Bernie Petrie tells us that loving and cherishing who you are this summer will have a positive impact on you and your family’s autumn and winter experience.
By the time this column is published, we will be a mere three weeks away from the summer solstice. The lighter evenings will be at their peak, so now is the time to be outdoors as much as possible. One thing we cannot guarantee is the weather, so making hay whilst the sun shines is pretty valuable advice over the coming days.
I keep a creative mind map of the things I need to do in the months ahead, by my bedside, as a constant reminder – it’s so easy to forget! And to help spark your own ideas I thought I would share some of mine with you.
I love sea swimming and being barefoot. These are top of my list throughout the warmer months and I aim to do both daily. From the moment my toes hit the water my body starts to tingle with excitement and the clarity that I experience post swim is one of the most natural mental health medicines I know. Sea swimming also boosts the immune system so come autumn those cold bugs should stay well away. The exposed toes and heels can be an issue so I give my feet lots of extra care. Daily foot massages and shiny toe nails are becoming essential. I was told once that we should give our feet as much attention as we give our face and now I see why!
Picnics are magical memory makers, especially with friends and family. When my children were younger we would head down to the beach, either straight from nursery school or for summer lunch (my kids never fought on the beach!). But whether it’s with children or on your own, always pack a good book – it’s great for children to see you read and you can still get stuck in and make sandcastles too.
A simple homemade sandwich and flask of tea sitting on a rock gazing out to sea (after a sea swim) also hits the spot. I am aiming to make a picnic for myself at least once a week. I’ll pop a blanket along with good book into my back pack and find a sunny spot on the beach. This time away from a computer and phone is the perfect summer self-love medicine.
Also on my list is a simple nap and green juice. Those in warmer climes plan their day around the siesta and I swear by the benefits of a 20 or 40-minute snooze especially on warmer days. Green juice is liquid gold for boosts of energy, nutrients and restoration so is the perfect liquid lunch over the summer months. I’m also playing around with recipes to make the perfect non-alcoholic ‘green’ cocktail for summer evenings. Serving it in a fancy glass will ensure you feel decadent in the evening, yet fresh as a daisy in the morning!
My list of self-love medicine for the summer is linked to how I spent my childhood summers. Your list might look very different. Revisit your childhood memories, take a few moments and remind yourself of summers past and create a list of what you would like to do over the warmer months. Your very own summer self-love medicine!