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What Does Self Care Look Like in Summer?

The arrival of summer brings can bring with it a sense of possibility, we can feel excited (and maybe pressured) to make the most of long sunny days. When it’s hot and our days are filled with plans, we can all spend too much time in a heady, exhilarated state, with activated nervous systems and a constant ‘on’ switch. We need a consistent self-care routine that is both adaptable and reliable, to come back to our bodies, during a season known for extroversion and activity.

We listened to Rick Rubin on Armchair Expert recently and he explained that “discipline is not the enemy of freedom”, that some discipline and routine (especially with taking care of ourselves) can open up more space for us to be present and to feel more joy in our days.

From simple, impactful changes to your sleep routine, to watching Below Deck under a blanket, here’s how to do everything you want to AND get enough rest this summer.

A safe haven to recharge:

A reliable, nurturing sleep routine forms an integral foundation of self-care all year round, but particularly so during the warmer months when temperatures rise and waking up rested feels more challenging.

Switch out your usual duvet for a lighter option, be it a lower tog count duvet or a cotton blanket alone when temperatures hit their peak to create the best chance of a full 8 hours. Alternatively, Floks wool duvets help to both regulate body temperature and protect against allergens, making them perfect for heatwave season and the optimum chance of a peaceful, rested night's sleep.

The bedroom in general can also contribute to wider relaxation and the ability to unwind in preparation for sleep, so consider clearing any clutter from your bedside table that is no longer serving you, in addition to organising the space underneath your bed to create a space that feels most conducive to relaxation. If this feels overwhelming, break it down into stages and tackle one area at a time, ending with a trip to a local charity shop or car boot sale.

Food prep that inspires ease:

Self-care looks different for everyone, but creating a life with ease at its centre can be one way to create necessary space during an otherwise busy season. Dedicate some time at the start of your week to planning your meals and thinking ahead so that your fridge and cupboards are stocked with the essentials, plus some fun, delicious extras to keep foodie inspiration flowing.

Preparing at least one meal of the day in advance- be it chia seed puddings for breakfast or delicious, hearty portions of seasonal salads- can offer a helping hand in freeing up both time and thinking space within your day.

If food inspiration is lacking, take notes from Ethaney Lee (aka @tenderherbs on Instagram), food writer, lover and friend of Glassette’s who’s ultimate comfort meal swings between  “A pasta dish with tomato confit and lots of freshly grated parmesan OR fresh rice made with chicken stock and softly cooked egg with lots of chilli oil.”  Food offers an opportunity to show ourselves care, and nothing symbolises love more than a steaming bowl of carbs.

For meal inspiration that utilises seasonal ingredients for the summer, look to One: Pot, Pan, Planet: A greener way to cook for you, your family and the planet by Anna Jones, or Ottolenghi SIMPLE by Yotam Ottolenghi for simple yet nourishing meals you’ll want to repeat throughout the summer months. Batch cook vegetables or pasta bakes using Falcon Enamelware’s Square Bake Tray and enjoy mealtimes centred around ease.

The healing power of Vitamin D:

Sitting in the sun with an iced tea, good book or simply your own thoughts for company can offer the perfect moment of pause ahead of a jam packed itinerary, or to reset in the golden hour sunshine with the day's tasks behind you. And there's good reason as to why a dose of sunshine feels so healing. From reducing cortisol to strengthening your immune system, regulating your mood and improving sleep quality, even 15 minutes of sunlight a day can offer benefits that exceed the natural pause that nature provides.

Make sure to practice safe sun exposure during these moments, and be assured that time spent outdoors is never time wasted.  Keep a tote bag packed with a picnic blanket and enamel dinnerware for sunny days when a lunch break outdoors is too beautiful to waste, or set up a parasol in the garden to dip in and out of the shade when needed.

Nervous system regulation made easy:

With an emphasis on embracing slowness where possible, returning your nervous system to a place of regulation can help you tackle the busier times with a sense of ease and control. Lighting a candle whilst carving out time for relaxation is not just a cliche, with scents by Vyrao- the world’s first wellbeing brand to fuse energetic healing with master perfumery- offering an indulgent sensory experience that transports you back to the present moment during times of panic.

