Summer gets us outside and pushes our limits. You can up your self-care game in order to enhance your enjoyment. It can keep you out of pain, increase your clarity and brain function, and keep you moving at your best. Taking good care of your mind, body, and spirit doesn’t take as long as you might think.
Webster’s defines this simply as a short stay or visit. Many of us have fun sojourns planned for the lazy days of summer. Sojourn also reminds me of one of my favorite maxims when it comes to self-care. “It’s not all or nothin’, it’s just a little somethin’, somethin’.” Short interludes of self-care are easy and pay huge dividends. I recently took a great day hike with family and took time afterward to cold plunge, get a massage on the massage bed at work, and did the LiveO2 oxygen training. I was the only (and oldest) family member who wasn’t sore the next day. Don’t just save good self-care for a spa date on vacation; it can become an everyday delight- keeping you in the game.
Here are a few baby steps of self-care that will increase your vitality:
Get next to water. If you can’t get to the beach, then find a mountain stream or lay down next to the rushing river and take in the refreshing soundscape.
I love, love, love the live music scene around here in the summer. Get with friends and picnic, dance, hula hoop, laugh and take in the balm of humanity: sweet soulful tunes. Sing along, even if it’s offkey. It’s all about making a joyful noise.
I had a client in yesterday who looks just like Santa. It was his heart that made a bigger impression on me than his outward appearance. He loves to give things away all year long- whether it be time, energy, or possessions. His hands are open to give and receive and he lives each day to make it better for at least one person. Try it. This could be the answer to the current world dissatisfaction problem that is so pervasive.
Set Wellness Goals
This summer, I am working on doing handstands and 5 pull-ups. I can’t even do one pull-up, but why not set a simple little goal that keeps you invested in moving into something you’ve never done before. Learn how to give a fabulous foot rub. Soak your feet every night you eat dinner at home. Learn a new dance move. Recite a poem by memory. You get the drift. Invest time in becoming.
This one is all about childlike movement. How long has it been since you skipped? Can you still do it? How about a somersault? Move like a child. If you are a grandparent, move with your little ones at the park. Don’t be a spectator. No matter where you are, you can start on a path of restorative movement, it happens one tiny movement at a time.
One of my best memories of my mom was when she took a break from her inside work and came out and played with us in the sprinklers for an hour or so. She became a child. Find a way to play with water and dance in the rain, paddleboard, water balloons, super soaker, or maybe even a slip-n-slide! Let the kids show you the way. They will never forget it (and you won’t either). I promise.
Lay down in the middle of a beautiful place in nature. Pull away from the humdrum existence of to-do lists and close your eyes and just listen. You will enter a timeless space. Let the warm breezes caress your skin. Even just 60 seconds will seem like a restorative escape. We do this at the end of all of my outdoor Core Transformation classes for a few minutes and it is like a mini-monastic retreat.
Self-care will make this summer better. Try it. You will like it.
Love people. Love vitality.