Summer is in full swing, vacation time is marked on the calendar, and everyone is welcoming the return of the warm sunshine. With school out, kids are running amok, parents are planning out activities, and everyone is trying to get in some quality time when they can. And if you live a holistic lifestyle, it can seem impossible to keep up with everything.
Summer has a tall order and sometimes we can’t quite live up to it. We make exciting plans, but then realize we just can’t quite fit everything in. Maybe you work a lot, including summers, and you just can’t take off for a long vacation. Or you realize that you only have one day per week to do a little rest and relaxation and you’re not sure what to choose.
Another struggle unique to summer is dealing with issues like being roasted in the sun and putting up with irritating insects. Soaking up vitamin D and getting those sunshine endorphins is important, but you’d like to skip the side of cancer risk. While bugs are just a part of life, itchy mosquito bites (plus yucky viruses that some carry) and intimidating blood suckers can and should be avoided if possible.
So how you can balance work and necessary summer relaxation? How can you enjoy the bounty of summer without harming yourself? And how can you do all of this naturally and simply?
Here are a few holistic living tips to ensure that this summer is your best one yet!
Holistic living isn’t just about natural remedies. It’s also about generally being more in tune with your body. One of the things our bodies need is rest. And usually, for most of us, we choose the summer months to slow down and enjoy ourselves.
The word “summer” conjures up visions of lazing by the sea, reading books in a breezy hammock, and enjoying luxurious dinners of fresh veggies and fruits from local farms. In a word, summer is all about relaxation. But maybe you can’t leave town for long periods of time this year.
What can you do to take care of yourself and feed your need for a little R&R? Luckily, there are plenty of great ideas for mini-vacations and staycations. Here are a few ideas to get your wheels turning.
Stay-Near-Home Vacation Ideas
- Visit a nearby National Park or State Park.
- Rent kayaks, canoes, or a boat and hang out on the lake all day.
- Take a bike tour of a local landscape that’s unique for your region.
- Rent an Airbnb in your town or the next town over, then relax and/or play tourist.
- Take a one-night mini trip to your nearest big city and enjoy a night out.
- Find a local resort and book a two-day retreat.
- Rent a lake house or cabin for the weekend, then soak up nature and being unplugged.
- Hire a local person to clean your house from top to bottom, so it will feel more like a hotel.
- Dress up your kitchen and bathroom with fresh flowers and scented candles.
- Set up an autoresponder on your work email and temporarily delete your work email from your phone.
- Plan out your rules for devices – put them away or restrict when you can get them out.
- Do the things you do on vacation: drag out the favorite boards games, watch your favorite movies, and build a fire in the backyard to roast marshmallows.
- Splurge on all the tasty food at the grocery store instead of eating out, then try out exciting recipes.
- Plan to rest lots, so set yourself up with your favorite books and other quiet activities.
- Plan out activities, whether they’re outdoor adventures or tourism fun.
- Indulge in bath salts, home spa treatments, and other things that make you feel renewed.
As you can see, by staying home or staying near home, you can enjoy all the wonderful things about vacationing without dealing with the stress of travel, flying, and dealing with crummy accommodations. Planning is key so that you don’t accidentally backslide into your normal, everyday routine. Since you’ll be saving lots of money by not traveling far, feel free to treat yourself to all the self-care and activities that you’ve always wished you could do!
Holistic Natural Skin Savers
Here’s another holistic tip for a safe and relaxed summer–protect your skin from the sun!
Although sunshine brings us beautiful things: gardens, flowers, warmth, vitamin D, endorphins, and fun, it can also be really harsh on our skin–especially when we get too much of it. Not many things are quite as unpleasant as a really bad sunburn. Of course, holistic-minded people are always searching for ways to protect themselves from the sun in more natural ways. Mainstream sunblock is full of chemicals that many want to avoid.
So how can you protect your skin naturally?
- Eat skin-protecting veggies like tomatoes, red peppers, and oranges.
- Up your intake of omega-3s through whole foods like wild salmon.
- Eat more dark greens like kale, swiss chard, and spinach.
- Wear linen fabrics for a cool and healthy way to cover skin.
- Find a fabulous hat to keep your hair and eyes safe from too much sun exposure.
- Take your sun in smaller doses, giving your skin a rest inside when you need to.
- Use safe and natural sunscreens, like the ones on this EWG list.
- Mix your own natural sunscreen using a blend of oils that naturally protect your skin.
Beat the Bugs–Naturally
The sun isn’t the only thing that can make your summer miserable. There’s one sure way of ruining your otherwise delightful lake vacation: lots and lots of bugs. Between scratching at those mosquito bites, finding a tick clinging to your 4-year-old’s neck, and getting nipped by black flies, you’re just about to call off the adventure.
But before you do, consider these natural ways to beat off those irritating insects without exposing your family to harmful chemicals.
- Wear long pants, long sleeves, and shoes and socks.
- Use essential oils, especially lemongrass and lemon eucalyptus, which are highly effective.
- Mix up a spray with the oils above plus rosewood, cedarwood, and citronella oils, then spray often on clothes, skin, and your surroundings.
- Check the EPA-registered list of repellents considered to be safe.
- Always check labels, even on “natural” repellants – they can contain ingredients that are toxic for humans and pets.
- After spending time outside, make sure everyone checks for bites and lingering bugs, like ticks.
- If ticks have bitten, quickly remove them (by the head) with tweezers and then take a shower as a precaution for any others that might be lurking!
- Avoid areas known to have standing water and concentrations of bugs.
- At home, plant herbs known to irritate insects around your social outdoor spaces.
Most of all, enjoy this summer, spend time with your friends and family, be gentle with yourself, and find lots of moments for self-care.
Wishing you the best summer ever!
Want to learn more ways on how to stay healthy? Check out your wellness score!
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