By: Dominique Duba, RN
Trips to the beach, ice cream on weeknights, family dinners on the porch — these are hallmark summer staples adults and children look forward to. But while summer evokes fun, the busyness can cause stress. Making sure your kids are getting the full summer experience while also maintaining your own to-do list can be exhausting. So, remember to prioritize self-care and follow these 5 tips for the best summer yet!
Get a Facial or Massage
Sometimes busy adults just need time for pampering. Moms and dads can benefit from a massage or facial to relax! Facials provide the obvious benefit of skin care, but studies show a facial massage can also be beneficial to your mental health by helping to relieve anxiety.
Sweet Nectar Shop is a local business that provides skincare, makeup application and other esthetic services. If you’re a teacher, nurse, mom, etc., make sure to check out its social media channels as it has special deals during teacher’s and nurse’s week.
When summer days feel like nonstop activities, sometimes sitting in silence without interruption is all you need, so try meditation! It’s a practice with a long history of benefits.
There are many ways to meditate, including yoga, guided meditation, and tai chi. One of my favorite ways to incorporate meditation is to use the Headspace app (or similar app!). This convenient app has morning, afternoon and evening mindfulness activities, as well as many categories to choose from.Meditation can have a very positive impact on emotional and physical well-being, so check out this ThinkHealth blog that gives some guidance on how to start a daily meditation practice!
Ask for Help
A good way to prioritize your mental health is asking for help. Ask your partner or kids to cover your share of the household duties for a few days. We want our kids to have fun and relax during their break but that doesn’t mean they can’t do an extra load of laundry or wash dishes when it isn’t their turn! Or, order pizza instead of spending hours in the kitchen.
Personally, when I’m feeling emotional or overwhelmed, I ask my husband to take our daughter for an afternoon so that I can have the house to myself to decompress. This helps me refocus on my mental health.
Schedule Physical and Mental Health Checks
Focus on your physical AND mental health. Do you have summer Fridays? Use that extra time to schedule an appointment with your primary care provider or a session with your therapist to check in with your mind and body.
There are many benefits to regular therapy sessions and doctor visits, such as finding health concerns before they become a larger issue. While dealing with my own grief, I found talking with a therapist to be so beneficial. It truly felt like I was taking care of myself.
Many insurance plans now cover mental health resources, so make your mental health a priority and review the options your insurance provides. Also, with the prevalence of tele-health, doctor visits are so much more accessible!
Try a new Exercise
Changing how you exercise can positively impact your physical and mental health! Getting into a rut when it comes to exercise can be easy. I get stuck doing the same thing: cardio, walking, some weight lifting, and so on.
Since I view physical exercise as a form of self-care, I like to change up the way I move my body. I will swim laps in a pool, go for a bike ride, or hike a trail. Especially in the summer — finding ways to exercise outside has dual benefits: you get the Vitamin D and fresh air while avoiding the same boring workout.
Prioritize your self-care this summer because we deserve to be happier and more fulfilled. Remember the saying “You can’t pour from an empty cup…” such a simple phrase with such a deeper meaning!