How To Be Kind To Yourself This Summer

Kat Nicholls
By Kat Nicholls,
updated on Jul 18, 2018

How To Be Kind To Yourself This Summer

From body image issues to depression, summer isn’t always fun and games. Here are some pointers to help you be kinder to yourself and cut yourself some slack if your summer doesn’t look like other people’s

Summer is well and truly upon us. For some of us this means booking holidays, getting burnt in the garden and BBQs-aplenty. For others though, summer brings its own set of challenges.

These challenges can be made worse when we compare our summers to other people’s. We look longingly at photos of friends galavanting on beaches, having ‘the best summer everrrr!’ and wonder why ours is looking so different.

Here we break down a few common challenges that can rear their ugly heads over summer and how to be kinder to yourself.

Body image

Warmer weather generally means less clothing, especially if you plan to head to the beach. Having poor body image can hold us back from so much in the summer, forcing us to sit in layers of clothing, avoiding any situation that requires a bathing suit and generally feeling very uncomfortable.


How to be kinder to yourself:

While there are lots of campaigns and messages out there telling us to love ourselves, we know it’s not that easy, so don’t beat yourself up if you find this concept difficult. Instead why not work on simply accepting yourself and working towards body ‘neutrality’? (where you neither love or hate your body).

Think about what your body allows you to do and come up with a list of qualities you like about yourself. Get inspired by following body positive accounts on Instagram (we love @bodyposipanda) and take it one step at a time.

For example, if you don’t like your arms, why not challenge yourself to wear a sleeveless top one day and see how you feel?

And of course, remember, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. Body acceptance is a journey and it’s OK to be at the start of that journey and opt out of events that make you uncomfortable.


Anxiety can come up at any time of the year, but some situations in the summer can trigger it. If travel makes you anxious for example, going on holiday could be difficult for you. If you find crowds difficult, the idea of going to a festival will feel daunting.

How to be kinder to yourself:

When you know your triggers, you can prepare for them better. Get to know what makes you feel anxious and try to figure out what tools help you feel calmer. You may need to work with a counsellor to do this, or you may already have a few tricks up your sleeve.

Take care of yourself if your anxiety does peak and treat yourself like you would a friend. Instead of getting frustrated and angry, give yourself some care and attention. This may mean taking breaks from the crowds at festivals or learning breathing techniques to help you relax while travelling. Find what works for you and take it slow.


Fear of missing out (or FOMO) can be especially rife over summer. Maybe you’re seeing other people having incredible holidays, but you simply can’t afford to go away this year. Maybe you’re seeing people sipping cocktails on rooftop bars in London and are questioning why you’re sat at home with a luke-warm Ribena.


How to be kinder to yourself:

Remember, social media is a highlights reel. You aren’t seeing the nuances behind the pictures.

Sure, Jane from accounting may look like she’s having the time of her life at that rooftop bar, but behind the smile she’s angry at her husband for drinking too much (again) and is worrying about her mum’s progressing illness.

Bear in mind that one person’s perception of ‘fun’ may be the worst thing in the world for someone else. Try embracing JOMO instead, (the joy of missing out). Enjoy some time to yourself, catch up with your reading and log off of your social media accounts.


Again, depression can come up at any time of the year, but for some reason those who don’t have it can forget about it over summer. They might encourage you to get some sun when the idea of leaving your bed feels impossible, or expect your depression to lift when the clouds do (if only it was this simple!).

How to be kinder to yourself:

If you experience a depressive episode over summer, try your best not to compare yourself to others who may find it easier to be out and about. Take your self-care back to basics - If you've been prescribed antidepressants, are you taking them? If you're having therapy, do you need to book a session? Can you challenge yourself to move from your bed to your sofa? Could you try a walk outside?

Only you will know your limits. Encourage yourself and reach out to friends and family for support. Explain what’s happening if you’re comfortable doing so and explain that you may not be able to attend every family BBQ this year.

Here’s to a summer with fewer expectations and comparisons, and one with more kindness and compassion.

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