Summer is an inviting time for many social activities, less formal routines, and long days of sunshine. As we dive deep into the season, however, we may find ourselves feeling overwhelmed and full of anxiety, whether we’re experiencing less structured schedules riddled with figuring out what to do with the extra time on our hands, or we’re stuck inside for our jobs, yearning to be outside instead to enjoy the beautiful weather.
One of the best ways to combat these feelings of anxiety creeping in as “summertime blues” is to take small steps in taking care of ourselves. Here are five ways you can practice self-care during the summer:
Take a social media or technology break. Nowadays, we can get easily wrapped up in checking messages, mindlessly scrolling through our social media platforms, and constantly binge watching every show on our favorite streaming service. Taking a break from these devices help us think more about our own quality of life. Whether it’s a few hours to a whole 24 hours away from our phones, televisions, or computers, practicing technology breaks can bring us back to being more mindful of our lives, our thoughts, and our emotions.
Start a new hobby. By not solely focusing on social media, our minds are open to taking on new hobbies and experiences that can ultimately improve our mood. Some great examples of outdoor hobbies during summer include gardening, tennis, trail hiking, biking, or swimming. If you prefer to stay indoors, take on a hobby that might be productive for yourself or for others. This could be journaling and jotting down your thoughts and feelings or learning to cross-stitch to make Christmas gifts for your family and friends.
Have an at-home spa day. Instead of spending money at an expensive spa, take some time to create your own spa escape. Draw a bath, light candles that bring you feelings of calm, have something relaxing to read, and treat yourself with a homemade refreshing drink. You’ll be able to relax in the comfort of your own home, in your own bathtub, without having to go anywhere nor breaking the bank.
Relax outdoors. For many of us who may be stuck inside the office for our jobs, this is a great way to enjoy the summertime. Schedule time to go exploring outside, have a picnic in the park, or go to your nearest beach, river, or lake and take in the sights and sounds of summer weather. Under the sun, you'll be able to get a great dose of vitamin D, which is also a natural “be happy” vitamin. Breathing fresh air will also help refresh your mind while enjoying a different setting. Remember to be safe when you’re out in the sun by applying sunscreen before going outside.
Don’t stress about your appearance or size. Being outside in the summertime can be stressful for many of us; we all can get anxious about whether or not we have a “beach body.” Please don’t let that stop you from wearing your favorite summer outfit or bathing suit when you go out to the beach or pool. Enjoy the summer by feeling comfortable with your body - the truth is that everyone is too busy thinking about themselves that they’ll hardly pay any attention to what you look like in whatever clothing you wear for the season.
These are just a few of the many ways to practice self-care in the summer? How do you take care of yourself during this season?
If you are seeking more ways to practice self-care or get through the summer blues, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at Safe Haven and connect with a counselor. Call us at (256) 600-1473 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Written by Elizabeth McDonald