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Put Your Physical and Emotional Health First This Summer With These 7 Ideas

June 30, 2020

It has been a LONG few months.  COVID-19 has not gone away, but the warm weather has come to stay! In fact, it is going to be hot in Ohio and Kentucky over the Fourth of July weekend.  While a lot of annual festivities are cancelled due to COVID-19 and physical distancing, we have some safe and fun ideas for you! Here are seven routines, habits, easy-to-do opportunities that you can take advantage of in the summer to improve and enhance you and your family's self-care habits.

  1. Make a summer feel-good playlist. Music is can be an effortless way to instantly improve your mood.  Can't get motivated to clean or exercise?  Set small goals - one to two songs per room or one to two songs per exercise.  Or, weather permitting, go for a walk and commit to walking during a certain number of songs or the whole playlist.
  2. Invest in a baby pool, or a BIG baby pool. These are flying off the walls at stores rapidly, but online retailers may still have some in stock.  For big brick and mortar retailers, like Target and Walmart, you can reserve in store, curbside pick up, or deliver straight to your door! Baby pools don't have to be for babies only.  Most baby pools can fit one to two adults (somewhat) comfortably. Make the most of it! Whip up some iced tea and slap on some sunscreen and you've got your own backyard water oasis. Oh, and crank up that play list that we just mentioned!  Or if you're trying to get island vibes on the cheap, a sprinkler or slip 'n slide could be fun options.  You can make your own slip 'n slide with a giant tarp, a hose, and some dish soap.
  3. It's July, so it's HOT.  If you don't feel like tolerating the heat, tackle something inside! Tidying just one space in your apartment or house can instantly make you feel calmer.  Take one room or one space at a time.  Or just clean one space in general.  It doesn't have to even be a room or space; it can be a junk drawer or a closet.  Reorganizing and physically de-cluttering a part of your house can help you to feel as though you are "de-cluttering" your head space as well and helping you to feel much more "emotionally organized" and balanced.
  4. Exercise!  Okay, easier said than done especially with COVID-19 going on.  That shouldn't stop you from working out at home.  Getting those endorphins flowing can help improve your mood and calm your mind. Start with some yoga or Pilates, where you can easily find free classes on YouTube, from beginner all the way to expert.  You don't need yoga pants, or a special mat - sweatpants and a bath towel will do just fine.  Challenge yourself, there are hundreds of free videos online for workouts ranging from 10 minute cardio to 60 minutes of high intensity interval training and anything in between.  A lot of these videos do not require any additional work out equipment and can be done inside! Bottom line: exercise is good for your , if you search for a specific workout, you will most likely find it!
  5. Focus on healthy habits.  Why stop at exercising?  Living a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle, especially in recovery means putting good stuff in your body!  This includes eating healthy foods, drinking healthy liquids, getting an adequate amount sleep (I know, this can be a challenge) AND limiting screen time.  Plus, the heat outdoors makes this the perfect time to make a fruit smoothie!  Pick up a few bags of frozen fruit and some almond milk and look up some recipes online and put that blender to use.  Nothing better than a baby pool and an ice cold fruit smoothie.
  6. Watch that movie you've been putting off.  There is no better time than now to finally watch that one classic or recent film that you are always saying you can't believe you haven't actually seen.  Watch it now!
  7. Reconnect with family or friends - safely. COVID-19 has really put a damper on basically everything social this year.  That doesn't mean you can't still connect with family and friends. With social isolation restrictions starting to open up in Ohio, Kentucky, and other states, it is still incredibly important that you put YOUR health and YOUR FAMILY'S health first.  Do not be afraid to turn down an invitation if you do not feel comfortable.  Utilize the tools you have been given in your recovery toolbox to practice those same skills to say no if you do not want to do something and want to continue to be smart about social distancing.  Suggest a parking lot picnic, where you can be in the company of others at a safe distance.  Always remember, there are plenty of ways to connect virtually with your loved ones.

There are tons of things that are still completely out of our control at the moment due to COVID-19. So, why not take control of what you can?  Even small changes to your routine can improve your self-care practice and your overall mood.  Make this summer a season of self-care: mental, physical, and relational!

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