I love summer (obvs). The visits, the travels, the time with friends and family, the adventures, the food and drinks. But holy hell can it wreak havoc with my sense of wellbeing. Does that sound weird? These are memory making times so why the niggle of anxiety and the feeling of unease? It’s because I don’t always hold myself to my intentions. I don’t always do right by me.
I know there are things I need to do to manage my energy levels, my anxiety and my general wellbeing. I need movement, good sleep, water, balanced meals, rest and time to myself. I need these things but I don’t always hold myself to them. I don’t always advocate for them for myself. And it’s not like anyone is forcing me to choose all the activities and all the food and all the chats and all the drinks and all the sitting around. I choose them. I almost have an alternative habit system for the summer because my whole life I’ve had a chunk of time off then. I don’t always hold myself accountable for my wellbeing in these times.
And it’s already happened. Husband and I have been away on vacation. Day 1 we did the morning walk and the balanced eating and the moderate partaking of beverages and the relaxing and the early(ish) to bed that we intended to do for our holiday. The next day was a shit show of overexcited and overindulgent hedonism. Don’t get me wrong. I know we are entitled to letting loose and having unplanned experiences but it all kind of slipped from there and we are feeling the worse for it. There was a lot going on leading up to the holiday and it’s like a wee switch just went for us. For me. It was fun, hilarious and too much. Previous summers this would be the set up for the rest of my holiday. Like, well I’ve screwed it up now so let’s just keep this little party going. Not this time. I know how and when I feel best. I am a grown ass woman and I’ve done the work to know what’s best for me. But doing it is trickier. Duh right? I need to advocate for myself to myself.
All the healthy habits I’ve worked on through the year need to work for me this summer. It doesn’t work for me to do the work 80% of the year. So I’m setting my summer intentions for myself here.
So, Jenny, here’s the deal:
- Movement – Every day mama. Do what you like and do something everyday. Get that NEAT up (Non-exercise Activity Thermagenesis – just move!). There’s a gym there you like…go. There are plenty of walks you love…do them. There are fab at home workouts you can do…outside…in front of the ocean…get them done.
- Nutrition – Just don’t eat like a dick for goodness sake. You’ve been working hard on learning when you’re full, which foods you enjoy most and eating enough to give you energy. There are a lot of foods that you love back in Canada that you don’t/can’t get here and you will partake in them alllllll. But you will be balanced in your meals and not eat for the sake of eating. And you certainly wont be eating foods or drinking drinks that you don’t totally love or that your not totally feeling like.
- Hydration- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate and repeat.
- Sleep – Too many late nights kick your ass. You know this. Give your FOMO a break and go to bed when you need. It makes life for you (and everyone around you) better.
- Rest – You don’t need to do it all. Repeat that over and over. And it’s okay to say no…no guilt.
- Personal Development – Read the books, do the research, write the blog. Set aside a bit of time and get your PD on.
- Connection – Switch off, especially from social media. I know a lot of what you are doing and going to be doing is going to involve social media but set aside a bit of time. Set a timer then put the phone away. Be with your people. Take the pictures, do the things, celebrate the love.
Setting intentions for myself is one of the best ways I can honour myself, my needs and my wellness. It used to seem selfish to set these boundaries for myself. I always felt I should be flexible to what everyone else wanted to do. I would always admire people that did what they needed to do without permission or excuses. Usually it would leave me with feelings of resentment because I was feeling shitty and not able to do the same. It’s all about building up the confidence to know what I need and giving myself those things. I’d do it for my family, my friends, my kid…I’d probably do it for total strangers. I can do this for myself. Am I going to go ‘off track’? Yep. That’s another habit I’ve been working on. I’m sure as hell not going to beat myself up for it. I can own it and move on and give myself a bit of grace in the meantime. I got this.
You can check-in to see how my summer intentions are going here on my Instagram page.
P.S. If after reading this you are thinking you should go into teaching so you too can have the summers off, then I would highly recommend you reconsider. Not worth it. Just saying…but that’s a post for another day.