Every season brings its own special gifts but, for some, nothing comes close to summer, whether it’s the end of term at school, college or university or that precious and eagerly anticipated annual holiday, these months can be the most enjoyable of the year.
For myself, I always love the effect that a little bit of sunshine has on everyone’s mood. It seems that just the sight of the sun creeping out from behind the clouds can lift the spirits and fill us all with a sense of optimism and excitement about the season ahead.
While many eagerly anticipate their summer holidays, whether it’s at home or somewhere exotic and ultra warm, some can find their excitement overshadowed by images of glamorous people looking ultra-perfect on the cover of holiday brochures or glossy magazines.
Many feel that they must make dramatic changes to their own appearance before they can face the sun with confidence and some people feel so ashamed of the body they see in the mirror that they embark on a mission to achieve that perfect ‘beach body’ status. Instead of looking forward to their summer break, they proceed to spend weeks filled with self-judgement, anxiety and panic as they try to achieve the unachievable by embarking on a rigorous diet and exercise programme that represents a huge change in routine and habit which few can sustain for more than a few short months.
I believe that we all deserve to be happy in our own skin and we can be, if we learn to move our focus from chasing something that isn’t real and begin to love and appreciate ourselves as we are. This is the ideal time to take a different approach to getting ready for the summer holidays and we can all begin by appreciating that the ‘perfect body’ is the very body we are currently living in.
I wouldn’t dream of discouraging anyone from anything which makes them feel like they are moving towards being their absolute best selves. It is ok to want to change, it’s ok to want to look and feel good on the beach or anywhere but, wouldn’t it be great if we started from a position of self –care, if we began to treat ourselves in the same loving and supportive way that we treat our families and our friends? We would all benefit from adopting new healthy habits which could become part of our lives. We could walk and swim and go to the gym, eat foods that nourish us right through the year whatever the season and do it because we enjoy it and love the effects that these new habits have on us Wouldn’t it be great if we could remember to look after and appreciate ourselves exactly as we are and make any changes for ourselves not to conform to some unachievable image that doesn’t fit or suit us?