7 Ways To Feel Great This Summer
Looking for a mini-break to add a little relaxation to your summer? Leave the stresses of bathing suit shopping behind and take some time to pamper yourself. Try a few of these easy ideas that work for any body and remember how much fun summer can be.
1. Go play outside. There are so many things to do outside – walk, hike, play Frisbee, play sports – so take the chance to get outside and enjoy a little exercise. Fresh air is good for you and experiencing nature is a great way to boost your spirits. Just remember to be sun-smart; a burn doesn’t look good on anyone, and as we all know, the long term effects can be dangerous. Grab your sunglasses and a hat and don’t forget the sunscreen.
2. Paint your toenails. No matter what your toes look like, they will look prettier painted. Treat yourself to a trip to the drugstore and a spend a couple of dollars on a great shade or two. You can wear much brighter colors on your feet than you can on your hands, so reach for something a little wilder. Pinks are all the rage this season. Now all you need is a great pair of sandals – and maybe even a toe ring.
3. Eat fresh. Fresh fruits and vegetables are available all throughout the summer, so take the opportunity to eat as much fresh produce as possible. Not only is it delicious, but it is often low in fat, and high in fiber, vitamins and minerals. Many fruits and vegetables pack well for picnics and hikes, so remember to tuck one into your bag.
4. Buy one sun dress I know what you’re thinking, but they don’t all have spaghetti straps or backs cut to the waistline. Find one that works for your body shape. If you can’t find one that you like, look for a pattern and break out the sewing machine – sun dresses are often very simple to make. Even if you only wear it in the backyard, the fun of a little sun dress is worth the effort.
5. Lighten-up your make-up. The heat and humidity of summer make paring down your make-up a practical choice as well as a freeing one. Try a little bronzer on your face in place of foundation, or try using an oil-free product to combat shine. Be daring and see how much of your make-up you can go without.
6. Put some color into your wardrobe. After the blacks and beiges of winter, summer is a great time to introduce some color into your closet. Look for solid color tops in bright colors, or try a bold patterned skirt. Summer’s fabrics are light and easygoing, so be a little playful with your color choices and see what happens.
7. Make a choice to enjoy summer this year. How many summers have you spent hiding your feet, your arms or some other part of your body that you feel doesn’t measure up? Have you turned down an opportunity to go swimming, camping or sunbathing because of what you would have to wear? Bodies come in all shapes and sizes, but yours in the only one you’ve got, so take care of it and enjoy it proudly this summer. Confidence looks great on anyone.
Self-esteem is an issue for many women, and in these days of ultra-thin models and SuperMom expectations, it shouldn’t surprise us. What is surprising is how quick we are to accept another person’s judgment and how serious our lack of faith in ourselves can become. For me, it started during high school because of a group of four or five guys told me that I was stupid and ugly every single day. I believed them.
Low self-esteem does not necessarily lead to depression, but studies have shown that the two often go hand in hand. Low self-esteem makes you your own worst enemy. Thoughts of “if only I were prettier, if only I were good at sports, if only I were funny or popular, if only I were strong enough to fix this” crowd out everything else. Even if we receive praise, the voices inside our own heads discount it. Like Julia Roberts said in Pretty Woman, “The bad stuff is easier to believe.”
Finding a reason to value myself
For me, things did not improve, so halfway through Grade 11, I transferred to a different high school. The insults stopped, but I still had to face myself; running wasn’t going to fix that. Recovering a sense of self-worth takes more than a change of scene, it requires a change of perspective.
The summer of that year I attended a conference with a group from my parent’s church and found answers in the last place I would have expected. At the conference I came to realize that God loves me very, very much. Here, finally, was a lasting source of value I could fall back on. I had a sense of self-worth to build on and the healing could begin.
The world is a scary place when you stop liking yourself.
But now I had hope. I had learned about God as a child, but just trying to survive had consumed me and I had long since forgotten about Him. I found out that God had not forgotten about me. During my second year of university, I came across the verse in the Bible that is one of my favorites:
“I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:9&10)
We are all the walking wounded, some scars are just easier to see. It’s not an easy thing to say “I need a savior”, but I did. I still do. In the Bible, it says that Jesus came to make all things new. Even if you’re not a church person, chances are you’ve heard John 3:16. It’s the verse that talks about God sending his Son to save the world. In The Message, a recent modern language translation of the Bible, it’s written like this:
This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him. (John 3:16-18, The Message)
Words are powerful things and God’s words of love are the most powerful of all. If you want God in your life, you can have Him there today. All you need to do is pray, just talk to Him. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words. You could pray something like this:
God, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive me for the things I have done. Come into my life and direct it. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be.
If you prayed today, we’d love to hear from you. You can use the form below to let us know, or to ask questions. We would love to talk to you about the difference Jesus makes. He changes everything.