The Summer Self Care Checklist To Become Your Best Self
For a lot of us, summer is the most highly anticipated time of year, the weather is nicer, the days are longer, we get to spend more time with family and friends and our social calendars are full to the brim.
Whilst the summer holidays are a well deserved break for some university students, for others, this time of year can heighten feelings of stress, anxiety and loneliness.
With the pressure to have fun and keep busy all of the time during summer, it can be easy for your mental well-being to take a bit of a toll during the holidays.
Thanks to our summer self care checklist, you can take steps to support your emotional, mental and physical well being, and become your best self!
1. Spend Time Outside
If you’re looking for some ideas for summer wellness, it may sound cliche, but we’d suggest spending time outside.
It can be easy to retreat to spending time in your bedroom when you don’t have a routine, or you’re not wanting to socialise, but sunlight and blue skies are great at lifting our moods.
Even if you don’t feel like doing an awful lot, spend some time in your garden or head to your local park, spending time in nature will really lift your spirits as well as boost your vitamin D intake.
You can still have a Netflix binge or read a book outside, and you’ll feel a lot better making the most of a sunny afternoon.
Just remember that all important SPF if you are spending more time outside, and bug spray too!
2. Get Enough Sleep
It can be difficult to maintain a good sleeping pattern during the summer months due to the hot weather, however, despite the humidity, you should try your best to get a good night’s sleep every night.
It’s recommended that young people should get between 7-9 hours of sleep per night, with many benefits including reducing stress and anxiety, boosting your energy levels, and lowering your risk of depression.
Having better sleep = a better mood, so you should try to maintain a healthy sleeping pattern during the summer.
A few helpful tips to improve your sleep hygiene are to switch off your devices before hitting the haystack, ensure your room is dark, quiet and at a comfortable temperature (get a fan!) and try to get regular exercise.
3. Take Up A New Hobby
Summer is a great time to focus on self-care, and one thing in particular which can help you boost your mental wellbeing is taking up a new hobby.
Considering you have so much free time during the university break, there’s no better time to give something new a go, it will keep you busy as well as make you happier and more relaxed.
A few ideas to help you have the most fulfilling summer yet, is to learn a new instrument, practise a new sport, start scrapbooking, get into photography, pick up some new books or even learn a new language.
Finding a new hobby may take a bit of trial and error to find one you want to stick at, but try your best to find fun things to do and get creative!
4. Create A Summer Playlist
When it comes to your self care checklist, you should create a summer playlist you can put on when you’re wanting to get those all important good vibes flowing.
There’s tons of evidence out there about the benefits of listening to music, it can help to relieve stress and anxiety, reduce blood pressure, boost exercise performance and mental alertness, along with tons more positives.
So, make sure to create a playlist filled with all your favourite tunes to be the soundtrack of your summer.
You could even make it collaborative through Spotify so your friends can add to it too!
If you prefer listening to podcasts, why not make a summer playlist full of motivational and feel good podcasts you can pop on to kickstart your day, or you can listen to whilst on the move?
5. Get Moving
Staying active does wonders for your mental and physical well-being, so you should be sure to make exercise a priority for this summer.
Getting those endorphins can help to calm our minds, improve our moods, and boost our sleeping pattern, along with so many more benefits.
When the weather is cracking the flags, heading to the gym doesn’t sound too appealing, does it?
Don’t worry, there are plenty of ways you can get moving over the summer.
Whether it’s heading out on walks, trying yoga, taking up running, dancing, you name it, you can exercise in whichever way you want to.
Even just 30 minutes a day can do the world of good, so make sure to add exercise to your self care checklist for this summer!
6. Take Some Time To Relax
During the summer months, there’s so much pressure to fill up our social calendars, but it’s just as important to have downtime and recharge our social batteries every now and again.
Whilst you may feel like you need to make the most of your time off from university, make sure not to neglect relaxation time.
Sure, planning to meet family and friends and getting your calendar booked up and busy is great, but don’t forget to plan in some time to look after yourself and do activities which make you happy.
After all, you’ve worked hard all academic year, you deserve to get some well needed rest over the summer months.
So, don’t feel guilty for not doing something every single day over the holidays, sometimes ‘lazy days’ are needed!
7. Earn Some Extra Income
If you’re struggling to adjust to a lack of routine during the summer break, or your financial situation isn’t great, we’d suggest applying for summer jobs.
There’s plenty of seasonal work out there from working at festivals and music events to tutoring to working at summer camps to babysitting, the list goes on.
Whilst you may want to make the most of your summer, having a job doesn’t mean you won’t get any free time, you could look for part time positions.
Not only are summer jobs a great way to earn some extra cash, you’ll also get yourself out the house and you’ll have extra work experience for your CV!
Being busy at your job also means you’ll be less likely to spend time scrolling on your phone, and reduce the likelihood of FOMO so, it’s a win-win.
8. “Summer Clean” Your Home
No matter if you’re staying in your student accommodation over the holidays, or heading back to your family home, having a summer clean is a self care activity you should get on board with.
With all of this time off from university, spend some time organising, cleaning and tidying your home, as they do say that a tidy space makes a tidy mind!
Try to spend a short while each day keeping on top with clutter, and doing some cleaning and tidying, as this will have a positive effect on both your mood and productivity levels.
If you’re moving back home, make sure to unpack your bags early on and create a comforting space, as this can really make all the difference to your mental well-being.
9. Maintain A Well-balanced Diet
From trying international cuisine to heading to BBQs to enjoying meals out with family and friends, summertime is known as a time where we indulge in more food and drink.
What many people fail to realise though, is that our diets are just as important to our mental health as they are to our physical health.
We’re not saying you should feel guilty for having a treat or that you should stick to a diet over the summer, however, taking steps to improve your nutrition and eating a well balanced diet can help boost your mental and physical well-being.
To help maintain a well-balanced diet over the summer, challenge yourself to find new and healthy recipes to try.
You should also make sure that you stay hydrated by drinking between 6-8 glasses of fluid per day.
There’s nothing wrong with eating more caloric food from time to time, comfort food is great.
However, try to make sure you’re eating your fruit and veggies too – eat alfresco style and enjoy a picnic outside!
10. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is about being present and fully engaged with whatever we’re doing at the moment, and is all about allowing thoughts, feelings and sensations to come and go, without judgement.
A few ways you can be more mindful in your everyday life is by meditating, practising gratitude, walking in nature and doing deep breathing exercises to name a few.
Keeping a journal can also be a great way to be more mindful and can do wonders for your mental health as you can jot down all of your thoughts and feelings.
Practising mindfulness can help you to manage stress and anxiety, feel more relaxed, have more self control, better mental clarity, lower blood pressure as well as improve sleep.
So try to be more mindful and see what benefits you notice!
Hopefully our self care checklist will help ensure that you have a healthy and happy mind and body over summer.
We hope you have an amazing time and remember to take care of your physical and mental health!
If you have any self-care activities we didn’t list, let us know @urbanstudentlife.