How to make the most of a not so perfect summer

“When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.”

Summer plans ruined? Lusting over Instagram’s many ‘perfect’ summer shots? Fed up with picnics in the park and walks?

There are many ways to enjoy your summer vacations regardless of where you are or what your situation is. Focusing on making them fun and exciting is great if possible, but we think that this summer is the perfect chance to take care of yourself and practice self-love in abundance.

Here are a few ideas from the Bach team to get you started on your self-care journey this summer and turn your vacation into the perfect relaxing retreat.

1. Pick up a new hobby

Whether you have many hobbies or none at all, summer is the perfect time to pick up something new. Having a hobby can help you declutter your mind, learn new skills, and open up your world while enjoying yourself. You might want to take advantage of the nicer weather by picking up cycling or hiking. You could learn a manual skill such as gardening, or try something creative such as crocheting, sewing, painting or pottery.

Hobbies can also be social; challenge a few friends to start something together — it’s a great way to find common interests, cultivate interesting discussions and enjoy a fun pastime together. Write down as many as you think might interest you and pick a couple to try. Remember, if you find that you aren’t enjoying something as much as you thought, that’s totally fine — set it aside and try something else, you’ve got nothing to lose!

2. Make time for yourself — every day

While you may not be going away this summer, you might feel the need to fill your days instead — seeing friends at the park, cooking, exercising. But it’s more important than ever to take some time for yourself every day. That could be reading a book, meditating, going for a walk alone instead of with a family member or even just lying in bed for an extra 5 minutes.

3. Turn your daily self-care into a habit

Instead of focusing on what you need to remove from your life, try looking at what you can add to it instead. For example, if you’d like to eat healthier, add some vegetables to your regular meals or have some fruit in the morning along with your normal breakfast. The summer vacations mean you’ll have plenty of time to figure out when and how you can implement positive habits in your days. A habit we’ve been loving is starting our day with a positive affirmation. They’re a great way to kickstart the morning and can help you stay calm in difficult situations. Some positive affirmations you could try are ‘I am enough’, ‘I am a winner’, ‘I have confidence’, ‘I am fearless’, and ‘I can do this’.

4. Start journaling

Journaling regularly can help you settle down for the night, allow you to reflect, take time for yourself, process your emotions and even keep your memory sharp. But people can often get a bit carried away with the thought of journaling, thinking that they have to write down everything they did or every thought they had during the day, when in fact, journaling can be anything you want it to be. Whether you do want to write for hours or simply write down the best part of your day, try to find something that is manageable for you and that will make you want to sit down every day to write.

5. Start an online course

If there’s one thing the pandemic proved, it’s that we can do almost anything online. As universities are turning to online teaching next year, many online courses have been released. If you’re looking for something academic, take to the internet to research your local universities resources, as many have free bite-sized courses. If you’re looking for something a little more creative or lucrative, you can try YouTube videos where you can learn from thousands of creative classes. You could even consider turning a hobby into a career: if you’re an avid yogi, why not take it a step further with an online yoga teacher training? Whatever skill or knowledge you’d like to acquire or develop, have a quick internet search and you’re bound to find an online course!

6. Take time to reflect and re-evaluate

We’ve been through a lot this year and things have probably felt pretty hectic at times. It’s important to take a step back and reflect on how far you’ve come. Though we’ve likely been less physically connected than we used to be, we’ve probably been far more virtually connected than ever before. And while it’s been great to find this connection to others online, social media and the news can often be overwhelming and can stop us appreciating our own present state. To help you come back to the present, try taking a social media break during your vacation. This will encourage you to focus on yourself rather than thinking about what others are doing or what they think about you and your vacation. During your time away from social media, try to think about what is important to you, what you’re grateful for, and how you can continue to grow and cultivate positive thinking.

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