We are halfway through the year and many of you will have holidays planned. For most people - women in particular, but don’t be fooled, it’s men too – the lowering concept of the ‘bikini ready body’ is looming - and we might giving a lot of mental space to ruminating on that, or even taking drastic measures - whether that is with food or exercise - to ‘get in shape’. Whichever you indulge in – it’s mentally exhausting and also boring.

What if we were okay with being okay?

This summer, what if we focus on health and how we feel rather than what we see in the mirror? If we approach the mirror with a perfect image in mind – whether that be someone else or a person you used to be – then all you will see is imperfection and feel disappointment.

Focus instead on how you feel. Do you feel nourished? Do you feel well rested? Is your skin glowing? Are your eyes bright? Do you feel healthy?

If you are applying any quick fixes it’s likely you are not feeling any of these as you may be tired from over training, tired from restricting food or have brain fog from eating low calorie diet foods that don’t have sufficient nutrients for brain health.

It is so easy to focus on the extra percentage of fat we wish we didn’t have (and it’s only society and Instagram that says we shouldn’t), the cellulite and stretch marks we think we carry alone when in fact nearly everyone has it. So could we see instead someone that does look after themselves maybe 60- 80% of the time, but enjoys life – relaxes and has pizza and enjoys a glass of wine? That person is fun, full of life and saying yes to life more than they are saying no. That person has a healthy attitude and outlook, and recognises that perfection is a false construct.

There are so many ways to FEEL healthy and to look in the mirror and be proud to be well, to be normal, to be proud that you don’t place value on a six pack, but instead place value on memories.

My first beach holiday this year - and no need for a bikini body, but getting away is getting away!My first beach holiday this year - and no need for a bikini body, but getting away is getting away! (Image: Holly Moore)

Here are my top tips to apply instead of going on a crash diet ahead of a holiday:

Decide on some daily habits that you think will help you feel healthy. We know it takes 66 days to form a habit so what tools can we use to help hit them?

Get yourself a mini white board and rite these down these habits with columns for each day of the week, so you can tick them off each day.

There’s no one size all yours might be totally different, but these are some ideas I use to feel well:

Vitamins: there are a lot of supplements sales and advice out there. Personally, I keep it simple with Vitamin D, Omega 3, Zinc and Magnesium, as well as a Probiotic. If you have a healthy diet, you don’t need to top up the rest – and if you know your diet isn’t that great day to day, make changing that one of your new daily habits.

Water: The NHS recommends women drink at least 1.5 litres of water per day (and you can count tea, coffee or fruit juice in that, but not really sugar-laden fizzy drinks!) Drinking more liquid also stops you having those little snack cravings, in my experience!

Steps: set yourself a minimum target a day, pop your headphones on and listen to music, a podcast or a book. I personally also recommend at least one walk for 30 mins in the week without headphones for reflection.

Read: With the siren call of social media and the plethora of streaming channels, concentration spans have never been so under attack. Burying oneself in a good book is not only the ultimate in escapism, but reading for pleasure has been found to improve our confidence and self-esteem, providing the grounding we need to pursue our goals and make life decisions. It can also aid our sleep – much healthier than scrolling the socials in bed!

Education: whether this is a podcast or Anything is Possible training videos – set yourself a target for each week.

Mindfulness: a daily meditation practice. I do 2 x 10-minute resting awareness meditations each week and find those moments of stepping away from everyday life really grounding.

Drink plenty of fluids to keep body and brain hydrated - and snacking at a minimum!Drink plenty of fluids to keep body and brain hydrated - and snacking at a minimum! (Image: Holly Moore)

Some of your habits might be daily, some weekly or monthly – it is up to you.

Can you see the principle of adding in rather than taking away. Instead of restriction, think of an abundance of healthy actions to create a more fulfilled and happy life.

Instead of killing yourself for the run up to your holiday to then feel guilty after day two of the breakfast buffet, go on holiday feeling your best rather than “looking” your best.

Holly Moore is a Cheshire-based business owner, running three businesses from offices in Wilmslow, founder of podcast Anything is Possible, and the annual personal development conference, Anything Is Possible Live.