Self-Care Tips for Summer
I’ve been all about self-care as of late. Sometimes it’s hard to fit it in or find the balance between caring for myself and caring for my family, work, the dog, the chickens, friends, the yard, and so on. But I’ve found when I make the time to take care of myself, I do a better job at taking care of others.
For me, self-care revolves around being active, making healthy choices, and taking some time out. Here are three self-care tips for summer.
1. Being Active
I do something active every single day. If I don’t, I feel edgy and reactive. I find myself snapping at my children instead of responding with understanding. I’ve also learned that less activity begets even less activity, so I can trick myself into a slump of days or weeks without being active—and my mood slumps right along with me.
And so I schedule time in to be active every day. Sometimes it’s as simple as walking the dog to the bridge and back (one mile) or as complex as doing a very hard workout. I prefer activities that make me move and sweat a little bit as the heart pumping makes me feel better. I normally run 2-3 days per week and do a hard workout at least twice per week.
Additionally, the boys and I are learning to love hiking, which usually results in a slower but longer activity for the day—and just as much sweat!
Of course, it’s summer. And with summer sweat comes summer sweat smell. Monistat® now offers help with that through their Complete Care™ line. Their Stay Fresh Gel helps eliminate feminine odor for three days. I like knowing that I won’t need to worry about icky smells just because I stay active even through the heat of summer. (Get a coupon here!)
2. Making Healthy Choices
When I drink enough water, I feel healthier. When I feel healthier, I make healthier food choices. When I make healthier food choices, I feel more like me.
I’ve learned which things make me feel better over the past few years. Instead of snacking on all the salty things, I’ll likely choose a piece of fruit or some veggies. Instead of eating a full portion at a restaurant, I will only eat half. Instead of the giant ice cream, I’ll ask for a kid’s portion. I still indulge in treats, but I make the majority of my food decisions with a health-based mindset.
Controlling my portion sizes has helped me understand how my activity affects my body. But seriously: I’ve got to drink enough water first, or all of this falls apart. I start my day now with a glass of cold water before my cup of coffee. It sets me on a path of remembering to drink water all day and, as such, making those healthier choices too.
3. Taking Some Time Out
I’ve started taking 10 to 30 minutes for myself each day to do something quiet. By myself and for myself. Sometimes I read. Sometimes I meditate. Sometimes I pull weeds. Sometimes I sit by the chickens and laugh. (Chickens are hilarious, you guys.) Sometimes I just drink my afternoon iced coffee on the front porch and bask in the sunlight. These little moments let me put myself back together, especially if I had a rough morning with the boys or the dog or a piece I’m working on writing.
The break in the noise and chaos of daily life seems to help me keep my head on straight for the rest of the day. Right now I find myself taking these moments midday, but when my schedule crunches my time, sometimes I work one in during the morning or right before bed. Either way, the slow down seems to be important in how I act and react with and to others.