Everyone knows the importance of wearing sunscreen and drinking water during the summer. But there are a lot more ways to take care of yourself and boost your summer experience. Here are a list of seven ways to practice self-care this summer:
1. Start An Exercise Routine
It’s been said so many times before, but I still can’t stress it enough. Exercise, exercise, exercise! Not only does it benefit your physical health but it does wonders for your mental health as well. Join a fitness class or get together with your friends and walk your dogs. Signing up for a marathon or joining a volleyball club will help whip you into shape and get your heart rate pumping.
2. Fine-Tune Your Natural Hair Regimen
The endless days of sun, humidity and warmth make summer the best season for natural hair. Unlike the harsh cold of winter, summer’s humidity and warmth are the perfect ingredients for healthy hair and hair growth. It’s also the perfect time to take some risks – whether you want to try your new fro or rock some twisted locs, don’t be afraid to experiment. Just don’t forget to moisturize your hair regularly and use a sulfate-free shampoo.
3. Expand Your Community
Make an effort to expand your mind by expanding your circle of people. There are many unique people you haven’t met yet who will enrich your life and make every day a little more entertaining. Don’t just join a club or take a class (although both are fantastic ways to meet new people and form friendships), consider non-traditional ways of making friends and meeting people by becoming a PenPal (you’re never too old to send a handwritten letter), striking up a conversation with a stranger at the gym or inviting your neighbors over for dinner.
4. Go Window Shopping
On a strict budget? That doesn’t mean you have to give up the joys of shopping, just make sure not to give into the temptation of purchasing the items you like. Sometimes browsing through stores and catching a glimpse of some of the trendiest new styles can be just as satisfying as actually buying the clothes. Instead, view shopping as an opportunity to spend quality time with your closest friends and to find inspiration to spice up the wardrobe you already have.
5. Spice Up Your Living Quarters
This may seem to contradict the window shopping tip, but there are plenty of ways to spruce up your décor on a budget. There’s no better time than summer to make improvements to your living quarters! Whether you own a home or rent, living in an aesthetically beautiful place is a great way to boost your mental health, your ense of well-being and express your unique personality and perspective on life. Decorating my home with Afro-centric art pieces and portraits of black beauty helps boost my self-image and fight Eurocentric standards of beauty. There are also plenty of affordable black-owned companies that sell beautiful Afro-centered furniture and décor pieces, such as PardonMyFro, Llulo, Reflektion Design and many others.
6. Explore Your Mind
Society is just now catching up on the benefits of spirituality. Even if you’re not into religion or philosophy, you can try mindfulness meditation instead. It’s important to feel a sense of purpose and develop a guiding philosophy to help you through life. Whether your purpose is to make the world a better place through small acts of kindness or participate in an organized religion, spirituality is for everybody. Being in touch with your soul and inner emotions helps you feel more connected to the world and is a perfect way to relieve the burdens of activism and the daily stresses of everyday life.
7. Get Creative
There are so many different types of art classes that hone in on drawing, painting, sculpting and more. You could even start an art journal and Instagram your pages for the world to see (though it’s just as rewarding to journal solely for your own enjoyment). If you’re not into journaling, trying joining a choir, writing a song or reading a book in a genre you’ve never read before. The benefits of regularly engaging in a creative activity can help make you a better problem solver, expand your sense of time, improve your self-awareness and reduce your urge to buy compulsively!
“Grace is a freelance writer and blogger from Canada. Her work has been featured on HerCampus, 21Ninety, Read Unwritten. She is a voracious reader, a dog-lover and a self-professed pop culture junkie. Her other hobbies include watching sappy romantic comedies, consuming too many strawberry-filled doughnuts and people-watching. Grace currently attends university, where she is working towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Pre-Law.”