5 Mantras for Not Psyching Yourself Out This Bikini Season

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. And wedgies.

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(Image credit: Design by Monica Park)

As the saying goes, "The beach will take whatever body I give it." Swell. But once you've actually poured yourself into the one of the at least two mega-flattering swimsuits you've brought (so one's always dry), it's possible you might still have some doubts. Like, "Oh, perhaps I should not have eaten half a can of Pringles right before this." Or, "Hmm, these bottoms are suspiciously high-cut." This is okay—as long as it doesn't affect your enjoyment of the water and the warmth and the rum-based poolside drinks. Here, five phrases to keep in mind.

Jim Carrey has said that one really only needs two weeks to get in shape. Two weeks! And that does not involve extreme calorie restriction or so much cardio your shins shatter. With moderate exercise and disciplined eating, it takes practically no time at all to feel good about yourself, which is the real challenge, on and off the sand. And even if you slip up and polish off another half-can of Pringles, it's chill—are you really not going to go on holiday because of that?

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I will not change my body to accommodate a swimsuit, because it should be the other way around.

It doesn't matter what number appears on the tag. It doesn't matter if the numbers on the top and bottom are different (that's why most good places sell them separately, anyway). It doesn't matter if it's larger or smaller than last year's suit. Stay firmly in the present and buy a bikini for the body you have now, not the one you expect/hope will arrive overnight. You'll be so much happier that way, and there are so many good options out there for everyone.

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An unnervingly big part of beach/pool culture is seeing and being seen. That is a fact. But that's also not license to play "spot the difference" with a stranger. Focus instead on the things your perfectly fine, not-lumpy body is there to do: paddle around lazily, lounge, indulge your secret piña colada obsession, and relax.

Easier said than done, of course, but also better done...than not done, because low self-esteem causes all sorts of lingering unhappiness. So even if you don't much feel like the hottest girl in the world, throw your shoulders back and stand tall like you're Bella Hadid on her very best day. (Also, a pool exit on tiptoes is an old swimsuit-model trick that does wonders. Believe.)

On a more practical/hopefully not-literal note, "surviving bikini season" also includes proper sun protection. Non-negotiable.

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