At the beginning of June, I created a bucket list of things I wanted to accomplish before fall approaches. So far, I’ve completed about half of what is on my list. Then I started thinking, what about summer self-care moments? I decided to detail the simple things I’m doing that help me make the most of these sun-filled days while also taking care of myself. From starting a new hobby to taking photos, here are 10 things that help me relax and be more present.
Be spontaneous during the week but thoroughly plan out my weekends.
I’ve been going back and forth between my apartment in New York City and my family’s beach house in Westbrook, Connecticut. Because of Billy’s job, he’s unable to spend as much time in CT as me. During the week, I’m here with my parents and Lulu (the world’s cutest cat) and Billy tries to come on the weekends.
My weekdays consist of writing, going on the beach, and whatever else may come up—like shopping, trying new restaurants, working out, day trips, etc. My weekends are a lot more organized because I try to choose new and fun things for Billy and I to do together. Last Sunday we had a delicious brunch at Water’s Edge Resort & Spa (something I’ve done many times before, but a first for Billy), and a few weeks before that we spent the day exploring Olde Mistick Village. Before he comes, I go through my summer bucket list and get ideas. Then I’ll ask him what he’d like to do since he’s only here for a short amount of time.
Wake up early when it’s still quiet.
Last August, on our first morning here, I woke up before everyone else while it was still quiet outside. The beach was empty, and the sun was sparkling on the water. I vividly remember thinking how this isn’t just a vacation and that I can experience this over and over again. It was there that my childhood dream of having a place at the Connecticut shore became a reality to me. I like to wake up early and relive that feeling while also appreciating the calmness before I begin my day. This is one of my favorite summer self-care moments.
Update my “beach vibes” playlist.
Usually the playlist I listen to while I’m on the beach is full of tracks that are chill and relaxing while also feeling very “summery.” Each year I organize it by removing any songs I’m sick of and updating it with new ones. As I listen, I’m brought back to previous summers and I relive those wonderful memories. I also know that when I play it in the future (like on a snowy day in March and when I’m dreaming of the sun and ocean) that I’ll be able to look back on the summer of 2021.
Grow my own herbs.
I started growing my own herbs, but instead of doing this in New York, I decided to do it in Connecticut instead. Right now, we have fresh basil, cilantro, and chives. They’re still in the beginning stages, but soon I’ll be able to add them to my favorite summer dishes.
Paint my nails in bright, summery colors.
When it comes to my wardrobe, during the colder months I opt for dark and neutral tones and the same can be said for my nails. For spring and summer my colors are much brighter and more playful.I purchased five new Essie polishes in fun neon and electric shades that scream “summers here!” They remind me of a nail polish set I had in my teens and looked forward to applying at the beach. I plan on doing a rainbow manicure and the colors I’ve chosen are lilacism, mod square, cute as a button, bikini so teeny, and have a ball.
Take my workouts outside.
Last year, during the height of the pandemic, I had to adjust my fitness regimen. Since gyms were closed, I got creative inside my L.A. apartment by turning my foyer into a mini gym. That meant giving up most fitness equipment (something I panicked at the thought of), but it also taught me you can workout anywhere and stay in shape while still building muscle. I returned to an actual gym this winter but when I spend time in Connecticut I do my workout outside overlooking the ocean. Of course I enjoy my gym workouts, but it’s refreshing to switch them up and focus on strength training by incorporating resistance bands and dumbbells and also going for beachside jogs a few evenings a week.
Go for an evening stroll and take photos of the scenery.
In the beginning of the summer I’d jog along the beach and in the neighborhoods close by. It felt great running outside, but I also realized in my quest to get my heart rate up, I was missing out on the beautiful scenery. Now, I’ve made it a point to mix in walks with my runs and take photos of the interesting-looking cottages, colorful flowers, seashells, sunsets, and, of course, the ocean. By doing this, I feel much more present and living in the moment. This summer self-care practice is sort of a mental escape.
Start a new hobby.
Years ago, I purchased jewelry supplies with the intention of starting a business. Right after, I got hired to work in a PR showroom and ended up having little time for anything else. The other day, I got inspired to start making jewelry again and ordered even more supplies. As I wait for them to arrive, I’ve been sketching designs, creating mood boards, and formulating a business plan. It feels amazing to return to something I had cast aside.
Take better care of my skin.
To say this summer hasn’t been kind to my skin would be an understatement. It feels like from the moment I stepped on the beach, my face started breaking out. Typically, I would do an at-home chemical peel which instantly restores my skin. Since I’m constantly going in the sun, that’s not an option right now. I decided on a different approach, which meant revamping my skincare routine to help combat the humidity and ocean air.
To start, I took a break from using Cetaphil gentle face cleanser. Usually, this works great, but because of the current condition of my skin I wanted something that foams where I could feel it working. I also took a pause from applying Cetaphil moisturizing lotion. at night. This is another product that works really well but during the summer I need something with a less thick consistency.
To draw out impurities, I’ve been using Aztec Secret which is an Indian healing clay that costs only $7.99 on Amazon (you can read all the benefits of using Bentonite clay right here). I’ve also been using my LED face mask more often. Here’s a look at the summer self-care products I’m currently using to help deal with my breakouts.
- Cleanser: Drunk Elephant Beste jelly No. 9
- Serum: Asterwoods Naturals pure hyaluronic Acid serum
- Moisturizer: Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide moisturizer
- SPF: Shiseido SPF 50 sunscreen stick
- Cleanser 1: Mario Badesu glycolic foaming cleanser
- Cleanser 2: Boscia charcoal deep-pore exfoliating peel gel
- Toner: Mario Badescu glycolic toner
- Spot treatment: Mario Badescu drying lotion
- Moisturizer: Boscia clear complexion moisturizer
3 to 4 times a week: LED face mask
2 times a week: Aztec Secret clay mask
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