you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you may know that I live in a beach town and I ADORE the beach; it is my happy place. Now that summer is getting into swing, my little beach town is livening up and my family and I have a lot of beach days on the agenda. One of the perks of living in a beach town is that we often get visitors dropping by during the summertime to get together with us and go to the beach.
Recently, I noticed that whenever friends would reach out wanting to get together at the beach, I wasn’t as excited about it as I usually I am. I started to get curious about this… clearly I love going to the beach, so what was the problem? I realized that my hesitation was because I’ve been feeling a little self-conscious about being out and about in my bathing suit.
I felt really disturbed to discover that I felt this way. You see, when I gave birth to my daughter two years ago, I started to really love my body and feel more empowered in it than I ever had before. I was in amazement that my body had been able to create my beautiful, healthy baby girl and continue to provide nourishment for her. I recognized my body’s true purpose and all of the feelings of self consciousness that I had carried with me for much of my adult life simply fell away. It was great!
At this time, I also vowed to myself that now that I was raising a daughter, I would never let her hear me speaking poorly about my body, or mistreating it in anyway, because I know that she will learn how to treat her own body by witnessing how I treat mine.
So, I was surprised to see that some of these old feelings have recently resurfaced. And I quickly decided to do something about it.
I am willing to bet that I am not the only woman who feels uncomfortable in their bathing suit, so I want to share the steps that I’m taking to learn to love my beach body, in hopes that it is helpful to you too!
There are many things that we can do on a daily basis to start feeling more comfortable in our bodies. If you have a beach day planned, you can start using the following tips to build up your body love.
1. Take Good Care of Yourself
I find that when I am feeling the most self conscious about my body, it’s because I haven’t been taking very good care of it. Treat your body well by drinking enough water, making healthy food choices, and making time to move your body in ways that feel good to you, each and everyday.
2. Thank your Body
Think about all of the things your body does for you and begin to thank it for it. For example: “Thank you arms for being strong enough to hold my daughter. Thank you legs for allowing me to enjoy walks to the beach everyday. Thank you hands for letting me cook, write, type, and hold hands with my loved ones. Thank you body for sustaining a healthy pregnancy and feeding my baby. Thank you for letting me taste delicious foods. Thank you for letting me smell my husband’s cologne. Thank you for keeping me alive. I am grateful and I love you.” You can do this in a journal, in your head, or for an extra powerful exercise, try looking at yourself in the mirror and saying these words out loud.
3. Sleep Naked
There is something about sleeping naked that makes us feel more sensual and connected to our bodies and more at home in our skin. If you are not ready to sleep naked, invest in a silky or soft nightgown that feels luxurious on your skin. I promise this will be a gamechanger!
4. Treat Yourself
Treat yourself by getting a manicure and pedicure, a bikini wax, or a massage! These small treats feel great and pampering ourselves goes a long way to making us feel well cared for and relaxed.
5. Buy a Bathing Suit + Cover-up that you Love
There are tons of cute bathing suits for every level of modesty. I always liked wearing two piece bathing suits, but always felt like I had to be walking around sucking my stomach in! Once I made the switch to a one piece I haven’t looked back! I have so many nice cover-ups and cute strapless bathing suits in bright colors that make me feel happy and cover up the areas I’m most self conscious about. I suggest that you do the same! If you are feeling frumpy or like you need to hide in your bathing suit, that is not going to help you love your body! So buy a suit and cover-up that makes you feel good!
Bonus: Accessorize! A fun hat and big sunglasses can show off your style and add a boost of confidence!
The Day Of
Now that you have done your prep work it’s time to head to the beach! The following tips will help you enjoy your beach day without being consumed by what you look like.
6. Indulge in your Senses
When you get to the beach, take some time to really take it all in. Being surrounded by nature has been proven to decrease stress so make sure that you take time to appreciate your surroundings. Take some deep breaths and feel the warmth of the sunshine on your skin. Listen to the waves crashing and the sounds of children playing. Taste the saltwater on your lips. Feel the sand underneath your toes and look at the beauty of the ocean. Admire it all and soak it in with all of your senses.
A smile makes everything better. By having a joyful attitude, laughing, and smiling, you ensure that people will remember you as the happy woman enjoying herself instead of as the unhappy weirdo hiding underneath the beach umbrella! And let’s get honest… we are each our own worst critic, and no one is paying that much attention to you anyway!
8. Focus on Having Fun
Focus on having fun instead of on what you look like. When we are having good experiences, we get lost in the moment and don’t have time to feel self conscious! So make sure to have fun! Go swimming, play with your kids, make sand castles and toss Frisbees! A beach day is supposed to be fun, not stressful, so take the time to enjoy it and make some happy memories!
I hope that you find these tips useful and helpful! I have started using them myself and can already feel my self consciousness starting to slip away.
There are so many women struggling with their body image and letting their self consciousness stop them from enjoying themselves as much as they could be. This is is such an important topic to talk openly about so that we can join together and know that we are not alone, and that we are committed to ending our body struggles.
Which of these tips will you be trying for your next beach day? I would love to know in the comments below!
Wishing you a week of body love.
P.S. Do you want more help learning to love your beach body? Sign up below to get the free Body Love Daily Planner!