Nourishing Positive Body Image This Summer

Tiffany Body Image

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Summer brings noticeable changes to the world we live in. The days are warmer and longer. Restaurants and retail businesses adjust their hours. School semesters end. Schedules change and community events are held. As the world around us changes, the activities that we engage in, our eating habits, and the way we dress also changes.

While we often enjoy many of the changes that summer brings, changes in our physical activity, eating patterns, and seasonal dress can invite experiences of body-image related discomfort. The activities and patterns we regularly engage in can be comforting and important to us. This can be especially true when these activities and patterns have helped us to feel good about ourselves. When we make changes and adjustments in these areas it makes sense that sometimes we can experience some discomfort.

With a holistic approach to physical activity, flexible eating, and a proactive approach to seasonal dress, you can feel empowered to nurture your well-being throughout the summer.

Changes in Physical Activity:

Changes in your routine and your environment can influence what physical activity looks like during the summer season.

Lets say that in the other months of the year you’re used to a routine of going to the gym before work and participating in a group fitness class every Saturday. During the summer months your work schedule adjusts and you start work an hour later each morning. With the extra rest, you’ve started engaging in more outdoor activities in the afternoon and evening. You might find that you’re going to the gym at different times of the day or maybe less often. Your Saturday group fitness class isn’t offered in the summer so you sign up for a Sunday fitness class instead.

What are some of the adjustments that you might expect to experience with some of these changes? 

What are some of the potential positive benefits of these changes?

When you use a holistic approach to physical activity, you may find yourself feeling more open to a diverse range of physical activities that support your well-being. You might also find that a holistic approach is helpful for supporting your adjustment and resiliency to changes to your physical activities.

Changes In Eating Patterns:

Changes in the seasonal foods available, social activities, recreational opportunities, and changes in daily schedules can all influence when, what, and how much we eat. Below are some examples of some of the changes in my own family’s eating patterns during the summer:

Types of Foods We Eat

Due to the heat and our summer-related activities, we often find ourselves cooking simpler dishes. We often use the barbecue and have more fresh, raw, and cold dishes. We also take advantage of fresh seasonal foods. Traveling also influences what we eat as the food available to us changes and as we’re presented with unique food opportunities.

Times When We Eat

During the summer different factors influence the timing of our meals. Changes in sleep schedules, traveling and adjustment to time zone differences, and social activities can all influence when we eat.

When we consider the changes in our activities and in our environments over the summer months it makes sense that our eating patterns may change or adjust during these times. A holistic, flexible approach to eating can help to empower you to enjoy and nourish your well-being this summer.

Seasonal Dress:

When at times we feel uncomfortable in our own skin, it can be sometimes be challenging to wear clothes that might reveal more of our body or our perceived imperfections. There are multiple ways that we can feel empowered to deal with initial discomfort when it comes to seasonal dress.

Refocusing Attention

This involves turning attention from your thoughts and feelings about your appearance to your actions and what’s important to you. For example, if you’re getting ready to attend a family barbecue, what are you looking forward to? Connecting with family members? Playing with the kids? Enjoying a relaxing, delicious meal outside in the sun? By re-focusing your attention to actions that reflect your values, you’re opening up possibilities to engage in meaningful action that you can feel good about.

Thinking About Function

What are the important factors to think about when dressing for the activity or event? Do these clothes help you to be cool? Do they feel comfortable on your skin? Do they allow you to move freely if you’re planning to be active? What type of clothing would be well-suited for the type of activity or event?

Appeal

Pay attention to the characteristics in clothes that appeal to you. Does the texture or fabric appeal to you? The colour? The pattern? How does it feel against your skin? Can you move freely in it? How does the style influence you (feel casual, dressed up, confident, ready for fun, etc.)

 Tapping Into Your Self-Care Resources

By using your self-care skills you can move through periods of discomfort knowing that they will pass. Some strategies include self-statements that reflect self-kindness & compassion, and positive coping statements.

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As you utilize a holistic approach to physical activity, eating, and seasonal dress, you can continue to feel empowered to nurture your well-being this summer.

 

 

 Photo Credits: tiverylucky@freedigitalimages.net, mapichai@freedigitalimages.net