by Christy Wissink, LIMHP
Here are five tips to help make this summer an amazing one filled with fun and self-care.
1.Watch the social media comparison trap
Everyone tends to post their best life on social media, and they tend to not show the hard and sometimes messy behind the scenes. In pictures it is easy to show your towel on the beach with a cold drink next to your book, but the crying in the bathroom when you couldn’t fit into your swimsuit didn’t make the post. Remember you are human and so are the people on the other side of their posts. Work on rephrasing your comparison thought process as you see their beautiful summer pictures. Remind yourself to try to not compare your worst day to their best social media post. Body image shaming, even the messages we say to ourselves, only increases depression and anxiety symptoms and could ruin a wonderful day by the lake. Every body is a beach body. Wear what makes you feel beautiful and confident and try not to compare.
2. Make sure you are taking care of your physical needs
With summer comes lots of sun, heat, and busy schedules. Make sure you are paying attention to hydration and eating well. Drink lots of water and eat lots of fruits and veggies. If you are going to consume alcohol, be mindful of the heat and drink water in between. Utilize the outdoors to soak up some vitamin D and exercise by hiking, biking, swimming, and more. But make sure you wear sunscreen to keep your skin safe from sunburn. Also, give yourself time to relax and unwind even if you did just get back from a vacation.
3.Give yourself permission to say no
Summer can be filled with barbeques, swimming parties, play dates, and vacations. Sometimes we think we have to pack in all the things into those few months the kids are not in school. Overcommitting can be a major source of stress, especially for those who struggle with boundaries. As Paulo Coelho said, “When you say ‘yes’ to others, make sure you aren’t saying ‘no’ to yourself.”
4.Let things be imperfect
When the sun is shining, it is easy to get high expectations of how we want the summer to go. We imagine elaborate plans with Pinterest ready parties. When these things fall short, it is easy to get down on ourselves and let the one or two mishaps ruin our mood. Try practicing the old adage, “don’t sweat the small stuff.” Keep in mind the big picture of fun. If your cake doesn’t meet Pinterest standard or the ice cream melts too soon, laugh it off and make a quick trip to the grocery store.
It is easy to come home from a long day and sit and veg in front of the TV with our phones. But take some time this summer to intentionally unplug from screens and technology and just play, relax, rest, and unplug. Not only do screens bring comparison, but it also can cause lethargy and depression type symptoms. Reconnect with the present outside world this summer. Find a new restaurant, coffee shop, walking trail, pool, or outdoor concert venue to explore and be in the moment with people without screens. Use the warmer weather to your advantage to disconnect from technology and practice just being in the moment.
Hope you all can practice some summer self-care and enjoy the next few months by being intentional and managing expectations. At Hope and Wellness Center, we believe self-care is an important part of managing our everyday lives. We, as employees, have made a commitment to practice our own self-care, so we can be our best selves in our everyday lives. If you need help doing so, please don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. 402-639-2901 firstname.lastname@example.org
Owning your story can be difficult when life feels outside of your control. My goal as a therapist is to provide a compassionate and safe setting where an individual, couple, or family can develop positive, effective, healthy changes and coping skills as well as improve their overall wellness. I have been helping individuals, families, and couples with a wide array of life issues for over five years…