I am a summer LOVER. I love the sun, the heat, the iced coffees, the garden time, the hiking, the grilled food...I love SUMMER!
My immense enthusiasm for the season is often felt in my body, mind and heart as social burnout by mid-August. Every spring, I try to prepare myself for a full social calendar by making some boundaries for myself on how I'll spend my time and energy. Inevitably, I break all the rules and just give myself over to my love affair with summer.
Here's something I've learned about myself during the pandemic:
I don't actually have the same capacity as I had in the "before times."
The constant stress of the past several years has diminished my - and many others' - capacity to engage, be active, socialize and be otherwise productive in everyday life activities. I personally recognize a greater need for alone time, rest, and sleep...and let me tell you: that does NOT align with my past summer-loving vibe!
If you, like me, tend to overdo it in the summer and/or have noticed a change in your capacity, I'm offering up the following self-inventory reflection prompts to start honing in on your unique and seasonal self-care needs before the momentum of summer sweeps you off your feet.
Before diving into any practice that aims at a deeper self-knowing, take some time to get embodied. Reflecting or journaling is a great activity to follow physical movement. This could be a full-blown workout or just a short walk or stretch session. Focus on feeling your body by taking deep breaths and not distracting yourself with conversation or other stimulus.
Tuck in with a journal and a favorite pen, or a trusted friend to dialogue on the the following questions:
Let me use myself as an example for how I would use these prompts to create a personalized seasonal self-care plan.
I know that I care best for myself when I have time to focus on myself and rest. I need a big chunk of time to "play" (i.e. do whatever I want). When I have that, I experience much less friction in my other health habits (eating, exercise, sleep, etc.). So, here's how I can line that up for myself this summer:
That might sound really, really simple...but the easier the approach to a new habit works the best for me. I know that not only can I sustain something that feels easy, I also want to!
I hope this inventory helps you engage with some inner wisdom and shores up some self-care habits that serve you through this summer and beyond.
I love food.
I love thinking about it, talking about it, writing about it. I love growing food, cooking and eating food. I use this space to try to convey that. Follow me on social media for more day-to-day inspiration on these topics.
Jesse Haas, MS, CNS, LN
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