Summer is well underway and here in the UK, the weather has been reasonably bareable and with many of us also jetting off on holiday, the bikinis and revealing clothing are impending - a thought that for some is incredibly scary.
I am aware that I don't really tell people much about myself on this blog for the sake of this post I thought I would give you a little background (very simply put): ( side note - I hope nobody feels this way but I am not playing the victim at all and am simply giving a miniature confidence biography, which I'm hoping will help people who feel like me)
When I was little, I had so much confidence it was unbelievable - thinking back now I probably had too much, I think the only year I've ever been in trouble with the teacher at school was in reception (for non UK readers, that's the first year of school, aged 4/5) when this confidence was apparent. However, due to various things happening over the years from things people had said to me and the way I viewed myself along with some big things happening in my family, my confidence plummeted in year 5 (9/10) and again upon starting secondary school; my 'best' friends had gone to different schools than I had and I spent the year eating alone in the diner, feeling like an unacceptable human being, which I know now that nobody should ever think. But at the time (and a couple of years after) I was convinced it was the way I looked. I was slightly chubby when I was younger but always ate healthily and was still a healthy BMI but would always tie my hair back in a ponytail and not wear make up like other girls and being one of the smarter kids didn't help much, neither was getting braces a year or so before most people. The behaviour reflected at home also, I never spoke to my parents or brother and stayed in my bedroom most of the time. It's fair to say that I felt more than a little sh*t.
Since then, I have tried really hard to regain lost confidence and despite being someone with anxiety ( I'm not just throwing the term around, I've been to the doctors and things) I'm feeling better about myself more now than I have done for a long time, partly lifestyle and generally to do with attitude because regardless of what you do to change the way you look, if you aren't confident in yourself then I don't think you will ever be body confident and comfortable in your own skin; which is such a shame because you are so beautiful and so important and you should remind yourself of that every single day.
Anyhow, let's get on with some things you can do to feel more confident and put on that bikini/ meet new people/ have a great time this summer!
1) Exercise. I'm NOT saying this so that you can change the way you look at all, you are perfectly fine. However, exercising makes you feel happy and I've found it really helps me with the way I view myself. Whether it's walking thebdog, playing tennis with a friend or jogging, every little helps.
2) In the same way, eat well. Particularly in the summer, I find there is nothing yummier than a fresh salad. Simply eating foods that boost your energy rather than making you feel sluggish improves your mood and health. Don't worry about cutting out carbs, eating less than 500 calories per day or living on meal supplements, there are so many amazing dishes you can create that taste incredible and are brilliant for your health. By looking after your body, you feel far happier and your confidence gets a boost as well as your health. But don't forget to treat yourself (remember the food triangles lectured in primary school? Actually use that information) p.s the 'Yummly' app is brilliant for recipes!
3) Spend time on you. I generally stop working between 7 and 8 o'clock to unwind for bed. Over the past year, I've been really getting in to a daily 'pamper' routine (which takes 5 minutes) but to know I've spent time making sure all of my make up is off and moisturising etc. while maybe listening to the radio or catching up on a TV series means that I wake up feeling as though I look a bit more presentable. In the same way, find skincare and make up products you love as it will make you feel a little nicer every time you use them.
4) Become an actor. I don't mean change who you are or pretend to be someone you're not but if I'm ever feeling under confident, I'll act like I'm feeling amazing and don't have a care in the world (I tend to do this when I'm wearing shorts or bikinis etc., I don't like my legs at all but if I pretend I feel like I'm killin' it, it tends to work).
5) Speak to someone about how you feel. You'll be surprised how common the feeling is and together you can talk about each other's insecurities. Surround yourself with people who increase your confidence, not decrease it. Sometimes it's okay to be a little selfish.
6) Take opportunities. Keep a little money box to keep odd coins etc. in and accept invitations to to things rather than sitting indoors.
7) The most important yet most clichéd thing I will write. Try your hardest to not care what people think of you. Life is really too short. Anyone judging you is not worth your time and most of the time nobody will notice the things you feel insecure about.
If this article helps one person even a teeny tiny little bit then I'll be extremely happy.
Have a great day!