Winter is finally over and behind us, the birds are chirping, the bees are buzzing, and you finally have an afternoon off, time to spend it pampering and taking time for yourself. So, now what? Here are 10 inspiring tips to take the time you need for yourself on a lovely summer afternoon.
Read a book at home
Pick a comfortable spot in your backyard or on your balcony, or even in a park or on the front steps of your building if you have no outdoor space. Bring a pillow and a good book, and allow yourself to relax and lose yourself in the magic of reading! Some of my favourite books: Wanderlust, by Elisabeth Eaves, All Over The Map, by Laura Fraser, and Eat Pray Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert.
Go on a bicycle ride in your neighbourhood. If you live near a national park, or even a hiking trail, why not put on your running shoes and go on a hike? Don’t forget about using some natural bug spray repellent like citronella oil. Bring a good book in your backpack in order to really take in the surrounding nature and to relax.
Relax in a park
Pack a blanket and a small pillow, and go to your local park for an afternoon snooze under a tree. Leave those hot blankets at home, and instead, pack a natural material blanket, such as cotton, to keep you cool and relaxed. Don’t have a blanket for the park? You could also use a cotton rug! These usually aren’t too heavy, and available in a wide range of sizes.
Have a picnic
While you’re at the park… have a picnic! It doesn’t need to be complicated, some fresh fruits or vegetables, a delicious pasta salad (click here for the recipe), and some refreshing juices or hydrating flavoured water (Quick recipe: fill a container – with a lid – with fresh spring or filtered water, add a few slices of organic lemon and cucumber) to keep you cool. Go by yourself or with a friend, or maybe even make new friends at the park?
Cool off with the sprinklers
It’s hot outside and the kids are at school? Put on your swimsuit, turn the sprinklers on, and pretend that nobody is watching!
Try outdoor yoga
Take your yoga mat outside, in your backyard or in the park, find a quiet spot in the shade, and practice yoga or meditation, even if it’s just for 20 minutes. The fresh air and grass under your feet will relax and refresh you. If you’ve never tried outdoor yoga, you will be hooked!
Get your hands dirty! Spending an afternoon of gardening is good for your body, mind, and soul. If you don’t have a garden, get a few pots, a bag of pesticide-free soil, and a few plants or vegetables, and dig in! So, go ahead and get dirty!
Visit an organic farm
Do some research (online or in the phone book) to find a small local organic farm, and go visit them. Bring the kids along! Organic farmers are always happy to share their passion with new friends, and what a great way to know where your food comes from. Bring cash and a reusable bag in case they have fresh produce for sale!
Write a letter
Write a handwritten letter or card to your spouse, a friend or a relative. In these busy days we live in, emails and social media tend to take over our lives and we forget to enjoy the little things. Plus, everyone likes to get a handwritten letter! Much more personal than an email, and they’ll appreciate the time you put in.
Clean up your neighbourhood
Spend time outside while doing something great for the environment and your community by participating in a group cleaning effort. Or do it by yourself: get a large garbage bag and some gloves, and pick up trash along your local river, or even on your very own street. It’ll show your neighbours that your care, and might encourage them to do the same. You’ll not only be taking time for yourself but for the environment too!
Go watch a local ballgame, try geocaching, go to a local festival, prepare a surprise al fresco dinner for your loved ones, or if it’s too hot, go visit your local museum.
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Gabrielle is an urban eco-blogger, nutritionista & foodie, passionate about healthy eating and healthy living! She is on a mission to show how easy living a healthy lifestyle can be on her blog, Eyecandypopper.Visit blog