Summer Self-Care Strategies

Though summer is beginning to wind down, I usually find that these next few weeks are when things can get very hectic leading into the fall season.

That’s why I’ve created this list of five self-care strategies to ensure that you hit the ground running this fall, feeling re-energized and ready to finish the year strong.

Challenge: Can you accomplish all five of these by the end of August?

  • Enjoy the outdoors. Before we know it, it will be fall, and then winter again! The heat, especially here in Atlanta, can be suffocating at times. But if you are like me, when it starts to get cool around November or so, you think back nostalgically to the summer heat and wish you had taken advantage of it more. What do you like to do outdoors? Whether it’s fishing, camping, hiking, or simply going for a morning walk at the park, see if you can make time to connect with nature a little more before the weather cools off. Getting outside is good for our minds and our bodies, and can be an amazing form of self-care.
  • Get organized. Did you miss the spring-cleaning season? No shame in that! It’s not too late. Summer is a great chance to get things straightened up before the hustle and bustle of fall comes around. Identify a couple of areas in your home or at your office that you can clean, re-organize and de-clutter. You’ll be glad you did it now when things aren’t as busy. Organizing your frequently-used spaces can help you feel relaxed and at ease, and can increase productivity. (Side note: If you are interested in learning more about ways to de-clutter, Joshua Becker’s book The More of Less is a great resource about minimizing and how it can positively affect your life.)
  • Set intentions. Can you believe that we are over halfway through 2018? Now is the time to renew your intentions for the year. Think back to the New Year’s resolutions you set back in January. How are you doing on those? What have you accomplished so far and what have you been lax with? Are there things you want to work on more in these last few months of the year? Re-assessing and resetting your intentions for these last several months will guide how you spend your time better and help you reach your goals.
  • Plan a “stay-cation”. We tend to think of vacations as going far far away from home for a whole week, and those kinds of vacations usually require lots of money, time off work, maybe even dog-sitters or other arrangements. Try expanding your idea of a vacation. A “stay-cation” can be just as effective in giving you that post-vacation feeling of rejuvenation! Take a short day trip to a nearby destination that you’ve never been to before. I’m willing to bet that there’s lots to see even within 100 miles of wherever you are that you haven’t explored yet. When we appreciate what’s in our own backyard, traveling and exploring becomes a lot more realistic and practical.
  • Catch up with a friend. There’s almost always a friend or two that come to mind when you think of people you haven’t talked to in a while, particularly in these summer months when things are so busy. Nourish one of your friendships by reaching out to someone you haven’t caught up with in a while. Maybe they can join you on your stay-cation or an outdoor adventure! Nurturing your friendships is a good kind of self-care because these relationships are beneficial to your emotional and mental health. As with any healthy relationship, you get out what you put in.

Was this list helpful to you? Do you have any of your own summer self-care tips you’d like to share? Feel free to comment or e-mail me your thoughts. 🙂


Is Your Relationship Caught in the Comparison Trap?

Do you ever find your mind drawing comparisons between yourself and your peer, your friend, your family member, or even a complete stranger?

Sometimes, you might even compare your relationship to the relationships of people around you.

Especially in this age of social media and technology, we are constantly exposed to “data” about other people, so it’s nearly impossible to avoid looking at this data and thinking about how our own lives look in comparison.

Comparison is a harmful trap.

When we compare ourselves to others, we tend to fall short. This is because the “data” we often use to make the comparison is really selective. We see the “highlight reels” of other people’s lives, rather than the whole picture.

We see the cute Instagram picture of a smiling couple with a loving caption, the Facebook status update announcing a new home, a promotion at work, a baby on the way, a new car, all the happy things. What we don’t often see is the real life stuff in between all those successes. The hard times, the bad days, the stressful, messy moments.

It’s not just through social media that this happens. Sometimes, when we interact with people out in public, we may find ourselves focusing on the best features of that person, and then comparing ourselves to those.

So, of course it makes sense that when you look at all those happy moments and all those great features, you say to yourself, “My life doesn’t look like that at all.”


The thing is, when you keep making these comparisons over and over again and fall short every time, you start to think, “If I am not like so-and-so, I must not be successful”, “I must not be happy”, or “I must not be (fill in the blank)”. You start having trouble recognizing your own successes, achievements, and features, because you are so focused on the ones you lack.

When this happens, your relationship falls into the trap too. You start focusing on the things your relationship and your partner might lack as well.

You find yourself holding the relationship to expectations that are unrealistic, and you start seeing only the negative qualities of your partner rather than the things you love about them. You might even find yourself wanting your partner to succeed just so you can look better.

Your partner might start feeling like nothing they do is good enough for you. You might begin to think, “If this relationship isn’t like X and Y’s, it must not be meant to be”.

See how dangerous this trap can become?

It’s so important to have self-compassion. You are not perfect, and that’s okay. You might not have the same kind of success or the same great features as another person, but the achievements and qualities you do have are valuable too.

Your relationship, like every relationship, is imperfect too. It can be messy, complicated, and stressful. Your partner’s imperfections, like yours, make them human. Embrace your partner for all that they are, and don’t focus on the things they are not.

Have compassion for all the parts of your life: the good, the bad and the ugly.

When you see a friend, peer, or stranger and your mind points out their successes or good features, notice if any feelings of envy or jealousy come up. Gently tell those feelings that they aren’t necessary. You don’t need to put yourself down. You can have peace and contentment with who you are and where you are in life. You can celebrate your own successes and achievements and those of others.

If you can do this, you will find the happiness that you were looking for. It was right there in front of you the whole time.


If you’d like to learn more about the Comparison Trap and how not to fall into it, click here.

Photo by Ibrahim Boran on Unsplash