12 ways to practice self-care this summer

No matter the season, it's always important to take care of our minds, bodies and souls.


Practicing self-care isn’t always easy. The majority of us are crazy busy, have stressful jobs or are too consumed with technology to make time for ourselves. "Me time" is usually last on the agenda and sometimes we may feel guilty for taking time to take care of ourselves. It means doing things to take care of our minds, bodies and souls by engaging in activities that promote well-being and reduce stress. Self-care is more than just a physical need–it can help improve our well-being and help us feel better about ourselves.

Here are 12 things that you can try to make room for self-care this summer:

1. Take a hot/cold shower 

Personally, after a long, hard day, I like to jump in the shower and take a hot shower. Taking a shower to doesn’t always have to be about hygiene and getting “clean,” sometimes it’s just for having a concert and singing at the top of my lungs. Self-care doesn't need to be practical or productive!

2. Exercise 

Exercise can also be a great outlet for frustrations and anger. It can take your mind off of problems and troubling thoughts, just by placing you in a different environment and forcing you to focus on your deep breathing. Taking a long walk by myself makes me feel a bit better.

3. Watch television 

Watching television is a great distraction for me. Whether it is binge-watching a new series on Netflix or rewatching an old movie, it helps to take my mind off whatever is bothering me and gives me some time for myself.

4. Meditate 

Meditation provides you with that quality “me time.” It’s not just about being alone and away from others, but being away from your day-to-day thoughts to spend quality time with your inner self, to connect, reset and reflect. Providing yourself with “me time” can help us unwind, allows for self-discovery and ultimately improves our happiness and satisfaction with life because we become more in-tune with ourselves and what we desire.

5. Call a friend

Whether going out or staying in, you can certainly count on your friends to have your back. Call a friend, even if it is just to say hello or maybe just ask them to bring over pizza.

6. Make art 

Art was a hobby that I loved. Being able to create something was beautiful. When I needed inspiration I would watch a tonne of videos, and then I would usually settle on doing a landscape, and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere. That was however, until I realized I can’t paint or draw trees. So I settled for the real thing, by taking up gardening!

7. Gardening 

Pinterest makes gardening look so easy and it certainly does not mention the time and effort to dig holes unless you have any upper body strength (I certainly don’t). There is something beautiful about nature. Taking the time to be outside gives me a chance to get fresh air and enjoy myself by attempting to make something beautiful. Gardening is a good way to get some exercise and do something that will also reward you in the end (hopefully), but it is important to have fun while doing it so don’t be discouraged if your plants don’t grow the first time or even the second time! It’s a process that takes time and patience to figure out. 

8. Read

Watching TV has its perks, but reading gives us that much needed quiet time to focus on ourselves, experience deeper emotions and get lost in a story. Besides, learning something new is entertaining and good for the soul. I would recommend The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides if you’re into thrillers. 

9. Go exploring

Even if you’re just taking a walk down Whyte Avenue, it is always interesting to see what your community–or a new neighbourhood you've never been to before–offers. 

10. Treat yourself to a spa day

DIY face masks, bubble baths, at home manicure and pedicures–nine-year-old me would be very pleased to know that I have an opportunity to make anything at home! (Thanks, Pinterest). Whether you’re going out to a salon and having it done professionally or doing it yourself, it’s important to kick back and relax once in awhile.

11. Disconnect

It’s important to recognize when to step away. Turn off your phone for a few hours and focus on yourself by doing something else on this list! 

12. Do nothing 

You don’t always have to go out and do something. Sometimes it is enough to just take a break from everything and everyone and do absolutely nothing. Sleep all day, watch television all night–there is nothing wrong with that. It is completely natural to just want to lay down for a while by yourself. (After all, I have been up at 7 am for labs, my bed is missing me).

The act of taking care of oneself reminds both you and others that your necessities are substantial and a priority. It's so vital to ensure you take good care of your body, psyche and soul consistently, not only when you get sick. For many years, I used to think that self-care was all about face masks and body massages, but that's only a tiny bit of the truth. It is important to take care of yourself and want some time just for you. I know it gets a bit difficult at times but you are never alone, if you feel like you need to talk to someone, check out these resources on campus. 


About Vanishta

Vanishta is a second year psychology major. Born and raised in Trinidad, she is missing the warmth of her country, but is also enjoying the weather in Edmonton (sort of). She is her parents’ pride and joy (she's an only child so there’s no competition there). You can find her sleeping, eating or pulling a muscle trying to learn a new dance routine.