6 Summer Self-Care Ideas To Keep You Healthy And Happy Despite The Heat
We’re firm believers that self-care is something you should be practicing every single day, throughout the seasons. That said, there are many things that can serve as distractions from your efforts, between your personal relationships, your career, and other obligations. But guess what? Summer is actually the perfect time to ramp up the self-care. The warmer weather, extra vacation days, and overall laid-back vibe of this season can all encourage you to focus on making sure you’re getting some much-needed R&R. Not to mention, if you’re a mom, summer can actually be a somewhat stressful time, thanks to endless play dates and pool parties, summer camp drop-offs and pickups, and family trips.
Of course, self-care will mean different things to different people, and what makes one person feel relaxed and rejuvenated might not cut it for another. That said, there are certain tactics that can help almost anyone channel the carefree nature of summer.
If you’re looking to slow down and start showing yourself some more compassionate care, try any of these summer-inspired self-care strategies.
1. Plan a staycation
Without a doubt, getting away can be a phenomenal form of self-care. Sometimes, all you need is a change of scenery to refresh your mindset and restore your energy. Besides, exploring a new location can be incredibly inspiring, and you’re sure to make a few memories that will last well past the summer. That said, sometimes a vacation simply isn’t feasible, whether due to your work obligations or budget limitations. To boot, planning a trip can be a bit stressful, between booking flights, finding a place to stay, and figuring out the logistics of your itinerary.
So, why not plan a staycation instead? You’ll save time and money on travel, and you can still reap the self-care rewards of taking a getaway. Find a local hotel that has a spa, or perhaps a swimming pool, and some solid dining options on-site. Then, pack up some luxe loungewear, some glamorous lingerie, and a bottle of bubbly, and hole up — either solo or with your SO — for a luxurious weekend of pampering.
2. Try a digital detox
Summer is a stellar time to step away from social media and other technology. Your feeds be chock full of enviable vacations and “fitspo” photos promoting the idea of a bikini body (PSA: Every body is a beach body), and seeing those kinds of posts can inspire comparisons to your own life, and subconsciously get you down. Not to mention, the longer days and warmer weather provide the perfect opportunities to get out in nature more, and your devices can often serve as a distraction, keeping you inside the house. So, try to find a digital detox plan that works for you.
Depending on the technology demands of your job, you might be able to designate a certain time frame every day, such as around dinner or before bed, during which your devices are off limits. Or, you may find there’s a certain day, like Sunday, on which you can stash your phone away. Let your friends, family, and coworkers know that you won’t be available, and use that time to be fully present and reconnect with your loved ones (as well as yourself).
3. Enjoy seasonal foods
One of the most delightful aspects of summer is all of the incredibly tasty, healthy foods that are in season. So why not take advantage? Swing by your local farmer’s market to pick up some strawberries, corn, cucumbers, green beans, peaches, plums, watermelon, zucchini, eggplant, and other seasonal produce. Then, look for recipes that incorporate them, like an arugula salad with tomatoes and basil vinaigrette, or a blackberry crisp.
Treating your body to farm-fresh produce when it’s at its peak is a phenomenal (and delicious) way to practice self-care. Not only will these fruits and veggies taste better when they’re in season, but they’ll also be cheaper, and pack even more nutrients, too.
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4. Take your workout outside
Stuck in an exercise rut? A great way to bust out of the boredom that comes with running on a treadmill is to take your workout to the great outdoors. Choosing an activity you genuinely enjoy is key — whether you like hiking, biking, jogging, or swimming. After all, self-care is all about doing things that make your body feel good, not things that you dread and have to drag your feet out of bed to do.
If you tend to be more motivated in a group setting, note that many gyms and studios offer outdoor yoga, Zumba, and boot camp classes. And if running isn’t your thing but you’re seeking a workout that will allow you to take in the summer scenery, opt for a power walk (with light dumbbells if you want to make it more challenging). Just don’t forget to pull together a fun summer-ready playlist to fuel you through.
5. Catch up on your summer reading
When was the last time you read a book just because? Summer is a phenomenal time to catch up on your reading, so go ahead and pick up a copy of that autobiography or best-selling novel you’ve been hearing great things about. If you’re on a tight budget, stop by your local library, where you can find a wide range of reading material from educational nonfiction on a range of subjects to chick lit page-turners.
Not sure where to start? Check out Goodreads’ summer reading list. Next, find a quiet place — like a bench at your local park, a nearby coffee shop, or your very own bathtub, and bury yourself in your new material. And if you want to get your girlfriends in on your efforts, why not start a little summer book club?
6. Get some vitamin D
If you’ve ever noticed how you feel like you’re in a better mood after lounging around on the beach or right in your own backyard, you’re not imagining things — research has shown that soaking up the sun actually has a number of health benefits. In fact, one 2016 study found that adults have less mental distress when they have more sunny days, and another 2008 study found that soaking up some morning sunlight can help to regulate your internal clock so you experience an enhanced feeling of alertness during the day and improved sleep at night.
That said, it’s super important to protect your skin from the UV rays, so always be sure to wear sunscreen with adequate SPF. If sunbathing isn’t your thing, you could listen to an audiobook, work on a craft, or read a magazine while you’re enjoying the warmth and natural light. Or, you could use that time in the sun to catch up with girlfriends over a pitcher of homemade sangria. Just don’t forget to drink plenty of water — it’s crucial to stay hydrated when you’re out in the heat.
Ready for a relaxing, rejuvenating summer? All of these self-care ideas will help you to seek out the TLC you deserve — while also enjoying all of the incredible perks this season has to offer.
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Happy swimsuit shopping!