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  • Alainnah Knight

Embracing Mindfulness and Self-Acceptance During Summer

As the days grow longer and the temperatures rise, summer invites us to slow down, soak in the sunshine, and enjoy the beauty of the season. However, the summer months can also bring about a heightened sense of self-awareness and, for some, body image concerns. If you experience heightened negative thoughts or uncomfy feelings about yourself and your body during summer, you are not alone. You are worth MUCH MORE than the number on the scale, the size of your clothes, or the reflection in the mirror or pictures.


Hot girl summer? No. Mindful and Self-Accepting summer? HELL YES.


This summer, let’s explore integrating mindfulness and self-acceptance into our lives. Let's ENJOY summer rather than spending the entire summer trying not to take up physical space!


So where do we start?


How To Embrace Mindfulness and Self-Acceptance During Summer


Mindfulness is about being present.

There are SO MANY opportunities to be mindful during the summer months. Mindfulness is a coping mechanism that is preventative, meaning that we can practice mindfulness before we actually need it, which makes it works ten times better for when we do need it! Mindfulness can help ground us, regulate our nervous system, and increase our mood and confidence. Try out these mindfulness exercises this summer:

  • Outdoor Meditation: Find a quiet spot in a park or somewhere outdoors. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths allowing yourself to settle into your physical space, and focus on the sounds, smells, and sensations around you. Allowing yourself to be fully present with your surroundings.

  • Mindful Walking: Take a stroll and pay attention to each step, the feeling of the ground beneath your feet, and the sensation of the sun on your skin. Notice the colors, shapes, and textures around you.


Self-acceptance begins with self-compassion.


It’s so important to treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you would offer a friend. Try out these activities to increase self-compassion:

  • Affirmations: Start your day with journaling affirmations. You may notice some resistance at first, allow yourself space to challenge this resistance. Maybe the first day you only write 1-2 things, then the next you add on, and so on! Start small, start somewhere.

  • Journaling: Write about your feelings, acknowledging any negative thoughts about your body without judgment, just allowing them the space to be heard and expressed. Counter these thoughts with positive statements and gratitude for what your body does for you.


Shift your focus from how your body looks to what it can do.


Celebrate your body's strength, flexibility, and resilience. Try out these movements to celebrate your body.

  • Joyful Movement: Engage in activities that you ENJOY and that make you feel good. Whether it’s swimming, yoga, hiking, or dancing, choose movements that bring you joy and make you appreciate your body’s capabilities. Play around with different types of movement to find what brings YOU joy.

  • Appreciate Your Body: Take a few moments each day to thank your body for its abilities—whether it’s carrying you through a long walk, allowing you to hug a loved one, or simply breathing deeply. Taking this time to thank your body and send compassion for all that it does can help build a deeper connection with body.


Disconnect from Social Media.


Social media can often perpetuate unrealistic body standards, leading to comparison and dissatisfaction. Make a conscious effort to disconnect and curate your online environment through these following exercises:

  • Digital Detox: Set aside specific times of the day to unplug from social media. Use this time to engage in activities that nurture your soul and well-being!

  • Curate Your Feed: Follow accounts that promote body positivity and self-acceptance. Unfollow or mute accounts that make you feel less than or trigger negative body image thoughts.


Surround Yourself with Positivity.


The people you surround yourself with plays a significant role in your self-perception. Surround yourself with people who uplift and support you. Here are a few ways to increase the positivity around you:

  • Positive Relationships: Spend time with friends and family who appreciate you for who you are and encourage a healthy body image. Being around others who speak negatively about themselves can also increase negative self-talk towards ourselves, be mindful of how others are speaking about themselves and set boundaries when needed.

  • Support Groups: Consider joining a body-positive community or support group where you can share experiences and gain strength from others on a similar journey.


Nourish Your Body and Mind.


Self-acceptance also involves taking care of your physical and mental health:

  • Fuel Your Body: Nourish your body with food that makes you feel good. Enjoy seasonal fruits and vegetables AND don’t deprive yourself of your favorite summer treats!! Allow yourself to nourish your body AND enjoy your favorite foods.

  • Mindful Eating: Be mindful about your hunger and fullness cues. Eat mindfully and be aware of each bite, focusing on the taste, texture, and enjoyment of your food.


Celebrate Your Uniqueness.


Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all. Celebrate your uniqueness and the qualities that make you YOU. Here are a few ways to embrace and celebrate your uniqueness:

  • Self-Expression: Allow yourself to express your full uniqueness with the summer fashion that YOU want to wear. Wear clothes that make you feel confident and comfortable, not because of trends but because they reflect your personality!

  • Creative Outlets: Engage in creative activities that boost your self-esteem and allow you to express your inner self, whether it’s painting, writing, knitting, scrapbooking, or anything else!


Lastly,

This summer, give yourself the space to practice mindfulness and self-acceptance. By embracing the present moment, showing yourself compassion, and celebrating your body for all that it can do, we can cultivate a sense of inner peace and confidence. But remember, the journey to self-acceptance is ongoing, each step you take brings you closer to a more positive and fulfilling relationship with yourself. Enjoy the warmth, the beauty, and the freedom that summer brings, knowing that you are enough just as you are.

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