Summer is so busy that it can often be hard to stop, take a breath, and take care of you. Whether you have camps, social events, sports, and the list goes on, the summer calendar fills up quickly and we want to soak it all in and do it all. Sometimes that means we end up putting ourselves last. I am a big advocate of self care. I'm not referring to spa days and things like that (although they are awesome too), I am referring to what we do each day to maintain our best selves and properly take care of us. Like the oxygen mask on a plane, if we don't take care of us first then we may not be able to take care of anyone else.
Here are my tips for taking care of you this summer!
Sleep: I used to be able to survive on 5-6 hours a night but the older I get, the more I need my 8 hours. And a good 8 hours. As much as I want to stay up when I get my second wind, I have been going to bed by 10:00 (except on late baseball game nights). It makes all the difference in the world with my energy level the next day.
Fruits and Veggies: I find it's easier to eat lots of fruit and veggies in the summer. I love the local produce stand and it inspires me to add more veggie sides to our suppers. I do keep my morning spinach and berry smoothie on the menu though to make sure I get all the fruits and veggies. From digestion to the appearance of my skin, I notice a big difference when I make sure to get my fruits and veggies.
Meal Plan: Speaking of fruits and veggies, I have found that I have to stick with my meal planning in the summertime. It helps me make sure I have what I need for my smoothies and lunch salads so that I am less tempted to eat out when we are on the go. Our weekend cottage is at least 30 minutes from a grocery store so I have to be on my A game when I do the meal plan for our trips there.
Exercise: My workout classes don't always work for my summer schedule so I have to make other plans. I continue my daily 3 mile walk, I just try to knock it out first thing before it gets too hot and to minimize how much sun I am getting. I have found some great hand weight and pilates type workouts on both Instagram and You Tube and I can do them any time. There are ways to make it work even when your schedule doesn't allow for classes. Throw in a round of tennis with friends or a bike ride.
Skincare: The older I get the more important this one becomes, especially after my hubs had a scare with a skin cancer a few years ago (thankfully was able to get it removed). The entry way coat rack becomes the sun hat rack in the summer and I while I do where sunscreen daily, I like to throw on a hat whenever I take the dogs out, water plants, etc. Those 10 minutes a day can add up really fast!
Summer can be crazy busy! So, stop and ask yourself:
what little things make you feel your best? are you doing them?
when you start to feel off course, what have you let go from your daily habits?
what is causing overwhelm and how can you change it?
As much as you probably don't want to do it in the summer, get up early before the rest of the house and enjoy quiet time. I love to sit on the porch with my coffee, my dogs, and a devotional while my boys are still sleeping. It sets the tone for the day. Sometimes that little bit of self-discipline to get up is the best self-care you can give yourself.
Enjoy your summer. Make memories. Don't let summer overwhelm you. It will be over in a flash.