Is there a better time than summer to attend to your self-care? Between long sunny days, warmer weather, much-needed vacations, socializing at barbecues, or just kicking back and relaxing there are plenty of opportunities to shake up your routine and enjoy everything that this time of year has to offer.
For some, however, there are challenges. Going on a vacation with children can be stressful. And, if you’re in recovery, many summertime activities do involve alcohol.
To make sure that you get the most out of the summer, while also taking care of yourself, here are 10 summer activities to add to your self-care checklist.
1. Soak up the sun.
Enjoy this weather while you can!
Whether that’s spending a day at the beach, having a picnic, hiking, or just reading a book in a lawn chair, get outside at much as possible. Numerous studies show that spending time in nature reduces anxiety, stress, and depression. Being outside also makes us happier -- even if it’s just for 20-minutes a day.
Remember, if you do spend a fair amount in the sun to put on some sunscreen.
2. Go for a stroll.
Not only is walking good for you physically, it can also do wonders for your mental wellbeing. Walking has been found to reduce stress, anxiety, fatique. It’s also a great way to clear your head. And, it can also improve your self-perception and self-esteem.
Walking also gives you an opportunity to spend quality time with a friend, family member, or neighbor. For example, going for a family walk after dinner.
New and diverse experiences are linked to happiness. And, the summer is arguably the best time to get out and explore. Some suggestions would be attending a local farmer’s market, attending a community event, like a concert or festival. You could visit a part of your area that you're not familiar with.
The best way to explore? Plan a getaway. Taking a vacation has been proven to boost happiness, decrease burnout, and strengthen relationships. It’s also beneficial to your mental and physical health.
4. Pick up a new hobby.
In particular, anything that gets you outside. We recommend trying out your green thumb. Researchers have found that surrounding yourself with plants reduces stress, symptoms of depression, stronger memory retention, fewer symptoms of PTSD, and higher productivity.
If you have the availability, volunteer your time. It’s one of the best things to do for your mind and body. And, giving back to the community is recommended for anyone in recovery as this shifts their focus outward and encourages you to think of others.
We suggest visiting Volunteer Deleware to find volunteer opportunities.
6. Join a recreational league or yoga group.
Any type of physical activity is a natural energy and mood booster. And, you might meet some new friends along the way. See if there is a softball, soccer, basketball, or pickleball league you could join. You may also want to sign-up for a 5K.
Or, for a more relaxing activity, why not do yoga on the beach?
7. Attend a support group.
This isn't applicable to everyone. But, if you're in recovery, keep up with the meetings. As with joining a recreational league, you could meet new friends and have a fun and sober summer together.
8. Meet face-to-face.
Socializing and connecting with others can improve your physical and mental health. This is especially true for socially active adolescents. If you haven’t done so yet, plan to meet up with friends and family. You could go visit them or invite them over for a backyard barbecue. Whatever you chose to do, just do it in person.
9. Tidy up.
Some days are too hot to get outside. Or, there’s the occasional thunderstorm. When the weather is crummy, make the most of it by cleaning and organizing your home or workspace.
There's no need to overdo it though. Start small, like with a bedroom closet or your work desk. This isn’t always exciting. But, it can help make you feel calmer.
If you want to unplug and unwind, don't feel pressured to do otherwise. Whether if that's lounging around the house, reading a book on a park bench, or treating yourself to a spa or massage day (even if it’s at home) sometimes you just need to slow down and recharge the batteries.