Summertime is here, but it’s not all sunshine, margaritas, and sand when you have a bun in the oven: you’re likely faced with scorching hot days, swollen feet, piercing headaches and the desire to curl up in an air-conditioned room in solitude. (This scenario is not always possible, especially when you have older kids going stir crazy and needing constant entertainment!) I lived these moments not terribly long ago when I was pregnant with my daughter while managing my four-year-old son during a long summer in the country. During those long pregnant days of summer, I had one word on my mind: survival.
It’s incredibly normal to feel depleted during this time of year, especially if you add the pressure of juggling work, summer camps and schedules, family gatherings, events, holidays and more! It’s easy to put ourselves last, to let our self-care fall to the wayside, or even completely off your radar. But if you don’t make self-care a priority this summer, you could face some serious burn-out, which in turn could impact the health of you and your baby.
You see, I learned quickly as I struggled with nausea and discomfort that if I didn’t slow my body down, get a pre-natal massage once in a while, or simply make sure I made time to nourish myself with super healthy summer foods, that I snapped much more easily. At my husband and at my son. And I didn’t like being that partner or mom. I realized quickly that little investments in self-care made a huge difference in how I managed my emotions and how I was able to show up. The impact for me was huge which is why I’m so happy to share my no-fail summer self-care survival tips with you:
Remember that a little goes a long way: We often we don’t take the time because we think we need more than we can have. But a short walk, a five-minute meditation, a 10-minute stretch session can literally change your mindset from deprived to fueled. Take what you can get!
Get extra help. Why is it so hard to ask for a little extra help when we feel we need it? During the summer, we think we’re supposed to be easy breezy but sometimes we just need a break from our family and responsibilities- and that’s ok! Ask a mom friend or call a college kid home from break who’d love to relieve you for an hour or two.
Be inspired by nature. Mother nature is alive and well. Surround yourself with hikes, swim outside, pick flowers, plant a garden, and explore. All family activities but ones that you can benefit from too. Take deep breaths and absorb the goodness.
Find gratitude in the moment. Using mindfulness techniques, slow yourself down enough to know that even if you have less time for yourself and more time with the kids that these moments are fleeting and before you know it, fall will be here. Find gratitude for the health of yourself and your kids, for the air you breathe and the sunshine on your face.
Drink Water! I discovered that when I felt exhausted, anxious or depleted, I was actually dehydrated. The heat really kicks that up a few notches, especially as a pregnant woman! Get yourself a big reusable water bottle that keeps cold water cold and drinks consistently through the day. Throw in some fresh mint to keep your drink tasty and refreshing.
Tis the season to eat the rainbow! This is the time of year to eat fresh, locally grown veggies- they will fuel you with nutrition and give you more energy. If you’re lucky enough to have your own garden, nurture and enjoy it. If you don’t, find your closest farmers market and eat whats been grown at local farms. My special tip: as you prepare your super fresh, local fruits and veggies, think of how eating this food is an act of self-care. Give thanks to the food and thanks to yourself for loving yourself (and your pregnancy) enough to this fuel. Our mindset is everything, so set your mind to positivity and gratitude.
Happy Summer Everyone! The days can be long but the weeks fly be. Enjoy the little moments and make yourself a priority. Everyone will benefit from it!