Summer is a season of change, of renewal, of optimism. The days grow longer, the sun shines brighter, and the world bursts into life with a riot of color. As nature transitions, so can we. This is a perfect opportunity for new beginnings, a time to embrace self-care, and to use the natural vitality of the season to rejuvenate our own well-being.
Self-care is the practice of taking active steps to preserve or improve your own health, well-being, and happiness. It involves understanding your needs and taking the time to meet them, which is an act of self-love and self-respect. Ignoring self-care can lead to burnout, stress, and a variety of physical and mental health issues.
So, why is summer an excellent time for self-care? Simply put, the warm weather, increased daylight, and the availability of a variety of outdoor activities naturally lend themselves to an energy boost, which can motivate us to try new things and better care for ourselves. Each change of season brings new opportunities for growth and exploration, and summer is no exception.
So, without further ado, here are seven self-care practices to try this summer:
Find fun ways to enjoy the outdoorsPhoto by Anastasiia Rozumna on Unsplash
Summer is the perfect time to connect with nature, soak up some sunshine (don't forget your sunscreen), and enjoy the great outdoors. Plan a picnic with your favorite foods, go for a relaxing walk in the park, or, if you're a fan of the night sky, spend an evening stargazing. You could also join a hiking club or try outdoor yoga. These activities not only provide a healthy dose of Vitamin D but also help reduce stress and increase happiness.
Establish a healthy sleep routinePhoto by Kinga Howard on Unsplash
In the summer, with extended daylight hours, it's easy to let our sleep patterns become erratic. Yet, quality sleep is essential for our physical health and mental well-being. Try to establish a consistent sleep schedule by setting a regular bedtime and wake-up time. Make your bedroom a sleep-friendly environment: cool, quiet, and dark. You could use blackout curtains or an eye mask to block out the summer light. Limit screen time before bed, as the blue light emitted can interfere with your sleep cycle. Remember, a good night's sleep is crucial for restoring energy and rejuvenating your mind and body.
Stay hydrated with delicious drinksPhoto by Jarritos Mexican Soda on Unsplash
As the temperature rises, so does our need for hydration. Drinking water is essential, but why not mix it up a bit? Try creating delicious homemade limonadas, infused waters, or refreshing summer mocktails. You can use fresh summer fruits like watermelon, strawberries, and of course, lemons. Hydration is vital for overall health, including skin health, so drink up!
Fuel your creativity by trying something newPhoto by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash
Summer’s longer days provide extra hours for you to explore new interests. Join a book club to stimulate your mind, participate in a hiking club to feed your adventurous side, enroll in swimming lessons to cool off, or sign up for an online course to learn a new skill. Daring to step outside of your comfort zone is a form of self-care that promotes growth and self-confidence.
Incorporate in-season foods into your dietPhoto by Lee Myungseong on Unsplash
Summer brings a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Incorporating these into your diet not only benefits your health but also supports local farmers. Visit your local farmer's market, explore the vibrant colors and smells, and try to add a new fruit or vegetable to your meals each week. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can boost your immune system, improve digestion, and provide essential vitamins and nutrients. You can also check out some Luz-approved “biohacks” that can improve your health.
Add a touch of green to your lifePhoto by Trung Thanh on Unsplash
Bring the outside in by adding some houseplants to your living space. Studies have shown that being around plants can improve concentration, reduce stress levels, and boost your mood. Furthermore, plants can improve indoor air quality by releasing oxygen and absorbing toxins. If you're new to plant care, you might want to check out our top houseplant picks for beginners.
In any case, tending to plants can be a rewarding practice that encourages mindfulness and connection to the natural world. And there's something special about the sense of accomplishment that comes from seeing your green friends grow and thrive.
Make room for all the good stuff coming your wayPhoto by Sarah Brown on Unsplash
Lastly, use the energy of the season to declutter your space. Start with your closet. As you sift through your belongings, consider donating items you no longer need to a local shelter. Clearing out physical clutter can lead to a decluttered mind, resulting in less stress and more tranquility. Creating a clean, calm environment can significantly impact your mood and mental health.
Remember, self-care is not one-size-fits-all, so feel free to adapt these practices to fit your lifestyle and needs. Embrace the season of change and growth, and most importantly, take care of you!