college age girl

The Easiest Ways to Practice Self-Care This Season

Life is busy. There is always something to do, something to plan and something to expect. It can be all too easy to neglect even the most basic daily requirements. Forget to brush your teeth before going to bed, how can you remember to carve out the time to exercise or prepare a healthy meal for yourself? As difficult as it may be, making a habit of thinking of your own requirements along with your many other responsibilities will pay off big dividends in the long run. Here are a few things to keep in mind for staying happy and healthy this summer, inside and out.

Active and Entertained

When the temperature outside begins to rise, plans for al fresco activities become the norm. It is a known fact that sunlight and water are a natural antidote to the blues and boredom. Why not kick up your usual cookouts and campfire gatherings to include swimming and water games? You may have assumed that installing a swimming pool in your yard is an expensive, unattainable pipe dream, but researching inground pool prices actually results in a surprisingly doable backyard project that can be enjoyed by family and friends. Not only will you get the benefit of family fun, but outdoor swimming can be an excellent way to stay in shape. You can’t beat the low-impact cardiovascular and muscle toning results of an underwater workout!

Nourished and Fit

Yes, the burgers, hot dogs and s’mores of traditional summer fare are irresistible, but subsisting on these foods alone will only expand your waistline. Summer is also the season of fresh ears of corn, just-picked berries and garden-crisp cucumbers. You don’t have to completely forgo eating treats, but adding fresh foods to your diet will help you to feel and look your best. Add a side salad of those locally grown vegetables to your picnic, a berry-infused water to your drink menu or even a simple homemade ice cream for dessert. Once you get a taste for fresher food and outdoor dining, you will be amazed at how much better you feel and how loose your clothing can get.  

Inner Happiness

Winter is usually known for bringing low temperatures and dangerous travel conditions, making it the season of staying indoors. This leads to isolation, loneliness and depression for many people. Coupled with a lack of sunshine in most parts of the country, it can be difficult to feel carefree and happy. So when the sun reappears and you no longer feel the need to hibernate in your sweats, be sure to take full advantage of what summer has to offer. Take as many of your usual activities outside as possible. This could mean your yoga routine, hanging fresh laundry on a clothesline to soak up the sun or eating every meal on your deck. While enjoying the warmth and uplifting rays, get into the mindset of appreciating the nature around you. Beyond stopping to smell the roses, approach everything in your view with gratitude. Birds singing, crickets humming and the smell of cut grass can be incredibly soothing to the soul. Take your morning coffee onto the porch and watch the world come to life and greet the new day, read a favorite book in a comfortable lounge chair or – if possible – complete your school or professional work at a makeshift deckside desk. You might be surprised at just how much you get done when you are enveloped in the sounds of nature.

Losing sight of what matters is not an unusual state for a human being to find himself or herself in – but what you do with what each day gives you will make a big difference in how you feel about your life. The importance of being appreciative of the outdoors and feeling united with your world can be undeniably therapeutic -and there is no better time to form this habit than summer.