In my last blog, I focused on managing the kids over the summer - setting up activities and opportunities for improvement over the summer break, as well as keeping them occupied and away from boredom and acting out. While this benefits adults too, I wanted to focus a little more on how adults can use summertime for personal self care and growth.
Summer brings warmer weather, boundless vitamin D, longer days, and higher moods. But sometimes, it slips by. We keep working, keep stressing, keep caring about everyone except ourselves. Here are some ways we can keep ourselves in mind, and use summer for mental and physical health improvement:
Set some device-free days. Or, at-least, hours. Put away the phone, ignore the emails, disconnect and be in the moment. Do this regularly (e.g every week) and warn others about it so they know why you can’t be reached. Challenge them to try it as well!
Learn a new skill/adopt a new hobby. This can be a sport, craft, technique, like meditation or yoga or painting!
Get together! Check for local sports teams, meetups, and events. Try something new or hone an old skill, but try doing it with likeminded peers through various meetup options. In fact, there is an app called Meetup intended for just this! Also check your local rec center and Facebook groups!
Weave mindfulness into your days. Summer is a good time to do some yoga at the park or to sit outside and meditate with the sounds of nature. There are so many books and apps that can guide you. Apps like Headspace and Calm offer some guided meditations and YouTube is a goldmine for various mindfulness and meditation guidance and ideas.
Journal! It’s a great time to start the habit of journaling. Try nightly journaling about your day, list positives that occurred, or try writing poetry! Anything goes! You can jot some stuff in a phone app or you can put some actual ink to paper! Invest in a journal or an app that makes you feel motivated and comfortable to write. Prompt journals work well too!
Summer is a great time to improve on old skills and create new skills and habits, using the sunshine and vitamin D as a boost. These habits can follow you into the darker, gloomier fall and winter months if they’re set in place now!