Summer Pick Me Up
With summer in full swing, life can feel more hectic than ever. The kids are home, the summer sun is beaming, and there’s always something to do or someplace to go. Instead of living the full hot-girl summer fantasy, you’re feeling overwhelmed and drained. And while yes, a massage or getaway to wine country would be the perfect way to recoup, it’s a little too pricey for this season of life. Well, Beauty, we’ve got great news for you!
Self-care doesn’t have to cost a mint, in fact, oftentimes the best self-care is completely free. Taking care of yourself emotionally, physically, and spiritually isn’t about the price tag, it’s about taking the time to listen to your body and treating it with respect. We have ten cost-free activities to help you take care of yourself this summer and all year rebound.
10 Free Ideas to Practice Self-Care
- Go for a walk. Movement is medicine. Getting outside and taking a walk is not only good for your physical health, but it’s also great for your mental wellbeing. Being active outdoors helps reduces cortisol levels, which in turn lowers your stress levels. Psychologists have even found that a ten-minute walk can be as good at relieving anxiety as a 45-minute workout Talk about being effective!
- Drink water. Being thirsty is never a good thing, but staying hydrated is crucial for our overall health. Coffee and wine can be more appealing but by prioritizing your water intake, you’re putting your self-care first. It doesn’t matter how many facials you have if you aren’t staying hydrated. By drinking your recommended amount of water a day (approximately half of your weight (in pounds) in ounces) you’re protecting your skin from potential skin disorders and premature wrinkling.
- Go to sleep. The struggle to get a solid night’s sleep with young children is real. Sometimes it feels like the only way to have time alone is by staying up late and guzzling coffee when the morning calls. However, getting a good night’s rest is more than just good dreams. Physically speaking, sleep can help with healthier skin and even weight loss. More importantly, though, receiving seven to nine hours of sleep greatly impacts your mood. Sufficient sleep aids the brain’s processing of emotional information. According to the National Sleep Foundation, when you sleep, the brain works to evaluate thoughts and memories. A lack of sleep makes it difficult to process emotion and can influence mood and even mental health disorders. So put the remote down and close those eyes, Beauty!
- Say no. All the people pleasers raise their hands! For many people–especially women who have been conditioned to be nice and always put others before themselves–saying no can invoke feelings of anxiety and dread. Although saying no can be intimidating and uncomfortable, it is imperative to break free of unhealthy patterns and create a life with healthy boundaries. If saying no is difficult for you, start by asking for time to think about something before answering. “That sounds great, but I’m going to need a day before I can give you an answer,” this is a wonderful way of allowing yourself to have time to avoid saying yes out of habit. By saying no to things you don’t want, you will build confidence in your decision-making abilities and have time for the things that truly bring you joy.
- Call a friend. Healthy friendships can have a major impact on your mental health. As humans, having connections with others and relating to them on deep levels is necessary to living a full, happy life. Strong friendships have real health benefits like a decreased risk of depression and high blood pressure. By carving out time to call your friends, you’re nurturing your relationships and preventing loneliness from creeping into your life.
- Try a new hobby. As adults, we can get so swept away by the minute, busy aspects of life that we forget to indulge in other areas. It’s important to explore and take part in activities that add joy to our life. Finding a hobby you love can reduce stress, introduce you to new people, improve sleep, and even improve work performance. New hobbies will push you out of your comfort zone and increase your confidence each time you conquer a new challenge or experience.
- Make a list of positive affirmations. We know this might sound a little woo-woo to some people, but the truth is that by making affirmations a regular part of your daily routine, you create lasting, long-term changes to the ways you think and feel. This isn’t toxic positivity where you aren’t allowed to feel your feelings–cry if you need to–but through self-affirmation, we can set the narrative about ourselves and view ourselves in a positive light. If you need affirmations to get started, check out our list of spring manifestations!
- Read a book. Whether you love to drift away to far-off lands or focus on self-improvement, reading is a wonderful way to treat yourself. When you read every day, you’re keeping your brain active and helping it retain its power and capacity. Reading helps improve memory, develops strong analytical skills, and improves your mood. Join your local library for endless books and reach out to your librarian for book recommendations to keep you entertained year-round!
- Social media detox. While in the throes of a global pandemic, we leaned on social media more than ever to feel connected with others. However, spending time on social media can have the opposite of the desired effect. By constantly scrolling–or doom scrolling if we’re being honest with ourselves–we’re missing out on the life in front of us. It’s hard to create meaningful connections in our everyday life when we’re only focused on our phones. Delete social media and leave FOMO in the past by focusing on the relationships right in front of you.
- Meditate. Even though the benefits of meditation are growing more popular and becoming more mainstream, this practice has been in existence for thousands of years. Meditation is the habitual process of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts. Through creating your meditation practice, you are making it a priority to reduce stress, control anxiety, and enhance self-awareness. Meditation is a powerful tool accessible to all to improve mental and emotional health. Find free guided meditations on Youtube to get started!
As you can see, self-care isn’t always all glitz and glam. The true meaning of self-care is taking care of your emotional and physical well-being. You can’t pour from an empty cup and to serve others, you must first serve yourself. By carving out the time to have a good night’s rest or ten minutes for meditation, you can change the way you view your days and treat those around you. Make yourself a priority this summer by using this list to take care of yourself and be the most Iconic version of yourself possible.