We’ve been looking forward to this summer for what seems like forever. Many will be trying to make up for lost time, jamming as many picnics, parties, and activities into each day as possible. Taking care of ourselves may take a back seat during these busy summer months. But after the year we’ve just experienced, self-care is more important than ever — for both body and mind. Make this your summer of self-care by refocusing attention on what matters most — you!
It’s Important to Distinguish Self-Care from Self-Indulgence
While it’s tempting to think of self-care as an opportunity to treat ourselves, self-care is more about treating yourself better. Sticking to a healthy diet and lifestyle is the foundation of any self-care routine.
The idea of “routine” is important here. Creating new habits around exercise, sleep, and mindfulness all contribute a healthier, happier you. Try some of these DIY tips and treatments for self-care.
DIY Tip #1 – Do more of what makes you feel good. If you love to dance, take every opportunity to do so — with a partner or just by yourself. If being outside in nature is what gets you to a better place, lace up your walking shoes, slather on some sunscreen, and get out to enjoy the day. Not all self-care activities have to be “active.” Perhaps you’re at your best when sitting quietly with a great book or a stack of magazines. The key is to do what brings you joy.
DIY Tip #2 – Develop morning and evening rituals to begin and end your day just the way you like. Some people get up early and start each day with a stretching routine. Others prefer a contemplative walk, alone with their thoughts. Maybe music is key to your self-care rituals — peppy tunes in the morning and more relaxing fare to wind down at night.
DIY Tip #3 – Taking care of something can help you take better care of yourself. During the pandemic, more people adopted animals and started indoor gardens than ever before. Being responsible for the well-being of something else, be it a rescue pup or a jade plant, helped many people to take good care of themselves as well. Now that we’re through the worst of it, there’s no reason to stop. Plant something new outside or in your home.
DIY Tip #4 – Put your best foot (or hand!) forward. At-home manicures and pedicures are a great way to feel and look better with or without polish. Soak your feet and hands in scented, sudsy water before trimming your nails. Clip and file, as necessary. Use apple cider vinegar to loosen cuticles and push back with your thumbnail. Finish by exfoliating hands and feet with a sugar scrub (1/2 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon of olive oil). Wash with mild soap and dry gently to remove all traces of the scrub.
There are lots of ways to practice self-care at home like mindfulness, meditation, and yoga. You can also find more “recipes” for other natural skincare treatments here.
However, you choose to take care of yourself this summer, focus on things that make you feel better and more relaxed rather than adding one more thing to your to-do list. Soak in all the good things that summer has to offer and spend time on being your own best friend through self-care rituals.