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The ultimate guide to summer self-care

With the sun warming your bones and long, lazy days offering ample opportunity for reflection, the summer holiday season is the perfect time to take stock of your self-care routine, and discover some new ways to glow from within.

Whether you’re relaxing on a faraway beach, or escaping a stuffy office with a well-deserved lunchtime popsicle in the park, we’ve got everything you need to refresh your self-care habits and recharge your energy levels at home or abroad.

How self-care can help maintain energy during the summer

A seasonal slump doesn’t just happen in winter –the heat and humidity of summer can also leave many people feeling tired and sluggish.

When everyone else is on leave, the kids are off school and needing entertained, or you’re rushing to finish everything on your to-do list before you head off on holiday, no wonder your energy levels start to sink. At the same time, summer socialising can lead to over-indulgence, and perhaps feeling a little too relaxed.

To feel at our best, self-care should be a priority year-round, but let’s be realistic. Life gets in the way. We don’t all have the time or bank balance to jet off on restorative yoga retreats whenever we feel like it.

While the summer months can be full of lovely distractions, this is an optimal time to elevate your self-care routine. The relaxed summer vibe means we have more breathing space to recharge our batteries and put in place some good healthy habits ahead of the cold winter months. Whether we’re taking a break from studies or a week or two off work, it’s a chance to take stock and look ahead to what’s next.

And the good news is that summer self-care doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive. Here are some amazing, simple ways to keep energy levels topped up during the summer, and ride out that seasonal productivity dip.

Move more, sit less

Staying active during the summer months can be a great way to help get the blood flowing, stimulate feel-good endorphins, and keep your energy levels topped up. If gyms aren’t your thing, take advantage of the good weather and take your exercise outdoors. A simple jog in the park, some meditative yoga, or a leisurely 30-minute walk with a friend will do wonders for your sense of well-being. Anything that disrupts the increasingly sedentary nature of modern life can be a brilliant way to maintain your energy.

Going on holiday? You’ve got the perfect opportunity to fit in a bit more activity than normal, explore your new surroundings and try out some new activities.

Eat fresh, seasonal food

Nothing says ‘self-care’ more than nurturing your body with the nutrient-dense fuel it needs to perform and feel at its best. Seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables, iron-rich whole foods, and locally-sourced produce can all help keep your energy levels topped up.

In the heat of summer, we sometimes find ourselves turning to fresh salads and lighter foods, rather than the comforting warmth of heavier winter meals. Listen to your body and enjoy these healthy cravings.

Be sunshine-aware

Whether you’re home or abroad, topping up your vitamin D with a little time in the sun can be a great way to help you feel energised.  But be mindful of how long you are in direct sunlight –while basking in the sun can feel luxurious in the moment, it often leaves us feeling lethargic and dehydrated later on. Keep feeling energised with plenty of water and regular spells in the shade and protect your skin with high-quality sunblock.

Get plenty of rest

Summer socialising with friends is a wonderful way to practice self-care. Feeling a sense of connection and relaxation helps recharge the batteries. But be sure to make time for yourself too, to calm the mind and body and take a moment to reset. Similarly, while adventures abroad can leave you feeling energised, the ensuing jet-lag is somewhat less invigorating! Keep your energy levels topped up by avoiding heavy meals and alcohol while travelling, and try to stick to your usual bedtime routine as much as possible while your circadian rhythm catches up. 

Show yourself compassion

Remember, self-care is about finding out what works for you and showing yourself compassion. It’s about setting boundaries, supporting your sense of well-being and making life a little bit easier –not another thing to put on your to-do list! But whether you’re enjoying a staycation or an adventure abroad, taking a few moments now and then to check in with your energy levels and spot any opportunities to care for your well-being is a sure-fire way to maintain your energy levels this summer. Enjoy!