Self Care for the summertime (AD)
If you’re anything like me, the summer in my head, is often quite different to summer in reality.
I imagine long sunny days having fun adventures with Finley, barbecues, lots of downtime and paddling pool fun. But in reality it’s less fun adventures in the sun and more desperately trying to entertain a 4 year old while it chucks it down with rain outside!
As I said in my how to make summer a whole lot better post, summer is a time for many of us when our routines are thrown out of whack. If you have kids there’s a whole other level of stuff to consider as well. Some of us may find we have less time and more to deal with as September approaches.
Whatever summer looks like for you, taking just a little bit of time to be intentional about how you’re going to take care of yourself over the season can make a real difference to your wellbeing – and that in turn having a positive knock on effect for others.
In partnership with Lizi’s Granola’s I’m sharing a few tips to get you started with summer self care, especially if the idea of it leaves you feeling overwhelmed!
Check in with yourself
I believe that self care is extremely individual, what you need right now might be totally different to what someone else needs. That’s why my first tip is to just find 5 minutes to check in with yourself. I really like journaling as a tool that anchors everything in place. I have a notebook by my bed so I can take that time either before bed or when I wake up. Just asking yourself what you need to feel good – or asking yourself what isn’t working right now – can give you so much insight into what you can do for self care.
Then the trick is to keep it really simple – what’s one thing you can do for yourself? Maybe it’s going out for a walk on your own, having a nice quiet bath or making yourself a nourishing smoothie when all the fish and chips are leaving you feeling bloated!
Start your day off right
Don’t worry, I’m not going to suggest you get up at 5am! But whatever time you get up, starting the day off right can make a big difference whatever the season. For me, this includes trying to have some quiet time in the morning – often with a big bowl of my favourite Lizi’s Granola with berries and a cup of coffee in bed while James get’s Fin sorted downstairs. I love spending time with my little boy, but on the days when it’s just me and him, having that little bit of time to myself really helps me be more patient and present for the rest of the day!
I know the British summer is notoriously unpredictable but before the nights draw in, getting your fill of nature can have a real positive impact on your wellbeing. It’s even been shown in studies that there’s a scientifically significant increase in people’s health and happiness when more time is spent outside connecting with nature.
In an ideal world it would be brilliant if we could do it all year round, but if like me you’re more of a fair weather person, getting outside over the summer might be just what you need to recharge your batteries in advance of the colder, darker weather coming up.
If you’re doing more with the kids over summer, getting them outside too is just as good for their health and wellbeing. Find ‘sites of mutual appreciation’ – basically places where the kids enjoy themselves and you also get a self care boost at the same time. The beach ticks all those boxes for me! Remember, the kids can’t ‘bounce off the walls’ if there’s no walls!
Eat plenty of fresh foods
Summer is the time of berries and fresh raw salads and veggies. Before they go out of season why not experiment with smoothies and salads? Many kids enjoy making these things too – smoothies made really thick like ice cream are perfect eaten out of the bowl, topped with some Lizi’s Granola of course!
To keep this simple I just try and make sure I pick up a couple of punnets of berries that are on offer and some veggies such as cucumber, lettuce and peppers and then work them into meals each week.
Berries are packed with antioxidants and are low sugar so really are the perfect healthy summer food!
Be more aware of all the good things you’re doing
Something I find with a lot of the women I work with is that they don’t recognise the things they are doing to take care of themselves and constantly feel like they’re failing or not doing enough. Our brains are really good at focusing on the negative and ‘not enoughness’. A little thing that helps me is keeping a list of positive aspects – basically a list of the positive things you are doing.
It might just be acknowledging that you got outside to the park today, that you choose a salad instead of a pasty for lunch and that you got to bed at a reasonable hour. All of these things ‘count’ but so often we dismiss them or even forget about them as little signs that we are doing something proactive to look after ourselves. Try it yourself – just make a list on paper or even in your head at the end of the day or week and see what little wins you can celebrate.
I hope these tips have been helpful! I’d love to know what self care looks like for you over the summer. If it’s something you struggle with hopefully these tips will give you a few ideas of where to start!
*Post in partnership with Lizi’s Granola’s
Laura Agar Wilson is a wellbeing coach and business mentor who helps overwhelmed women live a life of more intention via planning, routines and seasonal living.
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