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"15 Self-Care Activities for Your Summer Adventure Bucket List"

As I think about my summer childhood days, I think about how self-care was a part of that season. Between the months of June and August, children take a break from going to school, getting up early, and studying. As adults, however, that changes with everyday responsibilities. Life demands pull us away from taking care of ourselves. We have to be intentional about the nuggets of self-care we put into our lives on a daily basis.

I think by now, especially after the pandemic, we understand more about the importance of taking care of our needs, knowing our limits, setting boundaries, and knowing when to ask for help. Work, going to school, raising a family and every day stressors can take a toll on our well-being. Sometimes the daily stressors creep in slowly into our existence, while at other times they come in the form of huge waves. Sometimes we see the signs as we take a moment to breath and reflect. At other times, however, the waves are so crushing that we are unable to come up for air. What’s worse is when it sets in as a normal part of our lives and we can no longer see what we are truly missing that is robbing us from experiencing the abundance life God intended for us to enjoy.

Take a moment to think about your childhood or the parts of your life that have been really good. My childhood was great and even though we did not have a lot of money, we took time out for fun. I remember dad would take us camping and fishing on the lake. Camping and fishing went hand-in-hand for dad. One time we packed up forgetting the three catfish that were still in a bucket by our camper. I don’t think we realized until we got home. Too late!

Think about your life now or at a moment of your life when you felt anxious, stressed, burned out or overwhelmed. What was happening then or is happening in your life now to cause these heavy emotions? What is causing you to feel so exhausted?

When life stressors trickle into our existence, we don’t always see them. The first time it happened to me was right after my dad left. I was a teenager and times got really hard for us. No more money. No more vacations or getting away. Life was just demanding. Once I graduated from high school, I worked sometimes two jobs while going to community college and trying to look toward a future that could promise security, while helping mom around the house, including being there for my younger siblings. Self-care didn’t exist. It was not a word I knew or understood. Life was on autopilot with a possibility of four hours of sleep.

I hope your life has not been that overwhelming. Can you relate?

Fortunately, self-care has become a huge part of my life, especially as a mental health provider. I don’t leave home without it, if you understand my meaning. It’s become a part of my DNA, from the moment I wake up until I go to bed.

As I think about summer, I also think about the extra steps I sprinkle into my care, like sunscreen and making sure I stay hydrated.

Everyday Self-Care

1.      Spend time with God

2.      Vacations are essential. Even Jesus took time out to get away from the demands of everyday life.

3.      Have a morning and evening routine. Having a routine can help lower stress and anxiety.

4.      Stay hydrated

5.      Eat healthy

6.      Exercise

7.      Get plenty of rest and sleep

8.      Get outdoors

9.      Use sunscreen

10.   Unwind before the end of the day

11.   Unplug from social media

12.   Do something fun

13.   Do something relaxing

14.   Do something creative (can be therapeutic)

15.   Count your blessings

16.   Be present/stay in the moment and enjoy life

17.   Know your limits/set boundaries

18.   Ask for help

19.   Acknowledge and feels your emotions. Healing is on the other side.

20.   Journal

Fun summer self-care ideas

1.      Create a summer bucket list

2.      Visit a new place you’ve never been to

3.      Check-out a new museum

4.      Go on a tour

5.      Taste a new cultural cuisine

6.      Do something new you’ve never done but have been meaning to do

7.      Create your own masterpiece or a DIY project (creative and therapeutic)

8.      Watch the sunset

9.      Take up a new outdoor hobby, sport, or exercise (such as bike riding, skating, jet skis, or water-skiing)

10.   Visit a shelter and adopt a new furry friend

11.   Go on a road trip adventure

12.   Go camping and make s’mores

13.   Attend an outdoor event

14.   Have a barbecue and invite your neighbors

15.   Explore a new hiking trail

So, what’s on your summer bucket list?

“You're off to Great Places! Today is your day!” Dr. Seuss

The possibilities, endless!


“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” John 15:11


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