Memorial Day, officially founded to remember the sacrifices by those in the military who have died while serving their country, has unofficially come to mark the beginning of swimsuit season. As well as the calendar date many women have circled in red for when they want to be “bikini ready.”
As it often goes with “diet mentality,” if we’re not a certain weight or size by that date, then we’re not satisfied with our bodies or how we look when we put on our swimsuits.
This year, we suggest trying on self compassion, regardless of the size you are now. Focusing on your body with self compassion is often one of the most difficult paths to negotiate when moving toward self acceptance or when wearing a swimsuit, but it’s a tool that can move you away from the negative body feelings in the moment.
- People who score high on tests of self-compassion have less depression and anxiety, and tend to be happier and more optimistic. This information is from the NY Times article entitled Go Easy on Yourself, a New Wave of Research Urges by Tara Parker-Pope.
- Dr. Kristin Neff from the University of Texas at Austin has published a book called Self-Compassion:Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind. Her research suggests that giving ourselves a break and accepting our imperfections may be the first step toward better health.
A first step may be increasing compassion towards someone else and then move onto yourself.
Here are some guidelines:
- Ask: How do I know when I am feeling compassionate towards someone else?
- Ask: What would I say to someone else if I wanted to express compassion toward them?
- Say to yourself, “Just for a moment I will let the judgment about my body go and focus on a part of my body I like.”
- Reflect on how your body feels when it is moving and find one small thing to appreciate about that.
So when you put your swimsuit on, or even think about putting your swimsuit on, bring self compassion to your body and kindness to yourself.
What could you say to yourself from a place of self compassion right now?