If you wait around for someone else to pamper you, you might be checking the clock for quite some time. Why not make this one the summer of self-care?
Please don’t worry — you don’t have to drop a bundle on a day spa to indulge yourself. Self-care begins with elevating your daily habits and evaluating your overall lifestyle for factors that no longer work for you, not spending tons of cash. Here are six tips for how to take better care of yourself this summer.
1. Upgrade Your Workstation
Are you returning to the office, or will you be making your work-from-home (WFH) situation permanent? You might relish the return to water cooler gossip. Alternatively, you might fall into the 30% who would rather quit than go back to bras, ties and pants with belts.
Regardless of whether or not you fall into the telecommute-or-bust crowd, why not use this transition as an opportunity to upgrade your workstation? If you stick with a standard chair, please ensure your feet comfortably reach the floor to sit flat with your lumbar spine supported. You can also explore alternatives, such as variable-height desks or inflatable fitness balls.
2. Go on Vacation
You might fall into the 33% of American workers who receive zero paid leave. If so, getting away this summer might require a bit of creativity. Can you work one Saturday and take a long weekend the next if you can’t afford to lose hours, either?
Even if you get vacation time, you might not use all of it if you are like many Americans. However, be careful if your excuse is, “I’ll create more work when I return.” Multiple studies show that taking time away from the grind increases productivity — denying yourself needed breaks means each task takes longer as you push through burnout.
3. Break Out of Your Exercise Rut
Summer is the ideal time to find a new exercise passion. Let’s face it — training for a triathlon in three feet of snow is a bit problematic. Now’s the time to see how far you can increase your biking or running miles.
If you are anxious to return to the gym after quarantine closures, why not check out a creative new fitness class? You’ll work your balance in all-new ways with paddleboard yoga. Feeling seductive? Try a pole-dancing class for full-body fitness that engages your flirtatious side.
What if you discovered you prefer solo fitness pursuits during the lockdowns? If so, why not investigate a new fitness app? Some feature workouts as short as five minutes, letting you squeeze in healthy stress relief on your work breaks.
4. Embrace the Fruits of the Season
Summertime means loading up on your antioxidants and phytonutrients. Your produce starts to lose its vitamins and minerals just three short days after harvest. However, this time of year, you can find radishes plucked from the earth yesterday at your local farmer’s market.
If you didn’t get into the gardening craze this past year, why not learn how to save the seeds from the produce you buy? You’ll be able to start your seedlings next winter and save a fortune at the nursery. If you don’t have a yard, plants such as beans and tomatoes grow well in containers.
Get creative. Learn how to transform fruit into delicious smoothies that your entire family will adore as an alternative to sugary milkshakes. Add new varieties of vegetables, such as jicama and broccolini, to summer salads.
Having a barbecue? Why not heed these tips to make it healthier?
- Avoid processed snack foods: Snacks such as potato and corn chips are laden with inflammation-causing vegetable oils and salt, which spikes your blood pressure. Instead, opt for healthy finger foods, like ants on a log, that require minimal preparation.
- Grill some lean meats: Lean meats, such as poultry and fish, taste wonderful on the grill and provide a valuable source of protein. Seafood also lends omega-3 fatty acids, crucial for neurological health.
- Explore vegetarian options: Many vegetarian dishes are lower in calories and higher in nutrients than meat-based meals. Plus, delights like cauliflower steak taste heavenly on the barbie.
5. Soak in the Sun
You want to remember your sunscreen, especially in the bright summer sun. Still, it’s okay to go without it for a few minutes to let your body produce some natural vitamin D. Many people can get what they need in as few as ten minutes.
Going outside more also improves your overall mood. Even gazing at pictures of nature reduces workplace stress and increases productivity. Why not take your laptop outside on the patio to complete that budget report?
6. Say Yes to Siestas
The Mexican people know a thing or two about surviving long, hot days. As daylight hours grow long, why not embrace a siesta?
Not surprisingly, napping increases relaxation and reduces fatigue. It can also serve as a necessary midday break on those days when the sun rises before 5 a.m. and doesn’t set until well after nine. For best results, keep your siesta to 10 to 20 minutes, and don’t lie down after 3 p.m., lest you toss and turn until the wee hours.
Take Better Care of Yourself This Summer With These Tips
Why not make this summer the season of self-care? Take better care of yourself with the six above tips.