Summer is the time of expansive energy and a celebration of life. With the longer days and solar energy upon us, we feel a collective push to get outside and get active. This can be hard on those of us who are introverted, or limited in our ability to do so. But the energy is still there, pulsing all around us, and you can align your spirit to this summer flow by making seasonal self-care a part of your daily routine.
What is Seasonal Self-Care?
Seasonal self-care is simply the practice of aligning your energy to the ebb and flow of the solar cycle and its seasonal effects. In the summertime, the earth is fully alive with the growth of flora and fauna all around us. .The days of summer bring feelings of abundance, creativity, action, growth and self-healing.
The seasonal energy of summer is fiery and passionate. The light force of the Sun’s energy pulls at us. Find ways to respect, embrace and use this energy for a fresh start. By aligning with the seasonal cycles we are tapping deep into the wisdom of living in harmony with Mother Earth. This is the time for releasing old patterns and behaviors and focusing on the abundance of life. Express gratitude for the little things that light up your life.
Self-Care Inspiration for Summer
- Start your morning with intent. Set the tone for your day by making an intentional morning routine that feeds your soul. This could mean waking up a half hour earlier than the rest of the house, or adjusting your regular habits to include time for getting grounded and centered. Avoid checking your phone or email – those set the tone for your day rather than you being in control of it.
- Hydrate with fruit-infused water. Take advantage of the full bounty of summer fruits by infusing your water with lemon, strawberry, watermelon, etc.
- Pamper your skin. This includes wearing a sunscreen every day and making sure to put on a moisturizing lotion at night. You can even make your own (link to DIY)
- Break up with your phone. You know the device – it beckons to you like a bad friend always coming up with the wrong ideas. Unhook yourself from its grip by setting firm limits on the amount of time you spend with technology. If you take your phone to bed with you, stop. Leave it on the other side of the room. If you take it into the bathroom every time – for the love of all that’s clean, WHY?!?! Put it down.
- Set up a cozy outdoor spot. Are you blessed with a place to spend time outside everyday? Even if it’s just a small balcony or front step, grab a few comfort items and make it an inviting place to hang out. Get creative if your chair/cushion/blanket/etc. can’t live outside this summer and keep it in a basket by the door. Just be sure to dedicate some time outside.
- Have a picnic (or two, or ten). It doesn’t have to be elaborate or out of the way, just pack up some healthy foods a find a shady spot. There is something so relaxing about enjoying your meal outdoors, with no agenda or distractions. Be in the moment. This can be done on your own or with the ones you live with.
- Stroll through the Farmer’s Market. Does your town or city host a weekly Farmer’s Market? Have you been to it recently? This is such a wonderful way to get connected to your community, meet your local growers, and enjoy the bounty of the season. Be sure to practice social distancing and wear a mask (even though the risk is low in outdoor settings, safety first!),
- Lighten your load. Summer is the time to free yourself from all of those things that are weighing you down. Is it clutter in your space? Donate or toss it. Is it too many commitments to other people’s agendas? Set boundaries and say no. Is it feeling heavy in an unhealthy body? Make the change needed to support optimal health, whether that means lightening up your diet (ditch the fast food and processed crap), moving more throughout the day, or doing a full detox.
- Play more. Remember playing in the summer? Reach back into your childhood and meditate on what brought you joy. For me it was climbing trees, riding my bike, walking on stilts, pretending I was Harriet the Spy with a journal and spying glass, and spending as much time swimming as humanly possible. This summer I joined my local Parks and Rec with an unlimited pool pass to recapture the joy of swimming. How can you bring your inner child back?
- Read for the pleasure of it. We spend so much time reading the things that don’t feed our spirit – emails, text messages, horrific headlines, memes, gifs, and advertisements – it’s time to find something that will actually fill your heart, body, and soul. If your local library has re-opened I recommend taking the time to visit. Enjoy the AC and stroll the aisles of books. Find one that sparks your interest and will give you a respite from this world.