Ward off Summer Stress with S.E.L.F. Love

During the summer season, women continue to juggle their many demanding roles. Summer can be a time of increased stress for a variety of reasons; children are out of the structured environment of school, summer vacation, summer camps or summer school. These numerous other demands are heaped on an already stressful life where we feel overbooked, overworked and overwhelmed.

Tips for Summer De-Stress! S.E.L.F® Care

Serenity (Opposite of Stress)

  • Do a Mini. Memorize a 3-5 word phrase and repeat this phrase over and over as you take deep breaths for 2-3 minutes
  • “See” calm. Focus your sight on a flower or leaf. Take deep cleansing breaths as you gaze into summer flowers or foliage. Inhale the beauty and exhale your stress. Keep summer flowers in your home.
  • Guided imagery CD. Keep a guided imagery CD or a guided imagery app on your smart phone handy and listen to it by the pool or in the hammock.
  • Play. It’s summer. Be playful. Take off your shoes and feel the grass under your feet. Turn on the garden sprinkler and run through it with the kids.
  • Read. Schedule 10 minutes a day to read a wonderful novel or self-help book this summer.

Exercise

  • Swim. Find a local swimming pool or lake and relish the feel of water, sun, and wind on your body.
  • Walk. It is a perfect time to take early walks and listen to the birds’ sing, look at the flowers in your neighborhood and watch the summer sky. Evening walks are wonderful as you listen to the birds say good night, the stillness of the flowers and the setting of the summer sun.
  • Weights. Keep some light weights on your back porch. When you are outside stop and pick up some hand weights and do 25 lifts on each arm. This will help increase your bone density and strengthen your body.
  • Yoga. Summer is a perfect time to do relaxing yoga stretches outside in the yard or on your back porch.

Love

  • Children. Summer is the time to spend loving time with your children. Schedule nature walks, rent wonderful movies (don’t forget the popsicles or popcorn) and get art materials. There is no substitute for spending quality time with your children during these precious years.
  • Your self. Schedule time for your own intimacy and reflection. Loving and nurturing your self is crucial in the family. You are mentoring your family on how to practice self-love.
  • Your partner/spouse. Schedule some intimate time with your loved one. Go get some ice cream, cook together, have a relaxing stroll outdoors, go to a stable and ride horses together, or go to an outdoor film festival. Get creative.
  • Your community. Plan a neighborhood summer party. Get a sign-up sheet and have each neighbor share the work and food. It is a great time to meet new neighbors and cherish the old ones.

Food

  • Healthy food. Stock the refrigerator with healthy light summer foods. This is the season for fruits and wonderful vegetables. This is a good time to teach your children how to eat the bright bold colors and give them quick lessons on the nutritional value of these healthy foods. It is never too early to teach our children that food is medicine and their choices will create their health and happiness.
  • Restaurants. Eat outside at cafes and new restaurants. Summer is a time to be adventurous.
  • The grill. (The outside grill or the George Forman inside) Get a grill cookbook and learn how to grill all your food. Experiment with different sauces and new foods. Involve the entire family and make it fun.
  • Ice cream. Get an inexpensive ice cream maker. The entire family can experiment by trying different flavors of ice cream, sorbet or sherbet. Encourage each family member to try a new flavor. Create your own family flavor and name it! You are creating great memories and a rich family ritual.

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