When it comes to summer self-care, I think most of us have a very particular idea of what that looks like. Probably you’re imagining lots of lounging around, drinking something cool and sweet with a good book in your hands. Or maybe you’re reclining under an umbrella at the beach or the pool. Or just napping.
Basically, the idea of self-care during the summer tends to revolve around lying down and keeping cool.
I can dig that.
I also think we can make it even simpler than that and more supportive for your overall summer wellness.
First, let’s talk about the overall energy of summer.
From an Ayurvedic perspective, summer is pitta season. Pitta is composed of fire and water, 2 elements that don’t always play nicely together. So this is a season of heat and flow, with the potential for combustion, conflict, high pressure, and high intensity.
Basically during the summer, there’s a lot of opportunity to do all the things. To play, to explore, to adventure, to connect — to do whatever you feel like you can’t do during the rest of the year. There’s nothing wrong with that necessarily.
The bigger issue is that in addition to trying to do all of these amazing things, you also often ditch the consistent daily routines, habits, and schedules that help you stay on track during the other times of the year.
You might go to bed later so you can make the most of the daylight.
Or you might stop going to your favorite weekly yoga class because it doesn’t allow you the freedom to do something spontaneous during your regularly scheduled class time.
You might shut off your alarm because who needs to wake up at the same time every day? It’s summer vacation. (Ok, this one might only apply if you don’t work outside of the home, but this also happens often when you go on vacation so I think it works).
The point is that amidst this season of extra-everything and high intensity, you also might have the tendency to lose the routines and rhythms that give you an anchor.
And that can be a problem.
So my best self-care advice for summer is this:
Don’t give up all of your routines.
Be consistent with at least 1 thing.
And make sure that that one thing you are consistent with is a practice that helps you take better care of yourself.
It actually doesn’t matter what that one thing is. And it doesn’t matter when it is, either. This practice can be something you do every day or once every week, depending on what it is and what it offers you.
What matters is mostly that it’s simple, small, easy to do, and gives you a feeling of being more deeply nourished and a little more grounded.
The truth is, it’s actually easy to forget your self care over the summer because you get so busy doing all the things and having all of the adventures. When you’re trying to cram an entire years worth of exciting activities into 3 months, you’re going to come up short. And where you come up short is with the ordinary things that keep your body running smoothly and happily.
Here are a few ideas:
Wake up at the same time everyday.
Move your body for 5 minutes before breakfast.
Take 10 minutes to read something, not on a screen, after lunch.
Go to your favorite yoga class every single week.
Make pancakes every Sunday.
Have a standing phone date once a week with your best friend.
Take a walk with your family every evening before bed.
You can even do really tiny things a few times a day. Like every hour, on the hour, pause to close your eyes and breath deeply 3 times.
Some of these suggestions might resonate with you. Others won’t at all.
Come up with your own. Just one simple self-care practice you can be consistent with all summer long to serve as an anchor for you so you don’t get totally burned out by the intensity of summer.
The whole idea is to create an internal practice that helps you reconnect to yourself and to your needs, during a season that tends to be externally driven 26 hours of the day.
This is an opportunity to give yourself a little more pause and presence during the busy summer season, instead of just blasting through at full speed.
Your adrenals will thank you.
So will your body, mind, and spirit.
What small, simple self-care practice will you give yourself consistently this summer?
Let me know in the comments below!