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Who else is exhausted? I don’t know if it’s the heat without A.C. (curse you Alaskan homes for only having in-home forced heat), the unforgiving sunshine or the overly-tired children being extra whiny -but Momma needs some serious recovery. That’s why I’m dedicating this weekend to self-care regimes that I know will help me unwind and decompress, and refuel. Refueling is paramount during the summer! I want to let the family have fun but I also need to maintain that energy that has us getting out in the first place. It’s all about and having fun without burning out as a family -especially while the sun still sits high in the sky.
“She Made A Promise To Herself To Hold Her Own Well-Being Sacred.”
Living in Alaska, where the sun never sets in the summertime, we go hard for a few short months. An ingrained habit because most locals spend the other eight months cooped up from the tormenting cold and darkness. There’s also just way too much fun and landscape to enjoy.
When I think back though, the same sense of hurry happened down in the lower 48’s as well. Maybe it’s the lifting of my seasonal affective disorder, or maybe this is the definition of summer, but time seems to speed up, and I love the fast pace of it all. The kids are out of school, the parks are bustling, social events are occurring every weekend that you have to try and pencil in, all while refusing to remove your toes from the waterside. The summer months become this time where we go-go-go and don’t stop until the fall months snap us back, forcing us to hunker down and cozy up with our knitted sweaters, reflecting on the months passed. If you don’t get your fill, you could feel like the entire summer passed you by and that’s the last thing you want -especially here in Alaska.
We want to make the most of the summer but we also have to play it smart and not burn ourselves out -me especially. Cue all the meltdowns. I’m sure the pressure of summer fun could be different if we were living in another state that offered the normality of the four seasons, but I doubt it. The summer vibes will be strong no matter where we find ourselves, that I know for sure.
This go-go-go mentality that seems to whisper in my ear all summer long. I have to make sure that I give my self-care regime even more thought and time. That’s even truer now than ever because not only am I coping with my tiredness and overheated self but I have to help my daughter unwind from it all as well, and let me tell you, she puts up a fight.
Family and friends, I’m sorry for how she acted when she was too hot, tired, and hungry.
She becomes a little more demanding, and her patience runs much thinner when its this hot…but then again, so does mine.
Bedtime becomes a nightly negotiation even though she were beyond tired and burnt out from the sun. The sunshine has us all under this “summertime fun” trance that we can’t shake off, and I don’t blame her, my husband, or I one bit. That’s why I have to keep sane by dedicating time on even the busiest of summer weekends to my calming and centering self-care needs. I know if I’m in order, then that gives the rest of the family’s sanity as a whole, a fighting chance.
NINE (FAMILY FRIENDLY) WAYS TO SELF-CARE, THIS WEEKEND
1. GET OUT OF THE SUN:
Seriously! Get out of the sun and into the shade. You can still enjoy a beautiful sunny day without throwing yourself to the mercy of the sun’s harmful rays. Give yourself a much-needed break from the sunlight and let your body and mind recover.
2. SAY NO TO MULTITASKING/ROUTINES/PLANS
If you have a busy week filled to the brim with recreational activities, work, dinner plans, and your children’s events -maybe it’s a good idea to let you and your weekend be chill as possible. A relaxed mindset doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go out and enjoy an event or see friends… instead just let it ‘happen if it happens’ and listen to your body and mind. Don’t feel obligated to go to an event because it’s the weekend and the weather’s nice. Sleep in, take a long cool shower, put your feet up and read a book while the family entertains on their own -let the weekend happen on your terms.
3. WORKOUT IN THE A.M. WHEN IT’S COOL OUTSIDE
If you’re an early riser like me, then you know how amazing it feels first thing in the morning on a beautiful summer day. Take your yoga mat outside and have a nice long stretching session with a cup of coffee or tea. Go for a run and let your feet hitting the pavement put you in a trance while the rest of your family sleeps. Go for a walk and listen to your neighborhood’s wildlife wake up while you do the same. Have a nice yoga session on your lawn and let the fresh morning air enter your lungs. Be mindful of your body, connect with it first thing and set the tone for a relaxing day.
4. SIT IN A RELAXING AREA IN YOUR YARD, CLOSE YOUR EYES, & LISTEN
Grab your hammock, lawn chair, or comfy blanket and take the time to get outside and relax. When my husband is home for the weekend and I know I can “check-out” for a moment, I take every opportunity to do so. If I can lay outside in a cool, shaded area, close my eyes, and be mindful of my surroundings sometimes, that’s all I need to recover after a long hectic week in the heat. It’s so nice being able to do this, hearing your family play in the background -just be sure that at least one parent is aware of what the little trouble-makers are up to.
5. TAKE A NAP
This self-care necessity (for me) goes hand-in-hand with number 4 above. Whether you’re outside in the cool shade or sprawled out, above your bed’s covers, a nap is a nap is a nap. Let yourself check out this weekend and take a quick 20-minute power nap. Seriously, that sounds the best -I can’t wait.
6. LET YOUR KIDS GIVE YOU A MANI-PEDI
What would summer be without a cute mani-pedi? If your craving a relaxing weekend but are worried that your children may get too bored, have a spa day right there at home. Turn on some music you like and set up shop right there on your patio. Fill a shallow bucket up and soak your feet. Let your kids do your nails. Have them play with your hair. Make an event out of it and enjoy the quality time while you relax. Give them a little more free range than you usually would and do your best not to micromanage -you can do it.
7. FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT IN
Close the curtains, shut your cell phones off, set the oscillating fans to low, and turn on a family movie. When the entire family is going non-stop during the summer, it’s important to take the time and relax as a whole. Want to munch on something? Make an assortment of snacks that are light but enjoyable like fresh fruit, vegetable-packed sandwiches, and a healthy frozen treat. Put your feet up and chill out. Just because it’s sunny outside doesn’t mean you have to go full speed ahead 24/7.
8. GIVE YOUR SKIN LOVE & ATTENTION IT DESPERATELY NEEDS
Take thirty minutes to an hour and give your sun-kissed skin the love that it’s craving. Use your dry brush, take a cold shower, then lather up with lotion afterward. Maybe you received a little too much sun? I love to add a few drops of lavender to my aloe vera or coconut oil rub then massage it in where my skin is red and hot. Keeping up with your healthy skin regime is essential during the hot summer months -don’t let your skin go unmoisturized. Put on a face mask and lay down on your bed -that’s when that 20-minute nap can become a reality.
9. THINK LIGHT AND REFRESHING FOODS & DRINKS
Like I mentioned before in self-care idea number 7, think light and refreshing when it comes to your food this weekend -and this summer for that matter. The last thing you want to do to yourself this weekend is to eat that heavy, greasy meal that’s going to leave you feeling awful to come next week. Refuel yourself this weekend with bright fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, and nuts. Think clean-cut and simple. Snack on healthy foods throughout the day then wash it down with a glass of cold water, iced tea, or a fruit smoothie. Let your body rest while you give it the energizing and rejuvenating nutrients that it’s wanting. This form of self-care is the type of care that keeps on giving long into next week.
Whatever it is that you decide to do this weekend
-be sure to set time aside and take care of yourself!