Platforms such as Insight Timer- an app with the world's largest library of free meditations, sleep stories and anxiety resources can help to carve out small but integral practices that offer a slice of calm in your day and allow you to re-centre.  During times when dysregulation catches you off guard when out of the house, try breathing a deep sigh and forcing out all the air from your lungs, helping to signal to your brain and body that it’s okay to relax during times when anxiety is high.

Hydration 101:

With a booked up social calendar comes the tendency to neglect even the simplest acts of self care, be it eating the meals you know feel most nourishing or drinking enough water to sustain a summer of work and play. Make hydration more enticing by experimenting with ice this season and DIY your freezer offerings to help you reach for a cold glass of water more often. From the addition of edible flowers for a novelty touch to citrus fruits for an injection of zinginess, the humble ice tray is about to become your summer saviour.

Beautiful jugs and gorgeous glassware are a welcome encouragement too, from dainty carafes on your bedside to ceramic glug jugs that form the perfect centrepiece at your summer dinner table, sometimes romanticising a ritual is all that’s needed to make a habit stick.

Plans, but not too many …

Knowing when to say no is an integral part of self care, but honouring that during the summer months when socialising feels to be at its peak can be a different story. Finding balance and learning to understand your body and mind’s natural cues can help guide your decision making, so know that it’s important to listen when you feel a pull to either stay home or connect with friends and loved ones.

Balance travel and time outside of your routine with plans to host at home, creating the perfect bridge between ensuring your cup stays full without isolating yourself. Hosting for loved ones need not be a stressful affair or something that requires weeks or even days of forward planning, so use the warm weather season to embrace spontaneity and relaxed get togethers in the comfort of your own space. Think supermarket picky bits displayed on beautiful ceramic dinnerware, one-pot dishes surrounded by the glow of taper candles aplenty, and golden hour garden BBQs enjoyed on patchwork style display of picnic blankets.

The power of creating space in your day:

From knowing how to switch off after a long day (watching Below Deck under a blanket, works every time), to understanding the intricacies of your emotional world, the power of a routine that serves wellbeing at its core can revolutionise your day-to-day.

A steadfast morning and evening routine can offer a necessary buffer between both work, play and rest, and provide structure you know you can rely on when your calendar is full. Experiment with starting and ending your day with a 30 minutes away from technology, whether used for journaling or sinking into the world of your latest read, a digital detox can be powerful in its benefits.

For bath lovers, a long soak using Mirror Water’s forest inspired bath salts provides the perfect ending to beautiful and busy summer days. Formulated with essential oils such as vetiver, cedarwood, Canadian black spruce and bergamot to help you feel grounded and restful, its inclusive, neutral scent is universal in its appeal. New to Glassette, Mirror Water’s products are designed to support your downtime, packed with high quality and naturally sourced ingredients that you look forward to using.

Experiment with what feels good and the small changes that make the biggest of differences in how you feel. Whether it’s 10 minutes of meditation in the morning, a lunchtime walk with a podcast for company, or setting aside time for the things you know fill your cup, routine can be revolutionary.

Gentle movement (and knowing when to do none at all)

Exercise and the meaning, peace and benefits it brings mean something different to all, but no matter the motivation for moving your body, a busy schedule sometimes means unintentionally  sacrificing this element of self care. Knowing when to commit to moving your body versus leaning into rest is another lesson that comes from paying close attention to your body’s natural cues, and is most often discovered through an openness to blocking out external noise and making decisions purely motivated by your own needs.

From reformer pilates to wild swimming, yoga to gentle stretch classes, there are endless slow and mindful ways of incorporating movement into your day that can feel more accessible than high intensity workouts during the heat of the summer. The benefits of these slower forms of exercise are just as powerful in their rewards, providing a surge of endorphin release that triggers natural pain and stress relief and an overall improved sense of wellbeing.