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What’s on your summer bucket list? Maybe you’re looking forward to a much-needed vacation once the coronavirus travel restrictions are lifted. Many of us can’t wait to spend time in the sun, out by the pool with friends and family. Others plan on using the warm, long days to tackle home renovation projects that have been sitting on their to-do list.
No matter what your perfect season looks like, there’s one thing you should always make time for: self-care. The COVID-19 pandemic makes tending to our mental health just as important as our physical well-being. If you need some inspiration on how you can make yourself a priority in the upcoming months, here are three ideas to get you started.
1. Take Sleep Seriously
If sleep sounds more like an elusive, five-letter word than a top daily priority, then use this season to revisit your sleep schedule. When you’re asleep at night, your body uses the resting hours to restore itself, generating new cells and repairing the damaged ones. Beyond that, though, it prepares you to take on the day ahead with energy, clarity, and emotional resilience.
Lack of sleep makes you feel lousy, more susceptible to stress, and less focused—not to mention the long list of consequences on your physical health and appearance. If you’re not getting the recommended eight hours of rest, you might be amazed by how much better you’ll feel with more sleep beneath your belt.
There are plenty of reasons that might explain why you’re staying up at night: pressure at work, chaos at home, fun with friends, or plain and simple insomnia. You can get your mind to quiet down with essential oils, audiobooks, and guided mediations. Rather than taking Nyquil to knock yourself out, try some tasty sleep chocolate as a holistic (and delicious) alternative way to drift off into dreamland.
2. Treat Your Body like a Temple
You only get one, so be sure to give your body all the TLC it deserves. We tend to slack off in the summer and get a little lazy while glued to the couch. And while everyone loves an occasional Netflix binge, keep your body beach-ready by maintaining an active lifestyle.
It can be hard to find the motivation to work out on those super-hot summer days but throw those excuses out the door. Make morning runs your new thing or cool off in the evening by swimming laps in the pool. There are plenty of ways to make working out feel way less miserable (and, dare we say, even enjoyable!).
It’s all about finding what works best for you, your body, and your lifestyle. From rock-climbing to paddle boarding, Zumba to tennis, find a sport or activity that makes fitness fun. You can even join a recreation league to stay social while being active!
In terms of the self-care department, there’s no better choice than yoga. The practice helps you align your mind with your body and soul, plus it packs in a ton of benefits for your physical and mental well-being. It’s also low-impact, meaning it’s great for beginners, and you can do it from the comfort of your home—no gym membership required.
3. Revamp Your Skincare Routine
If you’re one of those people who enjoys staying up late on those long summer nights, chances are that you hit the sheets without washing your face first. But you could be doing yourself a serious disservice if you slack on skincare and sleep, both of which are essential to maintaining your skin’s youthful radiance.
You don’t want to go back to school looking like you aged a few years rather than a few months. Start your morning like a supermodel and give your complexion some pampering, making sure to apply critical SPF protection before heading outdoors. At night, a lightweight moisturizer should become your bedtime buddy in order to hydrate sun-soaked skin cells. And don’t forget to exfoliate a few times a week to slough off dead skin and reveal glowing, healthy tissue below.
Maybe you’re the type who always stays on top on their skincare game—and that’s great! Just remember to seasonally swap out your products to give your complexion the nourishment it craves.
How do you plan on practicing self-care this summer? Let us know in the comments below!