Taking time for self care is important all year round, but summer offers a wonderful opportunity to slow down and nurture your wellbeing. The longer days and warmer weather make it easier to incorporate simple yet powerful habits into your daily routine that can recharge your mind, body and spirit. Starting these habits now will help you carry them into your routine for the rest of the year, too.
Here are 10 self care habits to try out this summer:
1. Get enough sleep.
Make it a priority to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night during the summer. Your body and mind need time to recharge. Try these tips for better sleep.
2. Practice mindfulness.
Take a few minutes each day to meditate or simply be present. Focus on your breathing and the sensations in your body.
3. Drink plenty of water.
Staying hydrated is essential during the hot summer months. Aim for 6-8 glasses of water per day. And remember that water isn’t the only way you can hydrate your body! Summer is a great season for lots of hydrating fruits and vegetables like cucumbers, melons, and more. I love making watermelon juice by pureeing ripe watermelon in a blender. You can add a bit of fresh mint and lime juice for even more delicious natural flavor. Or you can simply add some citrus slices or sliced cucumbers to infuse your water to make staying hydrated more interesting.
4. Eat a balanced diet.
Fill up on lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Summertime is the best time for getting in loads of colorful seasonal produce. Make sure your plate is 50% or more fruits and veggies for most of your meals. Limit sugary drinks and processed foods. Fuel your body with nutrient-rich whole foods that will leave you feeling good, inside and out.
5. Spend time in nature.
Get outside and enjoy the fresh air, sunshine, and beautiful scenery around you. Even a short walk can boost your mood and energy. I love going on long walks with my dog, taking my workouts outside to the park, and finding hikes to get out and enjoy nature and the warmer summer weather.
6. Take a social media break.
Unplug from screens for a full day or even just a few hours each week. Read a book or enjoy an offline activity instead. This is one I’m currently working on, but is so essential for our mental health.
7. Move your body.
Exercise doesn’t have to be intense to be beneficial. Go for a swim, do yoga in the park, or ride your bike to the store. Just get moving!
8. Try something new.
Sign up for a summer class, take a day trip somewhere you’ve never been, go to a Meetup group to meet some new friends, or learn a new skill. Break out of your routine.
9. Journal your thoughts.
Writing down your feelings and experiences can provide clarity and release mental tension.
10. Practice self-acceptance.
Remind yourself of your positive qualities and accept yourself as you are. You deserve love and compassion.
Self care looks different for everyone, but the common thread is prioritizing practices that make you feel more grounded, energized and content. This summer, commit to incorporating at least one or two of these habits each week and see how they enhance your experience of the season. Focus on consistency over perfection and be gentle with yourself as you establish new routines. I love the saying, “Hold yourself to a standard of grace, not perfection.”
Taking even small steps towards better self care can have a significant impact on your overall happiness and quality of life. So this summer, make yourself a priority. You deserve an opportunity to relax, recharge and nurture your spirit. Try out some of these habit suggestions and see which ones feel the most meaningful for you. Your best self is waiting to blossom – all it needs is a little love and care.
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