icon 15 Summer Self-Care Ideas for a Season of Wellness - Oakwell Cosmetics
14 jun 2024 8 min read By: Polly Clover

15 Summer Self-Care Ideas for a Season of Wellness

Woman looking at ocean during summer

Taking care of yourself this summer can help you relax, feel good, and enjoy the season. In this article, we’ll discuss the best summer self-care ideas, including getting fresh air, enjoying seasonal fruits, and grounding yourself.

Get helpful tips from health and wellness professionals so that you can prioritize your well-being. We’ll share practical advice with beneficial activities you can easily incorporate into your daily life.

Why is summer self-care important?

Self-care is necessary year-round, but especially during the summer when the days are longer, and we often push ourselves to make the most of the season, says Dr. Courtnay Meletta, PhD, LPCC, LMHC, Clinical Psychotherapist, Somatic Trauma Expert, and Group Practice Owner & Educator at Mindbody Consulting.

“Summer feels vibrant and energizing for most people, but this can lead to burnout if you aren’t mindful of your needs,” explains Meletta. “Integrating self-care into your summer routine can help you maintain your mental and physical health, enabling you to feel your best and enjoy the season to its fullest.”

Practicing summer self-care lets you fully honor yourself, including your body’s need for rest, your mind’s need for calm, and your soul’s need for purpose.

How do I take care of myself in summer?

Taking care of yourself requires taking a break from anything hectic or draining and making time for your needs and interests, says Jessica Plonchak, LCSW, MBA, LCADC, Executive Clinical Director at ChoicePoint.

Below, we’ll share summer self-care ideas to help you appreciate the season, including getting fresh air and enjoying summer activities. Most of these can easily be included in your daily routine, as self-care practices should be simple to implement.

1. Meditate

Mediation is a practice that helps you settle your mind. Research also shows that it can help relieve stress, increase energy, and improve overall well-being

There are various forms of meditation, including the following:

  • Mindfulness - Be observant of your thoughts, breath, feelings, and sensations. You might do this while sitting, lying down, walking, or doing an activity.
  • Spiritual - Connect with a higher power, possibly through prayer or visualization.
  • Focused - Concentrate on any of the five senses. For example, count your breaths, listen to music or other sounds, or watch nature.
  • Mantra - Repetitively say a meaningful word or phrase or make the “om” sound.

According to Meletta, summer provides a unique opportunity to meditate outdoors. Meditating under the open sky, perhaps in a quiet park or by the beach, can enhance your connection to nature, which is inherently soothing and healing. 

“I begin most days by sitting outdoors witnessing the morning light while in mindful meditation,” says Meletta. “This grounds you and aligns your body and mind for the day ahead, harnessing the serene energy of the early morning light.”

2. Get Fresh Air

Summer is the perfect opportunity to connect with nature and get fresh air. This can be any outdoor activity, such as relaxing on your porch, taking a walk, or going on a hike.

“The combination of physical activity, fresh air, and natural scenery can help reduce stress levels, improve mood, and boost physical health,” says Meletta. “Summer’s lush landscapes and warm weather are ideal for making time outdoors a regular part of your summer self-care routine.

If you need to be inside a lot, you can incorporate fresh air by opening windows, having meals outside, or scheduling daily walks.

Woman and child playing outside during summer

3. Journal by the Water

While journaling year-round is beneficial, Meletta recommends taking advantage of the summer season by sitting by a body of water, whether a sea, lake, or river, and journaling. 

The water’s soothing presence and the reflective practice of writing your thoughts, feelings, and aspirations can help clarify your mind and soothe your emotions. 

You might choose from the following summer writing prompts:

  • What’s one thing you’d like to accomplish this summer?
  • What’s your favorite summer activity, and why?
  • Observe nature, and write what you notice and how it makes you feel.
  • Describe your perfect summer day.
  • What’s your favorite summertime memory?

4. Learn a New Skill or Hobby

Plonchak recommends learning a new skill or hobby this summer. This can be an excellent time for it, especially if you have more free time or the season is energizing you.

Learning a new skill has many benefits, including helping boost confidence, motivation, and happiness. It can also help you take a social media cleanse, enjoy a favorite pastime, and relax.

Not sure what to learn? Here are a few fun options:

  • Baking cookies
  • Learning a foreign language
  • Playing a sport
  • Practicing yoga
  • Sewing or knitting
  • Gardening
Person gardening for summer self-care

5. Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule

While the days are longer and there’s a lot to enjoy during summer, don't forget to prioritize your sleep, says Plonchak. Making time to catch up on sleep will help you feel more energized for fun summertime activities.

The following tips can help you maintain a consistent sleep schedule:

  • Go to bed and wake up around the same time every day
  • Create a relaxing sleep environment (e.g., dark, cool, and uncluttered space)
  • Avoid blue lights from screens right before bed
  • Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake
  • Finish eating and drinking a few hours before bedtime
  • Do a calming activity before bed, such as reading, meditating, or listening to slow music

6. Stick to Your Financial Budget

Spending a lot of money during summer is easy since there are regular get-togethers, vacations, and other activities. Therefore, Plonchak suggests creating and sticking to your financial budget.

