Summer Self-Doubt: Tips to Cultivate a Positive Body Image

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Summer’s arrival brings warmer weather and an opportunity to shed layers of clothing. But, for many people, this triggers self-doubt and anxiety about their body image. With more skin exposed, negative self-talk and preoccupation with perceived flaws can occur. A holistic lifestyle can help you build a foundation for a more positive relationship with your body. Let’s explore ways you can cultivate a positive body image, while building acceptance and confidence this summer.


Summer Blues: Struggles with Body Image

Socializing outdoors and enjoying the warm weather can come with pressure to look a certain way, perhaps wearing more revealing clothing than you’re comfortable with. This can lead to increased body consciousness and self-doubt. Social media does not help – flooding your screen with images of “beach bodies” and filtered images, setting unrealistic beauty standards. Quickly, you’re left feeling inadequate – or worse, feeling ashamed of your body. Studies show your body image influences both your physical and psychological well-being.


Body Image: What is It?

Body image refers to a person’s perception, belief, and emotional attitude towards their body. Your body image is what you believe about your appearance and feel about your body’s height, weight, and shape.


Negative Body Image

Being dissatisfied with your body and wanting it to be different is a negative body image. A negative body image is associated with higher rates of depression, lower self-esteem, and dieting behaviours. Up to 81% of adolescent girls feel dissatisfied with their bodies. Among boys, up to 55% feel the same.


Positive Body Image

A positive body image is linked to acceptance and satisfaction. According to the Office of Women’s Health, a positive body image is connected with physical and mental wellness.


 Body Image: How Can I Improve It?

Developing your inner strength and purpose with a holistic lifestyle can help you cultivate a positive body image. Learning ways to manage stress, get enough sleep, and make healthier lifestyle choices will help you build the energy and resilience needed to foster a more confident self-image that goes beyond physical appearance.


5 Ways to Cultivate a Positive Body Image

Small changes in your lifestyle and mindset can help you cultivate a positive body image.



  1. Take a Social Media Break

It’s proven to work. A brief, four-week intervention that reduced social media use in college students had a significant positive effect on body image. You’re more likely to appreciate your body if you’re exposed to less Western appearance-focused media, according to mounting research.


  1. Seek Out the Positive

From the fashion industry to opinionated aunts or uncles, aspects of your life that can negatively influence your body image are best avoided.

  • Spend time with people who have a positive body outlook.
  • Practice gratitude for all your body does for you
  • Wear clothes that feel comfortable and feel good.
  • Practice positive self-talk, such as “My legs are so strong.”


  1. Reject Beauty Ideals

Actively criticize social media messages and images. By confronting messages that attack body image, one can reduce feelings of inadequacy, instead fueling empowerment and self-confidence.


  1. Self-Compassion

Place less value on appearance and create a list of things your body is good at, such as dancing, lifting or drawing. Appreciation of one’s body can help foster a positive body image. Challenge negative thoughts. Ask yourself, “Would I speak to a friend that way?” Self-care can also help – anything from a bubble bath to a massage, painting your nails, or walking outside.


  1. Body Acceptance

Many factors, that are out of your control, determine your body’s shape and weight. Accepting these is key to cultivating a positive body image. All body shapes are beautiful.

When you embrace healthy habits, your body will feel at its best!

Treat your body the way it deserves:

  • Move your body
  • Feed it well
  • Let it rest


Remember, body positivity is a journey, not a destination. You can build a foundation of a more positive relationship with your body through self-care and a holistic lifestyle.


Want to Learn More?

A holistic lifestyle can be a powerful tool for developing body positivity. Taking care of yourself through lifestyle choices that boost energy levels and overall wellbeing builds vitality and promotes a positive body image. Learn how to adopt a holistic lifestyle at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition.  From cooking classes to holistic certification programs, you can learn about holistic lifestyles online or in person. Find a branch today for more information.



The impact of thin idealized media images on body satisfaction: does body appreciation protect women from negative effects? Body Image 2013 Sept; 10(4): 509-514.

Body dissatisfaction, importance of appearance and body appreciation in men and women over the lifespan. Front Psychiatry 2019 Dec 16:10.

Body image and its association with depression, anxiety and self-esteem among college-going students. Indian J Comm Med 2022 Apr-Jun; 47(2): 218-222.

Positive body image: a qualitative study on the successful experiences of adolescents, teachers and parents. Int J Qual Stud Health Wellbeing 2023 Jan; 18(1).

Association between positive body image and indicators of men’s and women’s mental and physical health. Body Image 2015 Mar; 13:67-74.

Towards a comprehensive understanding of body image: integrating positive body image, embodiment and self-compassion. Psychol Belg 2021;  61(1): 248-261