Summer means more daylight, relaxing, going on vacation, and living each day to its fullest potential. Summertime seems to be a season when we pick apart what we do not like about our bodies and how we should have done more to prepare. It is easy to let the messages we see become the truth we believe, and they prevent us from enjoying every moment of a lovely season. This is your summer and you deserve to enjoy it!

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 18 tips to help you enjoy the next few months. Read on to see how you fill your summer with love and care.

1. Every body is a beach body! That is 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 do not 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 is sitting outside and enjoying a good book, or going for a walk in your local park, enjoy the incredible weather!

4. Protect yourself from burning in the sun. Get a big, fun, floppy hat and keep other accessories on hand so you can enjoy the rays without damaging the skin.

5. Go off the grid for a bit. Step away from social media, toxic messages, and just the impersonal way technology has us talking to each other.. Enjoy the vast world around you.

6. Do not 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 is distorted reality. As long as you are enjoying yourself and how you are spending your summer, that is 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.

8. Watch your language. What are you saying about yourself? Hopefully it is positive language.

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. You deserve nothing less than to feel like that every day.

11. Make time for the things you love to do. It is your summer, so spend it wisely. Even if you have a packed schedule, make time each day to do something you love, whether that is 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. 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 – it does not 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. Seeing just how big the night sky is and all that is happening in it can give you perspective on your 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!

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 gratitude. Make a list. It does not have to be long, but jotting down just a few things each morning about what you are grateful for in your life starts your day off on a great note.

Carmen Keith, MD, IFMCP

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