People love to talk about how vital it is to take care of yourself. In school, you’re taught that self-care is a crucial part of your mental health. At work, you find that it’s a necessary component of maintaining motivation and focus.
But when summer comes around, and you have time off? It seems like there’s no better time to let your self-care routines fall by the wayside and just have fun! And at first glance, that doesn’t seem like such a bad thing—who can blame you for wanting to relax?
But, here’s the thing: sometimes, even when we’re having fun on vacation or during our summer break from other responsibilities, we’re not actually relaxing. We’re just distracting ourselves from our stressors. But if we don’t give ourselves the opportunity to actually decompress from what we’ve been through in the past months? We might end up taking our stress with us into the next season.
So this summer, think about what you really need to do to feel relaxed and rejuvenated.
This summer, don’t let your self-care needs go by the wayside! We’re here to help you make self-care a priority with these 5 great tips:
1. Be honest about what your needs are and what you need to do to get them met.
Sometimes we try to fool ourselves into thinking that if we just work a little harder, we’ll be able to squeeze in some extra time for self-care before we go on vacation. But that’s not always realistic. Get real about what your needs are and how much time you’ll need to meet them each day—then give yourself permission to take that amount of time without guilt or shame!
2. Practice saying “no” as soon as you feel pressure coming on. This is especially important during the summer months when everyone seems to have some sort of event. Focusing on your self-care is a crucial part of everyone’s health and well-being, and it’s particularly important to make sure you’re taking care of yourself when you’re enjoying the beautiful summer weather or spending time on vacation.
3. Spend time outside! Even if you just take a walk around the block, getting fresh air and Vitamin D are both great for your physical and mental well-being.
4. Make sure you’re drinking enough water. A great rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces each day (for example, if you weigh 160 pounds, drink at least 80 ounces of water).
5. Try something new! If you’ve always wanted to try rock climbing or surfing, now is a great time to do it! Fun activities help keep you focused on the present moment and can do wonders for your mental well-being.
it’s okay to take a break now and then.
A bonus tip to remember is that it’s okay to take a break now and then. You don’t have to see every single sight or experience every single thing on your trip; as long as you are able to see/experience most of them, you’re doing great! Take a moment to just breathe in the fresh air, kick back under an umbrella at the beach, or sit down for a cup of coffee with no distractions. Even if it’s only for five minutes—your brain will thank you.
This variety in approaches is great—however, it just goes to show that there’s no “right” way to do self-care. The important thing is that you’re doing what works for YOU.
In fact, that’s true whether you’re on vacation or not! We tend to think about self-care as something we only need when we’re stressed out by our jobs or everyday lives. But if it can be helpful when things are tough, it can also be helpful when you’re happy and relaxed.
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