Regardless of if your summer is stress-free and full of spare time or it is hectic with work and summer classes, I whole-heartedly believe that self-care is a year round practice whether you are feeling over the moon or down in the dumps. Due to the warmer weather and wanting to spend more time outside, my summer self-care tips change quite significantly from winter to summer. In the winter, I am all about staying warm and creating a very hygge atmosphere with loads of candles and baths, but in summer all I want to do is get outside and explore! Self-care doesn’t have to be difficult, time consuming or expensive; it is all about finding out what makes you utterly and completely happy and calm in the moment. I try to spend each day practicing at least one form of self-care. Here are some top tips on how I practice self-care during the summer.
Do yoga… outside!
To me, there is no better feeling than doing a shavasana at the end of an energizing practice with a warm breeze grazing your skin. I find it much easier to be present when doing yoga outside because I have no phone data or wifi or other distractions I might find in my apartment. I especially love doing yoga outside on the days where the birds are chirping, there is a slight breeze and the flowers are in bloom. Sounds like a little slice of heaven, doesn’t it? Don’t be afraid to try practicing in a public area either; it may seem intimidating but it is actually a huge confidence boost. Just own your practice, ignore those around you and just zone in. Some of my favourite places to practice in Halifax are the Commons or Point Pleasant Park. If you are wanting to try this but haven’t done much free flow yoga, I recommending finding a yoga sequence on Pinterest and printing it off to bring with you. I highly recommend either leaving your phone at home or turning it off completely. Using a video to follow along with while practicing outside ruins the atmosphere and will take you out of the moment. Trust me on this one!
Cooking with fresh, local produce.
I come from the agricultural district of Nova Scotia, so I was raised on fresh fruits and veggies all summer long. One of the blessings of living in a small province is that this fresh, local produce is all grown less than an hour outside of Halifax, so it is very easy to get Valley produce in the city.
I try my best to get down to the Halifax Seaport market every Saturday morning to pick up any produce that I will want to cook with that coming week. I love to cook with local foods because I know I am supporting local sustainable businesses who grow their food in a sustainable environment, but I am also putting the most nourishing, clean, authentic food into my body as possible. Not only does it make my body feel great, but my mind feels great knowing exactly where I got my food.
Make your bed and tidy your space every day.
This is definitely something that can feel tedious to do in the morning when you are rushing out the door, but trust me, it will make you feel like you have already accomplished something that day! Not only that, but making the bed and tidying up the space in your bedroom brings the whole area together. When my room is clean, I feel like I have more room to breathe and truly enjoy my space. If you find making your bed difficult in the morning, try just pulling the sheets up. It doesn’t have to be made in a military style with crisp edges. Find what works for you and go with it! I also like to spray my pillows with Bath and Body Works Eucalyptus and Spearmint pillow mist and light a candle to get my entire space smelling fresh and clean.
Walking – anywhere you can.
I love to get outside and just walk. In the valley there are so many trails and backgrounds to walk my dog and be with nature which truly calms my mind and soul. When I am in the city (which is most of the time nowadays), I love walk by the waterfront on a sunny day, or explore new areas to walk that I have never been before. Just recently, my boyfriend and I decided to check out Africville, which is an area of Halifax that is both haunting and beautiful (if you don’t know the history of Africville, look it up). It was a gorgeous walk surrounded by great oaks and lilac bushes just meters away from the Bedford basin. Not only is walking a lovely form of movement and exercise, but it gives you the chance to just be with your thoughts. If I do walk with someone else, I prefer it to be someone that I am able to be open to with my thoughts, so our conversations are meaningful, eye-opening or healing in some way. This way, I am able to get the most out of my surroundings and time spent outdoors.
Listen to music that makes you feel good.
This is the easiest tip I can give because you literally don’t have to move at all and can still feel awesome when you listen to music that makes you feel at peace. I mean, of course I recommend having a little dance party where ever you are but I also like to just turn on music and lay on my bed and just listen. Listen to the words, listen to the beat, just listen. Chose music that you LOVE; it doesn’t matter if you chose the most ‘embarrassing’ song that everyone can hear as long as it makes you happy. Half the time I am blasting Disney music around my apartment! If I am feeling really happy, I don’t hide my singing regardless of where I am. Who cares if you are in the grocery store humming your favourite song? Some of the songs that are making me feel happy and peaceful right now are: Malibu by Miley Cyrus, Road Less Travelled by Lauren Alaina, Despacito by Luis Fonsi and Somethin’ I’m Good At by Brett Eldredge.