Summer Self-Care for an Active Lifestyle
Looking at our past, we might find a long list of less-than-awesome events. Lockdowns, quarantines, work from home, back to work, a too-long and too-cold winter—it's no secret many of us look forward to summer. Whether it's suffering from lack of sunshine or SAD or personal problems that have piled up, many of us long to spend some time outside in nice weather and bright sunshine.
Things can get out of hand when going through hard or stressful times and changes. We forget to take care of ourselves occasionally. There's no shame there. We all slip up. We take unexpected long breaks from workout routines, or perhaps we get so busy we forget to self-care. There is always the chance to try again, so why not kickstart your self-care and active lifestyle this summer?
You might be wondering how or perhaps feel overwhelmed right now. Take some deep breaths with us, and we'll share our favorite tips and advice!
Summer Self Care
Give yourself a Break
Not just work breaks around the office or home to grab a coffee and stretch. Permit yourself to take a break from everything. You may be tempted to try and fill the summer with activities, and vacation plans, make the most out of any outdoor activities, and rush around to create the 'perfect' summer moment. Let us remind you to slow down. Rushing to do everything or making a massive list of things to do to take care of yourself or start an active lifestyle can quickly become overwhelming or a pathway to over-exert your mind and body. Allow yourself quiet time with your favorite books and movies, bake cookies, try a new or go back to an old hobby, and watch the sunrise or sunset. Calming moments where you find comfort can help ease whatever the last and the coming fall and winter will bring.
Slowly Transition to Healthier Foods
You don't have to feel guilty or cut out your favorite foods. Eating shouldn't be about shame. But if you slowly add healthier ingredients, order healthier or lighter options from your favorite restaurants, or add more fresh fruits and vegetables. You're satisfying your hunger and feeding your body and mind need more essential nutrients and vitamins to function.
Why is good nutrition self-care? Because adding better nutrition to your meals has been shown to have a massive positive effect on stress, mood, digestion, and overall health. You are worthy of being cared for inside and out!
Okay, we hear you—this might not be everyone's cup of tea but hear us out. Too much clutter or mess can have a detrimental effect on our physical and mental health. How does clutter affect us?
• The more clutter, the harder it is to dust and vacuum, possibly triggering allergies.
• Slips and falls are more likely to occur with items underfoot.
• A scientific study found that women who perceived their homes as too cluttered had heightened cortisol levels, a stress hormone associated with chronic stress.
• If you have ADHD, focusing in a cluttered space is intensely more challenging.
• You may be embarrassed and less likely to invite guests, increasing the feeling of isolation.
• Memory issues can often result from sensory overload, which a messy space can trigger.
Does that mean you should rush out to buy all the cleaning supplies and begin scrubbing every room and every object? Trying to do everything all at once can be a recipe for failure! Remember to be kind and start small! Pick one surface near you if you're exhausted, and start by clearing it. Do this once a day. If you can afford it, hire a house cleaner! They've seen worse, trust us, and they're more often than not happy to help.
Your Summer Journey to a More Active Lifestyle
The First Steps to an Active Lifestyle
If you are beginning your journey toward an active lifestyle, the best and first step is to take a moment and figure out exactly what an active lifestyle means to you. For some people, staying active means heading to the gym for hours every day of the week. For others, it's running, yoga, pilates, walking, or hiking. Take into consideration your range of mobility, and always start small. Even excellent routines can start you toward a more active lifestyle from a chair. What is important is that you do your best to hit the doctor-recommended 30 minutes of physical activity daily.
Once you've visualized and decided where to start, make a list of why you want to begin your journey. Some of our favorites are:
• Mood improvement
• Better brain function
• Lower risk of heart disease or stroke
• Lower risk of type 2 diabetes
• Lower risk of certain cancers
• Longer life
• Stronger bones and muscles
• Improved sleep
• Improved energy
• Improve range of motion and flexibility
• Speed up injury recovery or recovery after surgery
Keep it simple; keep it small.
As we covered in self-care, don't overcomplicate anything. Start small by setting easy-to-reach, attainable goals. There's a real chance that life and circumstances will crop up, making it impossible to always follow a new routine every day, no matter what. That's the eventual goal, but trying to do so at first could result in overexertion and burnout. Research indicates that it takes three weeks or more to form a habit for most people, so start small. Think five minutes a day or every other day if your muscles need rest. It's easier to maintain a winning streak with five minutes a day and more manageable to motivate yourself to stick to it while gradually increasing the time.
Celebrate Every Little Win
Motivating yourself can be an immense struggle for many of us, but don't skimp on rewarding yourself and celebrating every little win—no goal is too small to be proud of. When motivation dwindles, please don't wait for it to come back. Try and do what you aren't motivated to do in the first place. It seems counterproductive, but the key is to commit to the action rather than waiting for motivation to hit.
Reward yourself for every step forward and give credit for any positive things you've accomplished. You deserve it!
This summer, lay down the foundations of better self-care and an active lifestyle because the best thing in life is happiness, and you're worthy of it!"