A few weeks ago, we posted a story on Instagram asking you for your summer self care tips. It may seem contradictory but summer can be such a stressful time. There is so much pressure to achieve everything possible in three short months. You have to get a job, a great internship, go on amazing travels and make incredible memories, all while maintaining that all important ‘summer body’. In all the obligations, taking the time to rest and recharge is often lost. So we thought we would share some of self care practices so we can all have a peaceful and restful summer! Scroll through and enjoy!
TIP 1: COOKING
I have found cooking to be a wonderful way to use my time and to feel more in touch with myself. I made fresh pasta with a garlic and mushroom sauce yesterday and went to bed happy, calm and very full! The pasta was challenging, not only because of the careful measuring and timing, but because you really work up a sweat whilst kneading that stubborn dough!!
It was a very physical activity that allowed me to focus on a simple task with a reachable goal. And more so, food always has a way of bringing people together. I finished the day sharing the food with my family.
(submitted by Hannah Robinson)
TIP 2: WEARING SUNSCREEN
Wear sunscreen, dear god, wear sunscreen and if you’re going into the sea spare a thought for our aquatic amigos and get one without Oxybenzone (sun bum is one!).
TIP 3: BODY SCRUB
This is a recent revelation: for my friends with a little melanin in their lives, scrub before or after you tan to prevent that greyish/dull colour that sometimes occurs (it is dead skin xxxxx)
TIP 4: INVEST IN GOOD QUALITY SWIMWEAR
Don’t get that £1 bikini nor that one with the weird tummy cutout (unless telly tubby tan lines turn you on, by all means, go forth and conquer). It never sits quite right like it does on the models online, but remember that they are heavily photoshopped. Plus there are smaller, ethical brands that will appreciate your business much more like Toco swim and Sunday London.
TIP 5: STEP BACK FROM SOCIAL MEDIA
The Instagram influencers and the VS models are out in full force this season and if the constant stream of ‘perfect’ bodies is bothering you; consider a purge and unfollow them all. They won’t notice and you might feel a cloud clear inside your head. Remember the time they spent on burpees you probably spent laughing, drinking pints with friends, doing work that fulfils you and enjoying life – it is pretty clear what’s worth your time and energy. They’ve also got an entire team that contributes to produce a single post: a trainer, nutritionist, fake tanner, contourist, social media manager, sponsor companies to pay for bikinis, surgeries and a myriad of apps. What have we got? “Ten minute abs with a water bottle” on YouTube 3 days before a holiday and a series of experiments with ‘camera angles’ at best. There’s no shame in quitting whilst ahead.
TIP 6: CREATE YOUR OWN RULES
A friend of mine told me last month that this summer she had decided to wear a pair of men’s swimming trunks and go topless at the beach or pool this year. Bikinis frustrated her and she didn’t want to shave for the sake of her pubes poking out of a swimsuit (lest it might offend a wandering eye!!!!). It was a refreshing lesson in thinking outside the box and creating options for yourself whether it be a mankini or a burkini à la the activists of Alliance Citoyenne.
TIP 7: LOOK INWARD
Loving and accepting yourself isn’t easy, it’s not a project for the summer and a far flung holiday, a stellar internship or a tan can’t always get you closer. It is a constant battle with peaks and troughs but there are some emotions that serve the patriarchy and there are some emotions that serve you, tuning in to the latter is not a bad place to start.
(submitted by Tiffany Lai)
TIP 8: ENGAGING WITH ART
I think art in general is a huge part of my life so listening to music that makes my soul literally come alive is so, so healing. Also, Immersing myself in cinema is very healing, I’d recommend LION. Art really matters and can help you express yourself and also find yourself. So whether it’s a cracking bit of cinema, looking at art or making it, no matter your ability, or reminding yourself of some of your favourite tunes on Spotify or that playlist you’d forgotten! Trust me, art has healing powers!!
TIP 9: FORMING A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD
For me, food is such a strange one and I can find summer a stressful time when there Is so much pressure to eat salad or whatever you have to eat to attain a ‘beach bod’- whatever that means! So I like to look after myself by listening to my body and cooking good, healthy and tasty meals. I also remind myself to not beat myself up if I go on a mad binge. We all do it. We can’t all eat ‘clean’. And taking away the horrible guilt that comes with it and forcing yourself to accept what’s already done, is extremely liberating.
TIP 10: READING
I’d say read, anything and everything. It makes you feel like you have your purpose back during long summer months. Grab a good book that’s been recommended. Or listen to an audio book or podcast. Hearing likeminded people discussing their own struggles is really magical. I love listening to people have a chat as if I was there. It can help with feeling a little lonely.
TIP 11: REACHING OUT
Reach out and give a friend a call. Having a good, open and honest convo with someone you trust can help heal in a thousand ways. I’m a huge believer in speaking aloud our issues as a way of accepting them and moving forward. I used to lock everything up. Now I let it out to people who care for me. It’s great. Scary- but great.
TIP 12: MOVING YOUR BODY
Stretch. Lie on the floor or your bed and follow a simple, calm stretch routine. You’ll feel so much better for releasing some tension. Or you can always go for a walk around the block to really get your body moving.
TIP 13: GETTING NAILS DONE
Get my nails done. A huge one for me as I’m a constant nail biter. Getting my nails done forced me to stop biting them and reminds me to care about myself. It’s a really small thing. But if I don’t have my nails all nice it’s like a domino effect.
(submitted by Hannah Read)
– The guilty feminist
– Desert island discs
– Hip hop saved my life
– Household name
– Thinking allowed
– Mothers of invention
(submitted by Tiffany Lai)