Summer is right around the corner. Sunny days, meeting up with friends, maybe even traveling somewhere…there is just so much to look forward to. Even if you’re working full time or taking classes, you will still have some time to do what you want and what you love. But no matter what you’re doing, it’s important to remember to take care of yourself, and not let all the time slip away without remembering to incorporate self-care measures into your summer. Though it may not always be fun, it will always be worth it, and you will return in the fall ready to take on anything. Even if your summer is filled to the brim, there are several ways to make sure to take care of yourself in your free time. Here are a few suggestions.
Log off of social media.
It’s always tempting to post a picture of an especially beautiful sunset or even your Ben and Jerry’s order, but sometimes one of the best ways to take care of yourself is to log off of social media. As much as we all love it, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and any other social media site can distract us from living our lives or lead to harmful self-comparisons. Constantly checking your phone for messages or likes on your posts can cause anxiety, which takes away from one of the best parts of summer: relaxing. Even if it’s just for a day, set the phone aside and do something that makes you forget your accounts even exist.
Immerse yourself in a passion or hobby you may not get the chance to pursue during the school year.
Is that fictional book you started over winter break still sitting on your shelf? How about the art project you started but never got the chance to finish? Perhaps you haven’t gone for a swim or an outdoor run since this time last year. Summer is the perfect time to pick up a favorite hobby or creative passion of yours that you may not have gotten to pursue over the academic year. I’m taking classes and interning this summer, so I know I will be extremely busy, but I know I still have days off and time over the weekend––which is perfect for getting back into reading and creative writing, two passions of mine. Though self-care isn’t always fun, this is a very enjoyable and extremely productive way to take care of yourself almost without even knowing it.
Think about your life and the people in it. Are you happy?
This one is very important. When you have the time, make sure to assess your life and the people you have chosen to include in it. Do you feel happy, and do you really have true friends? Not too long ago, I made the mistake of overlooking the fact that I had these two friends who I had been hanging out with for a year, but they did not care about me nearly as much as I cared about them. I also was in a relationship in which the guy I had chosen to date shrugged his shoulders and told me to move on when I was extremely upset. Of course, no relationship of any kind will ever be perfect, but it will benefit you greatly to make sure that everyone you let into your life complements you and allows you to be the best version of yourself that you can possibly be. So yes, it is difficult to let go of friends, and yes, breakups are incredibly difficult, but these actions are necessary if a person is toxic to your life.
Once in a while, do something for yourself just because you want to.
There is no shame in going to a place with beautiful scenery, treating yourself to an afternoon of shopping (or whatever activity you prefer), or going out to get a favorite food just because you have the time and you want to. Though you shouldn’t just skip work or class to go somewhere nor should you do this all the time, doing something special once in a while is a great way to remind you of the love you have for yourself.
With the free time that comes with summer, there is even more room in your schedule to take care of yourself. Whether it’s doing something fun or something that’s not exactly easy, self-care is always important, no matter what time of the year it is. I wish you all an enjoyable summer, but don’t forget to incorporate self-care into your free time. Sometimes it will be enjoyable, sometimes it will be difficult, but I assure you, it is always worth it.