What do you think of when you hear the word self-care? A lot of people think of just going on trips or using bath bombs. While those things definitely help, self-care is really about finding ways to support yourself. You have to be a good friend to yourself. You need to really be in tune with how you’re feeling. Treat yourself how you think your best friend should treat herself. According to Amy Kurtz, best selling author of Kicking Sick, “It’s repetitive and consistent personal rituals that treat ourselves well and believing that we are important and our well-being matters.” 

A lot of us just indulge in retail therapy or extra shots of espresso in our coffee, but that’s not actually helping. We are really just decreasing well-being with those actions. Be your own best friend. Be there for yourself and treat yourself like you would treat your loved ones. It’s a lot better to do a combination of talking positively to yourself and indulging in personal care products. 

Self-care has come up a lot in media outlets recently, because of the presence of burnouts. A burnout isn’t just having feelings of stress and fatigue. It can lead to some serious gastrointestinal issues and even respiratory problems. Give yourself permission to take breaks. 

Self-care isn’t just black and white. Approaches are constantly evolving. Get to know yourself better and identify what it is that you need in this moment. Note your physical and mental health. Not just one or the other. Make this a daily practice! Drop the stigma. Maybe one week you need to go to a therapist and the next week you just need to take a moment to appreciate how beautiful it is outside. If it works for you then that is all that matters! 

Here are 5 tips to make this your summer of self-care:

1.Find out what makes you feel good

The first step is to figure out what truly makes you happy. You can even write down a list of nourishing activities that can be done anywhere and anytime. Maybe skincare and personal care is something that helps you unwind. Incorporate those things into your daily routine. For instance, you could invest in a Grace & Magnolia Spa Add On Kit sold exclusively through Cinder & Sky. A kit like that is so beneficial and comes at a super discounted price. You can also write down positive words of affirmation for yourself. Once again, love yourself the way you love your best friend. Would you want her to think the same way about herself as you do yourself? If not, make changes! 

2. Take a vacation (Seriously!)

Even if it’s not many days, I’m sure you have some PTO to use! Actually use your vacation time for vacation. Going on trips is a great way to reset your life. If you’re just doing day after day of the same thing, you’re not truly living your best life. Take advantage of your employer’s work policy! You don’t have to go far for this. You can have a quick day-trip or have a staycation! These options are budget friendly. If none of these options works for you and you’re starting to feel burnt out, have you thought about becoming your own boss? With a company like Cinder & Sky, you can create your own hours and work from literally anywhere. How great is that?! Never think you have to be stuck in a 9:00am – 5:00pm job.

3. Learn to say ‘No’ (Set boundaries.)

Setting boundaries is definitely a struggle for most of us. We feel bad saying no. When you take on too much, you’re setting yourself up for self-care failure. Don’t burn yourself out for the sake of other people. You need to protect your energy and time. Life is too short to constantly be doing things that sabotage your mood. It’s time to start saying no. Wouldn’t you rather give a “heck yes!” than a half hearted “yeah”? Focus on what nourishes you. If you’re not watching out for yourself, then you’re not funneling energy into the right things. Make a list of your priorities. Acknowledge what matters to you and what you need to pull back from. 

4. Unplug 

You need to get yourself outside and put the phone down! There are so many fulfilling activities to do outside without the use of technology. Live your life, don’t scroll past it! When you’re always on social media, you’re looking at other people’s lives through a filter. It isn’t healthy to continually do this throughout the day. If you have an iPhone you can actually enable a Screen Time feature. This feature allows you to set limits on the amount of time per day you spend on certain apps. Another way you can unplug on apps like Instagram, is by checking “Activity”. This portion shows you how much time you’re spending on each platform and it serves as a good reminder to back off.  

5. Plant something

Start a little garden! It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Summer is the perfect time to grow green things! Things like sunflowers, tomatoes, sunflowers, monstera plants, and more thrive in the summertime. It’s honestly really fulfilling to watch something grow and bloom. Plus, when you tend to a garden each day, you’re get to go outside and have quiet time with your best friend (aka yourself). 

So, those were my 5 tips to embrace self-care this summer! I hope this helps you recognize what needs to happen in your life. Don’t delay your own happiness. Today is the day to make those changes. Treat yourself like a best friend. Find out what makes you feel good. Once you know what fulfills you can take action. Go on a vacation. Vacations are great for the body, mind, and soul. You don’t have to make it anything fancy, just get away from your usual place for a little bit. Say ‘no’ when you need to and unplug! Make conscious decisions to avoid burning out. Lastly, grow something. It’s a great way to unwind.