As summer goes on, we are now used to the longer days, the (hopefully!) brighter weather and the more frequent social events. Summer comes with many positives, but it also comes with challenges too, and these are not spoken about as much.

What’s wrong with a social summer?

Social pressure is particularly high during the summer months. The longer days come with more opportunity (and pressure) to make plans, see friends and go on trips. Social media is a big culprit of this pressure. Seeing posts that highlight the ‘best’ moments of people’s lives can make us feel like we are not doing enough. We may then feel the pressure to do more – to make more plans, to go on more holidays. Just in a bid to keep up with our peers.

And as many go abroad during the summer months, most post pictures that flaunt their bodies in the warm weather. Who can blame them? When it is so hot and you’re in a beautiful setting, it is understandable! People want to take pictures that show themselves looking good. However, for those that do not feel quite the same, this can be hard. Seeing those perfectly filtered and polished bikini pictures can trigger difficult feelings around body image, insecurity and unhappiness with and within yourself.

I wonder how this may all feel if we’re going through a difficult time of our own? If we are experiencing our own personal challenges, and then see others having a good time – ‘fun in the sun’ – on social media. I wonder how this might influence our own feelings – perhaps of isolation, loneliness or insecurity.

5 tips for looking after yourself this summer!

It is important we look after ourselves during this time. Some actionable things that can make some bright and also challenging summer months feel more manageable. Here are some tips:


  1. Unplug from social media. Have a think about what purpose it is serving you. Is it is making you feel good about yourself or provoking unhelpful comparison. Mute stories that may be difficult or put a limit on how long or when you take a scroll.
  1. State affirmations. If you feel you are being pulled into a loop of comparison or pressure, state affirmations out loud For example, ‘I am grateful for this season and the light it brings’. ‘I am ready to embrace new opportunities’. ‘I am doing what is right for me and do not need to be pulled into keeping up with my peers’. For more on how affirmations work and ideas for affirmations visit our instagram page!
  1. Spend time outside. If we feel anxiety around pressure and comparison, it may be tempting to avoid activities and stay inside. Being outside, either socially or doing exercise or merely just sitting outside. This has positive effects on both our mental and physical wellbeing. The environment is restorative. It’s important we use it to help free some head space every once in a while!
  1. Practice mindfulness. Doing a quick mindfulness exercise e.g. mindful breathing, mindful eating, mindful exercise can help to reduce any stress and anxiety we may be feeling and thus help shift our mental state to prevent being pulled into difficult thought loops of pressure and comparison. For more on mindfulness and self care, see our February blog post. 
  1. Shifting attention. If we catch ourselves scrolling and comparing/putting pressure on ourselves, it is important to simply notice this and shift our attention elsewhere e.g. by getting up and doing a different activity, speaking to someone, listening to music, watching tv, going outside, exercising. We don’t want to reinforce any difficult thoughts that may come up! 
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