I think it’s safe to say it’s officially summer. Yes, even in rainy England the sun has been beaming in all its glory, staining the pavement with a vibrant glow that lingers even after dark. The temperature is not the only thing that has been warming up, as there’s definitely been a mood change overall. Every weight just feels a little lighter under the sun!
When I think back to summer last year, honestly, it’s a very blurry picture that pops in my mind – as if taken with eyes shut and trembling hands. I can easily admit to letting those days pass me by and I did absolutely nothing to hold onto them. At that time, I was struggling to come to terms with who I had become post-pandemic. It felt a bit alien, staring into a mirror to a watered-down version of who I used to be, whilst getting to know the new me was a process I just wasn’t ready for.
It’s been a year since then, and while I’m still discovering the many faces within me, I’m determined not to let this summer pass me by!
It’s my hot girl summer! By now, I’m sure you’ve seen this floating around in hashtags and bikini shots on the gram. Rapper, Meghan Thee Stallion coined the phrase a few years back and since then it has taken on a whole life of its own. It’s all about unapologetically being one’s authentic self and having fun doing so all summer long. No judgement or shame, just being your carefree self will do!
To me, having a hot girl summer means taking back control of my life. It means throwing out things that no longer serve me and fiercely moving on to the next. It also means being willing to accept a mission to live my best life, no matter what that may look like. Well… I accept!
So, I’m putting down all unrealistic standards, peer pressure and FOMO this summer and focusing on doing the things that bring me pure joy.
Here are some of the ways I’m living my best life this summer season:
No Summer VS Summer.
Comparison is the thief of joy they say, and that’s why the first rule I have this year for an enjoyable summer is a simple one. This summer there won’t be this-summer vs that-summer comparisons going on in my mind.
I think the hardest time to be on social media is during the holiday period. In a ‘ready, set, go’ kind of way, it’s as though our feeds become an arena to compete on who is having the ‘best’ hot girl summer. Film shots of sun-kissed smiley faces, videos of take-offs and landings, exotic foods on every page, and road trips that never seem to end.
When scrolling through for hours and hours on end it becomes easy to feel like you’re the only one that’s not living THE life. Suddenly, it’s as though you’re the only one that still has to work a 9 to 5 and the only ‘breath-taking’ sunset you’ll get to see is the one a friend sends from their camera roll. If all that consumption doesn’t make you feel alone or have FOMO, well, you’re better than me.
This year, I’m doing everything to not feel left out of all the typical holiday fun. This means knowing when to replace the never-ending feed with a book and recognising when comparison becomes toxic.
Remember, social media is a peep through someone else’s window. It’s highlight reels or pre-meditated authenticity and representations of truth – a little glimpse rather than a full picture.
Time To Take Flight.
My bag is already mentally packed for my trip to Italy in August. The thought of setting off on a plane after two-whole-insane years already has me giddy. Overpacking and taxi rides to the airport, boarding pass checks and strolls through pre-departure stores, window seats and safety announcements – are some of the things I’m looking forward to. I’ve mentioned this before, but I do enjoy the chaos of a travel day. More importantly, I’m mostly looking forward to seeing my best friends after too long. There is no easier way to get fully recharged than to be in good company!
You mustn’t embark on a big journey in order to call it fun. A two-day trip to a neighbouring city, a solo adventure or a retreat surrounded by nature. Even if you choose to get to know your little town a little better, or prefer to do nothing at all, that’s fine too. Your summer days can be whatever and however you want to make it.
A Little Colour Can’t Hurt.
I think it’s somewhat of a natural progression – the sun comes out and so do my bolder outfits. Ditching my hoodies for florals wasn’t that hard. As the temperature rises, I can’t fight the urge to take off layers, little by little. Until eventually I’m also taking off layers that aren’t there.
Summer is my excuse to bring out all the colourful attires burried beneath knitted sweaters and plain-coloured hoodies. There is something special about going for bold colours or pairing outfits that your winter self would consider ‘brave’. I feel 1000% more confident when I know I look good in my clothing. If you’re in need of confidence, try sprinkling some colour into your wardrobe. It’s worth the try!
Every Body Is A Beach Body.
Ditch the beach body already, there is no such this!
Without the feeling of lurking eyes on me, I definitely felt less self-conscious about my body during the pandemic. That is a mindset I’m trying darn hardest to keep as we return to “normality”.
I’m not in a rush to transform my body this year nor do I aim to fit into standards that are unrealistic or frankly toxic. I know the world can be cruel in its criticism of things that really shouldn’t be a big deal in the grand scheme of things ~ especially women’s bodies ~ but remember they don’t own you and you don’t owe them. Every body is a beach body, so own it gal!
Oh City, Here I come.
Getting back out there following a global pandemic was not easy, to be honest. My home became my comfort zone, and my bedroom my shelter. Online shopping and working from home too didn’t help much either.
Hence, when the doctor told me I was low on vitamin D a few weeks ago, I’ll just say I wasn’t one bit shocked. My reaction was more of a ‘duh?’ than an ‘oh wow, really!’. Well… yes – really.
While I know there are other sources to get the vitamin, it was just a hard-hitting wake-up call. I am very aware that life is happening out there, and truly I don’t want to miss it.
I’ve been making an effort to go out more lately which has been doing wonders for my mental health. There will always be places to explore, people to meet and great food to try. Whether it’s a crowded event, a simple dinner or a stroll in the neighbourhood, head out intently.
The world is ready for you.
Are you ready for it?
Your restless romantic roamer