In the wise words of the High School Musical 2 cast, “What time is it? Summertime!”
Summer is finally upon us, and we could not be more excited! Summer means more daylight, relaxing, going on adventures and vacations, and living each day to its fullest potential. In a season that seems to be a hotspot for toxic language about the body, it’s easy to give into those messages, but this is your summer and you deserve to enjoy every moment. The longer days mean more time for taking care of the wonderful you! In honor of June 21st being the first day of summer, here is a list of 21 tips to help you enjoy the next few months. Read on to see how you fill your summer with love and care.
1. Remember: EVERY body is a beach body! Do you have a body? Yes. Are you at the beach? If the answer is yes, then there you have it: a beach body. That’s all you need.
2. You are good enough. Ignore those magazines that tell you what you need to do to your body to get ready for the season. You don’t need to change a thing about yourself to enjoy your summer.
3. Get outside. There is more sunlight to indulge in during the summertime. Whether it’s sitting outside and enjoying a good book, going for a walk in your local park or getting to the beach, enjoy the incredible weather! Before you know it, you’ll be back in the office or classroom, so take advantage of the sunshine while you can.
4. Wear more sunscreen. Granted, you should be wearing it all year-round, but really slather it on this season. I am not ashamed of my devotion to my SPF 100.
5. Go off the grid for a bit. I used to attend a camp where electronics were prohibited and I loved it. Stepping away from social media, toxic messages, and just the impersonal way technology has us talking to each other was incredible. Even if it’s putting your phone on airplane mode for a bit of the day, you won’t be worried about what’s going on in that little phone of yours and instead you’ll enjoy the vast world around you.
6. Don’t compare yourself to others. Getting off the grid helps you avoid comparing yourself to others. All of those images of models on the beach? That’s distorted reality. As long as you are enjoying yourself and how you are spending your summer, that’s all that matters.
7. Be kind, especially to yourself. Being kind to yourself allows you to spend more time focusing on enjoying your summer and spreading that same kindness to others. You deserve nothing but kindness, and yes, it does spread like wildfire.
8. Watch your language. What are you saying about yourself? Hopefully it’s positive language. Understandably, we all have those days where we just don’t feel our best and we can say some pretty harsh things about ourselves. Don’t worry if you do, just be aware of it and think about what you can say next time.
9. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good. Summer is short and precious, so spend it with people who lift you up and bring out the best version of you.
10. Wear what makes you feel beautiful and confident. Don’t adhere to fashion trends if they don’t make you feel good. Put things on your body that make you feel incredible, powerful and on top of the world. You deserve nothing less than to feel like that every day.
11. Make time for the things you love to do. It’s your summer, so spend it wisely. Even if you have a packed schedule, make time each day to do something you love, whether that’s reading your book, watching Netflix, attempting to learn how to play the ukulele, anything!
12. Allow yourself to relax and unwind. We all re-energize in different ways. Some people need alone time and others need to be with others. Whatever your setting, remember it’s okay to devote time to taking care of yourself. Take a nap, a bath, or go out with your friends.
13. Try something new. A new hobby, new recipe, new book, new hiking spot, doesn’t matter. Every day is an opportunity to try something new and every day is a new opportunity.
14. Drink more water. Be kind to your body and soul and keep yourself hydrated all summer long.
15. Go stargazing. When I worked in Maine, my favorite thing to do was to lie on the dock at the lake and just stare into the vastness of the night sky, counting the shooting stars with my friends. It sounds cheesy, but seeing just how big the night sky was and all that was happening in it gave me perspective on my own life.
16. Make a bucket list for the summer, and stick to it! What do you want to do this summer? Write it down and make a goal of it to cross something off that list as often as possible! Make memories that turn into great stories.
17. Remind yourself of what your body can do this summer. Your body can do so much! It helps you swim, hike, laugh, love, smile, and hug. Appreciate your body for all of the wonderful things it can do instead of dwelling on what you wish it looked like.
18. Start each day with a gratitude list. It doesn’t have to be long, but jotting down just a few things each morning about what you’re grateful for in your life starts your day off on a great note.
19. First thing in the morning, make your bed. It took me a really long time to adopt this habit, but now I can’t imagine a day without it. It’s a simple task that can be accomplished at the very start of the day.
20. Try meditating. Whether it’s five minutes or 50 minutes, just taking some time out of the day to sit and clear your mind is so wonderful. You begin to realize just how powerful a simple breath is.
21. Know that you’re not alone. For recovery resources and treatment options, please visit our help and support page. If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, call ANAD’s Helpline at: (888) 375-7767 or the National Alliance of Eating Disorders Helpline at: (866) 662-1235.
If you are thinking about suicide, call or text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988. In crisis situations, text “NEDA” to 741741 to be connected with a trained volunteer from the Crisis Text Line.
Grace Bradley is a senior at Connecticut College majoring in dance and sociology. Working with the Active Minds chapter at Conn College and NEDA, she is an advocate of mental health and eating disorder awareness after personally dealing with both. Grace is dedicated to raising awareness about both of these issues, specifically within the dance community.