Today is the Fourth of July -- just about the most summery holiday there is, which means it’s the perfect time to share some self-care tips curated especially for the summer. Summer might just be the season most associated with self-care as it sparks thoughts of long-anticipated vacations, cookouts with family and friends, and long, relaxing afternoons at the pool. However, those aren’t the only ways to relax and take care of yourself this summer. Read on for some of my favorite self-care activities for this season.
Enjoy an early summer morning.
Now, don’t get me wrong: sleep is SO important for your physical and emotional wellbeing. Nevertheless, there is something absolutely magical about early summer mornings. Whether you’re getting up to watch the sunset, exercise outside while the temperatures are still mild, or just enjoy the morning stillness, a summer morning is a rejuvenating experience. To make it an extra special self-care moment, make sure not to be rushing to be productive; instead, just allow yourself to rest in the calmness of the morning and enjoy a few minutes of morning glory.
Now to have an official vegetable garden, you probably would have needed to start in the spring, but we aren’t going to let that take away from our designation of gardening as a great summer self-care activity. While the sheer pride of harvesting your very own tomato or cucumber may be enough of a benefit for you, other pros of gardening include reduced stress and increased happiness. For more health benefits, check out this article from UNC Health Talk. And remember, a garden doesn’t have to be a massive undertaking. It might just involve starting a small flower bed or growing a tomato plant on your apartment balcony.
Explore a local farmers’ market.
Many farmers’ markets are open from May to October, meaning that summer is the perfect time to explore them. Not only is this a fun seasonal Saturday morning outing (remember the magic of the summer morning?), it’s also the perfect time to get some advice on your new hobby - gardening - from the real professionals (farmers). But fresh fruits and veggies aren’t all that you can find at the farmers’ market. Most tend to sell fresh flowers and baked goods as well, and many include farm fresh eggs, cheeses, and meats. And, you may ask yourself, just how is a farmers’ market a form of self-care? Well, it all comes back to adding variety to your life as well as purpose and meaning. Taking time out of your day for new experiences such as a new way of buying food and trying out some new veggies is important for your mental health as well as providing a great way to get some quality time with a friend or significant other.
Go on a picnic.
Heat aside, summer is a great time to be outdoors. And now that you have all that food from the farmers’ market, it’s time for a picnic. This can be as easy or as fancy as you want. Some people enjoy the fuss of getting just the right picnic basket, blanket, and assortment of cheeses and crackers for their Instagram-worthy charcuterie board. Others just throw together whatever they have on hand and sit on a beach towel (that would be me). Whichever way floats your boat, that’s fine! Just make sure to take some time for nourishing activities like picnics, which get you outside and out of your typical routine which is sure to add some spice to your life.
Eat some fruit!
Although it should definitely be a priority to eat healthy all year, summer is one of the easiest times to consume plenty of nutritious fruits (and vegetables). Not to mention, fruits are often cheaper in the summer because of less distance between the fields and the market. Need another reason? Check out their amazing health benefits here. And remember, one critical component of self-care is taking care of your physical body. What better way to do that than through enjoying some fresh watermelon or cantaloupe?
Get in the water!
Summer is the time to go swimming whether that takes place in a lake, the ocean, or the neighborhood pool. It doesn’t really matter how or where you do it, but make sure to take some time and get in the water this summer! Not only is water naturally relaxing, swimming and other water sports are also excellent forms of exercise, particularly for your joints.
Keep drinking water and taking care of your skin.
And now, at the risk of sounding like your mother, I must encourage you to stay hydrated and continue taking care of your skin. Heat stroke and fainting from dehydration are never fun times. Sunburns aren’t known for their self-care tendencies either. So do yourself a favor and make sure to keep chugging that water and applying that sunscreen. You’ll thank yourself later.
As you were reading, you probably noticed that this post’s self-care tips aligned along three themes: adventuring outside, enjoying summer foods, and taking time for yourself. So, whether or not you incorporate all of these ideas into your daily life, make sure you come away with some ideas as to how to add something for each theme into your self-care this summer. Now go enjoy your Fourth of July!Photo by 煜翔 肖 on Unsplash