Financial self-care can help you have a fulfilling life. Create a summer budget that allows you to cover your necessary expenses and purchase items and experiences you value.

Consider reviewing your budget often, such as weekly or monthly, to ensure you’re on track. This can help you reduce stress, meet goals, and enjoy the season.

7. Soak in a Bath

We often spend a lot of time outside when it's warm, but one of the best summer self-care tips is taking time indoors to soak in a bath.

Baths require little effort, which makes it easy to care for yourself. Warm water immersion also helps improve your mental and physical health.

Most people experience a rewarding combination of relaxation and energy after taking a bath. Those who take warm baths daily also sleep better and feel happier.

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8. Reflect on Unhealthy Habits

We live in a fast-paced world with endless to-do lists, messages, and advertisements. This makes it easy to develop unhealthy habits, such as spending too much time on our phones, overconsuming, and having addictive tendencies, says Jenny Flora Wells, MSW, LSW, ACSW, a Holistic Therapist and Licensed Social Worker.

While many of these unhealthy habits can help us cope or numb ourselves, Wells explains that they can actually lead to nervous system deregulation. Therefore, it’s important to explore what these patterns may look like for you.

“Summer can be the ideal season for reflecting and turning inward, as we have more time and can get outside in nature, focus on community, and hone in on personal wellness,” says Wells. “Over time, you can replace unhealthy coping mechanisms with better practices that fulfill the same reward center of the brain.”

9. Practice Grounding

Grounding or earthing refers to bringing your body into contact with the Earth. Research shows that grounding can improve your mood.

Wells also says that grounding yourself can promote relaxation and build somatic awareness, which lets you connect with your body for healing and health.

You can practice grounding by putting your feet in direct contact with the Earth. For example, walk on the beach or stand in your yard or garden. Even a few minutes of grounding per day can offer wellness benefits. 

person walking on rocks and picking on up

10. Stay Hydrated

Not only are we more prone to dehydration in the summer, but drinking water is one of the easiest ways to care for yourself.

Drinking water has many benefits, improving most bodily functions. Therefore, it naturally helps you feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally.

If you struggle with drinking enough water, the following tips might be helpful:

  • Keep a glass of water or a water bottle near you throughout the day
  • Make drinking water fun by adding small pieces of fruit to it (e.g., berries, lemons, limes, and oranges)
  • Create a habit of drinking water with every meal
  • Set reminders for drinking water every hour or two

11. Enjoy Summer Fruits

Chandler Self, Psychiatrist and Owner of Self Care Psychiatry, recommends treating yourself to summer self-care by enjoying seasonal produce.

“Summer is a fun time of year to eat fruits like cotton candy grapes, sweet blackberries, and watermelon,” says Self. Not only does fruit have nutritional value, but it’s also fun, colorful, and hydrating.

You can also easily incorporate summer fruits into other self-care activities, like baking them with sweet treats and enjoying them at picnics and other get-togethers.

summer fruit

12. Go for a Walk or Run

According to Self, walking is one of the most underestimated healthy activities. Running is also beneficial, but it can be too hot to run outside during summer.

Self says that even if you only have a few minutes to spare, especially during the workday, a five-minute walk to move your body offers benefits. Walking can decrease anxiety, enhance mood, and increase blood flow to the brain to improve concentration.

Although walking around inside can be helpful, going outside is even better because it allows you to connect with nature. Notice the sky, weather, and wildlife when walking or running outside.

13. Get Daily Sunshine

A lack of sunshine during winter can negatively impact your well-being. Therefore, Self recommends taking advantage of summertime sunshine.

"Try to get 5 minutes of sunshine on your face daily, preferably without heavy-duty sunscreen," suggests Self. "I believe the sun rays are healthy and help regulate your circadian rhythm, improve your mood, and increase your natural stores of Vitamin D. This has also been shown to improve medical conditions such as diabetes."

14. Treat Yourself to a Spa Day

Not only are spa treatments relaxing, but they can also help you nourish and protect your skin from the effects of being outdoors.

If you don’t have the time or budget to visit your local day spa, you can create a DIY home spa day.

Our favorite spa day ideas include:

  • Getting a professional spa treatment
  • Practicing a skincare routine
  • Taking a warm bath or shower
  • Giving yourself a manicure and pedicure

15. Foster Social Connections

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), social connections can impact your mind, body, and behaviors. They can also help you have a longer, healthier life.

People are social creatures by nature, so it’s necessary to spend time with friends, family, coworkers, and people in your community.

Try making social connections a part of your daily routine, whether smiling at strangers when running errands, eating lunch with coworkers, or hanging out with your family in the evenings.

Summer Self-Care: Conclusion

We hope you found this article helpful and feel inspired to treat yourself this summer. Self-care is essential for good physical and mental health. 

Don’t forget that self-care should be relaxing and enjoyable, so choose practices that serve you, whether taking nature walks, having a spa day, or spending time with loved ones.

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