So far I've been talking about ways to keep your body, skin, and hair healthy, but it is important to focus on mental health as well. Don’t forget to take care of yourself on the inside, too! Taking time for yourself is important but often overlooked by people who fall into the "busy" trap -- myself included.
Often, I will set myself a million goals at the beginning of the summer, eager for extra free time and a chance to finally do things I have put off. By the end of the summer, I will usually end up feeling defeated and frustrated that I didn't accomplish everything I wanted to. It's so easy for me to fall into the trap of just doing nothing.
This summer, before every other goal I had, I decided to try to take care of myself. As a result, I have been the most successful I have ever been, as well as the happiest! I now really believe that when you take care of yourself, everything else falls in place. So with that in mind, here are some tools that have helped me remember to be kind to myself.
Go on a Self-Love DateSelf-love is simply the idea that you are worthwhile, and thus deserve some "me" time and positive self-talk. Gala Darling talks about it a lot on her blog! After a hard semester, the summer can be the perfect time to engage in a self-love date with yourself. Buy yourself a ridiculously extravagant coffee from Starbucks, go to your favorite bookstore, and spend an afternoon reading interesting books. Go to the park to people watch. Give yourself a spa day, complete with face masks, hair treatments, and a big bubble bath. Whatever you love to do but never have time to do -- schedule it in! You have definitely earned some relaxation time.
Creative PursuitsTake advantage of your free time by starting or finishing a personal project. Start a blog about baking, draw every day, start a Smash book, make some DIY wall art for your apartment or dorm – all of these are ways to express your creative side! I don't see myself as a super creative or artistic person, but if I take the time to do some kind of artistic activity, I still feel the benefits. Give it a shot, even if you're hesitant, and I think you will like the results!
Meditate, Practice Yoga, or PrayEngage in some kind of spiritual practice and you will feel the results! Meditation, yoga, and praying are all linked to health benefits, mentally and physically. I've started meditating this summer and I love it! If you don't know where to start, there are plenty of meditation videos and yoga videos on YouTube, as well as all kinds of guides. I used Jessica Mullen's Beginner's Guide to Meditation when I started my practice. Remember, none of these activities are about being perfect. Let go of that expectation.
Start a JournalJournaling is one of the best ways to sort out your mind and document your life. I like to use Moleskine journals (hipster alert!), but any bound book will work, so pick one that suits you. Don’t feel pressured to write something insightful or perfect. Write poetry, doodle, make lists, paste in photos, whatever you like. Let it all come naturally.
Stay ActiveExercise ups your endorphins and keeps you in a good mood. I tend to run less in the summer since it’s hotter outside, but there are so many other ways to stay active! I love swimming, hooping, and exploring parks, especially in Austin where there are so many pretty parks and bodies of water.
I hope you liked this mini series! I had a lot of fun putting it together and seeing what all you had to say!