Summer: A modern man’s guide

‘Tis the season for self-care

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… to stay sane, happy and healthy!

Written by Lynette Botha

 

As the ‘silly’ season approaches it’s important to prioritise wellbeing. At this time of the year the invites keep coming, the social calendar fills up, and work often kicks up a gear (before tapering off). To stay cool, calm and collected – rather than overwhelmed, we need to ensure that self-care doesn’t fall off the to-do list.

Remember the basics

The following may seem like they go without saying, but sometimes we just need a reminder…

 

1. Sleep

Make sure that you are getting enough sleep – and that it’s unbroken. Irregular sleep can set you up for a day (week, month…) of bad starts. If you’re not getting good sleep, try natural remedies or seek medical advice.

 

2. Water

Drink enough water! Staying hydrated is essential – especially in summer. Often, when we think we’re hungry we’re actually dehydrated… when the snack attack hits, down a glass of water first, and then see if you still need to reach for a bite. Not a fan of water? Try adding fruit like strawberries, cucumber or lemon to your water to take it up a notch, or try sparkling.

 

3. Moderation

Everything in moderation. We know, we know – sounds like something a parent would say… but that’s because it’s true. Go for the 6-course tasting menu, for sure, and enjoy a couple more beers than usual… just not every single day.

 

4. Sunscreen

As with water, this is a non-negotiable. Sun cream – every day. Make applying it as normal as brushing your teeth. But this should not be the only step in your skincare routine – remember to cleanse and moisturise too. A few minutes each morning and evening makes all the difference.

 

5. Lists

Make lists. Often we become mentally overwhelmed because we are trying to stay on top of so many things – friends’ birthdays, replying to emails, remembering to buy washing powder, and making restaurant reservations. By writing things down you lighten the mental load – you don’t need to play brain gymnastics all day, trying to remember what you’ve forgotten to do. And if you’re the kind of person to misplace your to-do list, use a digital note-taking app on your phone.

 

6. Laughter

Yip, it really is the best medicine. When you’re feeling anxious, overwhelmed or a little all over the place a good laugh (or cry) is often a great way to offload. Invite a friend over who always has you in stitches, stream some stand-up or one of your favourite comedy shows, search for funny videos on Instagram or, for something a little more alternative, sign-up for a laughter yoga class.

 

7. Rest

Rest and sleep are not quite the same things. While sleep is essential, as per point 1, so too is rest – which is just being idle for a while. Sit outdoors and stare at the clouds for 15 minutes, lie on the couch and focus on your breathing, run yourself a bath and submerge for a while (no phone, no book, just be). Give yourself regular rest breaks throughout the day, as often as you can.

 

Take care of yourself

Summer for most people is the best season of the year – it’s time to get outdoors, to socialise, to party a little more than usual and to have fun. Just remember to take care of yourself and don’t overdo it.