10 wellness hacks to be your best self before school starts

In a word, summer is a time of *new*. When the weather gets warm every year, the possibilities suddenly become endless, and all the goals you want to achieve seem possible. If you're feeling the summer inspo and want to devote this season to be your best self, keep reading, because we've got some tips you're going to want to keep in your beach bag. 

1. Start each day with sun

A huge part of wellness is what you do to start each day. Soaking up some vitamin D in the great outdoors is a key to connecting with your best self. Sunlight is a known mood booster, so starting your day with it will help you be happier. Do whatever you need to do, but do it outside. Hang out with your friends outside, read your summer reading outside, eat breakfast with your family outside. The weather is amazing, so you *better* take advantage of that.

2. Eat seasonally

One of the most amazing things about the best season (I'm biased I know, but can you even deny it?) is that the best fruits are in season. I'm talking strawberries, watermelon, avocados, blueberries and more. Those are the type of fruits that you serve on a platter during a summer BBQ, prompting your guests to gasp at how good the quality is and how refreshing the freshness is. These ingredients are elevated this season, so find some summer recipes, and see how fulfilling eating seasonally can be! Try this watermelon salad or this mixed fruit crisp.

3. Bring a water bottle *everywhere*

You heard me. Everywhere. When you have water with you, you are bound to never stop drinking it, which is majorly important when the sun is beating down and you're dripping in sweat. We're supposed to drink around the number of our weight in pounds in ounces every day. At the start of each day, fill your water bottle and, depending on its size, challenge yourself to finish it as many times as it takes to reach that magic number.

4. Incorporate meditation into your daily routine

The main excuse for not meditating? "I don't have any time." Lots of people struggle to incorporate meditation into their busy schedules, but the truth is, a mere five minutes a day makes a difference. Whether you go to day camp or sleep away, spend your days running a small business or hanging out with your besties, you *can* start meditating. Get in a comfortable seated position and set a timer for 5 minutes (or longer if you want!). Spend that time paying attention to your breathing and your breathing only, clearing your mind of all its worries. If you need some more guidance, throw on a video or podcast. Try this out every day for a week, and you'll feel amazing.

5. Commit to a self-care ritual weekly 

Committing to a practice that serves only to fulfill your own goals and desires is a huge part of connecting to your best self. Maybe you'll do a face mask one night every week. Perhaps you'll devote an hour every Saturday to reading. Or maybe you want to begin each week by creating a spread in your bullet journal. These practices definitely don't have to be limited to once a week, but the point is to set aside time for yourself to do the things that make you feel happy. Ask yourself what you *really* enjoy. That's the first step to figuring out what self-care means to you. 

6. Sunscreen, sunscreen and more sunscreen

And don't you ever forget it! Skincare is a part of self-care, and your skin wants you to protect it from the sun's harsh UV rays. Don't let the desire to get tan distract you from the fact that protecting your skin is the most important. You definitely can tan safely with sunscreen on. Wear sunscreen especially when the sun is strong but even when it isn't. Trust, your skin will thank you. 

7. Find a bomb smoothie recipe


A post shared by Laura (@joyfoodsunshine)

Smoothies can be incredibly nutritious and well-rounded, especially if you're incorporating ingredients like protein powder or chia seeds– an excellent source of fiber. Experiment with those seasonal fruits and create a smoothie that to you, is utterly delicious. Try out this peach protein smoothie, or substitute peach with a different fruit if you prefer. Smoothies are so helpful in staying cool, hydrated, and well-fed this summer!

8. Find a workout you enjoy

Fun story: I never ever enjoyed working out... until I found yoga. When my bestie introduced me to Yoga with Adriene on YouTube, my life changed for the better. I absolutely love the focus on breathing, the space it gives me to clear my mind and how it targets my muscles. If you haven't found a workout you like yet, experiment. Try out workouts that differ completely from each other. Try a yoga video with Yoga With Adriene. Try a high-intensity cardio workout with MadFit. See what you like and what works for you. The key is experimentation! 

9. Set some goals. And achieve them

When you want something, all you have to do is write it down. Want to work out three times a week? Want to find a hobby you really enjoy? Want to work on your singing to be in shape for the fall school musical? Write. It. Down. Brainstorm how you'll achieve your goal. What can you do every day to make this a reality? Every week? So many peoples' goals go unachieved because they simply forget about them, so making sure that your goal stays in your mind is key. 

10. Delete social media for a week

In this age of social media, we're consuming content mindlessly all day, every day. We open the Instagram app, then blackout for two hours, and come out of this algorithm-fueled haze feeling depleted and insecure. Deleting social media for some time will not only help you distance yourself from this feeling we all hate, but it'll also help you make time for more wellness practices. Deleting social media is a game-changer, and will unlock a major door in your wellness journey.

What wellness practice do you swear by? Let us know on Twitter @girlslifemag!

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by Ari Sheinberg | 8/6/2021