The Only 5 Things That Should Be On Your Summer Checklist

summer checklist
Photo by Wendy Hero

If you’re prone to seasonal moods like me, each year you’ll find yourself reaching for the latest magazines’ summer checklists.

Holidays, regardless of the season, should be a time for rest and reflection. And yet, summer feels less like a time to relax and more like a time to perform.

Tanning remedy, summer body, and holiday shopping are a few of the activities taking over your life as early as mid-May. Unlike the cozy fall and the cocooning winter, Summer is the season to show off.

The press, online blogs, and even conversations with friends and colleagues start to revolve dangerously around what we should and shouldn’t do to get ready. We become fixated on the latest swimwear trends, how to maximize our tan, or the multiple waxing tortures.

I am currently soaking in frozen water, following two insect bites that turned my poor feet into two massive sausages, wondering if I shouldn’t have been more thorough in my pre-summer reading.

I stretch my tiny budget every year and splurge on the latest tanning miracle, surfing shampoo, and ridiculous bikini to remarkably mixed results. But this year, I’m broke with nothing more than natural remedies, which are doing me a huge favor.

Summer holidays should be a time to rest, and there is no better way to do so than by giving your mind and body a break.

Here are the only five things that need to be on your summer checklist.

1. Try natural skincare remedies

New scents, flowers, fruits, and vegetables emerge in summer and most of them with fabulous health benefits. I’d heard it all before but never gave it a go.

Seawater is full of beneficial minerals such as magnesium, sulfate, and calcium. If various skin conditions have left your skin dry and damaged, it could help cleanse your skin and speed up the healing process. If not, it will at the very least leave your skin soft and disinfected.

I gave my long list of treatments a rest and tried the natural route for a few days. Let’s just say I won’t be going back to the expensive line. The only thing seawater doesn’t do is hydrate, so drink lots of water.

Sand is also the perfect natural exfoliant. Gently scrub a handful of sand on your leg and feels how soft it leaves your skin. Fill your lungs with pure mountain air, try lavender to help you sleep, olive oil to moisturize your skin and hair, and lemon juice to give it a light summer glow.

There is no limit as to what nature can do for you, especially in summer. So start looking around!

2. Value fun comfort over stylish ridicule

Summer body = summer worries.

I don’t know who came up with that, but they were right on the money. The time I spent looking through fashion magazines to find the right swimsuit for people to look at rather than for me to wear still baffles me. Comfort = sexy.

No one ever looked pleased wearing a fishnet bikini. My favorite bathing costume of all time is still the one I wore when I was five: pink with big bright strawberries.

This season, I went for a one-piece with a 1950s twist and good coverage. I feel comfortable and sexy. Swimming in the water is a thousand times more rewarding than exhibiting a bikini that makes you walk like a penguin or that you’d prefer hiding under a t-shirt.

Wear a comfortable swimsuit that makes you truly happy, whether it’s full length and green with pink stars. Whatever: it’s summer!

3. Be mindful of your mental health

Summer can be a stressful time if family reunions are anything to go by.

But I was given a handy tip for whenever I hear or think of something that triggers my anxiety: Take a minute to breathe and find at least three new scents around you.

Summer is full of surprises: sea air, olive branches, sweat, apricots, basil, barbecue smoke, pine trees, or Albert, the dog. Just yesterday, I came up with a cocktail of pineapple, pine, and sea air. I have no idea where the pineapple came from!

4. Lose yourself in a summer book

In my late teens, a book’s cover mattered more than its subject. It was about showing people the kind of person I wanted to be, and the surface was all they could see on the beach. As for the actual content, I barely remember it.

For the past few years, I’ve become a genuine avid reader. No more cover shopping for me. There is nothing more sacred than reading when you finally lose yourself in another world. If you can’t holiday as far as you’d wish, travel novels can be an even better option.

Be curious and find stories that make you smile, laugh, and open your horizons. Surprise yourself and go to the nearest bookshop, pick a section you like, close your eyes and pick a book. I guarantee that if you’re not entirely satisfied, you’ll at least be surprised.

5. Eat what you like

Diets make regular appearances in our daily life. I regularly start them only to fail. There are only so many cucumber recipes I can try.

Summer holidays are not the time to restrict yourself, or else why call it a holiday? If you are worried about splurging too much (I know I am), give yourself a break and try whatever you want in smaller quantities. Summer is the time to eat what you can’t eat during the winter. Experiment!

Make this summer a little bit more about you.

Take a minute or two to figure out what YOU want to eat, read, wear and experience. FYI: A nap in the afternoon is always an option.

Be comfortable and mindful of the world around you. It may just be waiting to help you out.

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