Hot girl summer? How about self-care summer?! After the past 2+ years, this summer is the time to slow down, take stock, and create some supportive routines that are all about caring for yourself so you can do the things that matter most in your life. We’ve put together a list of 10 simple yet powerful ideas to help you connect back to yourself, nature, and your communities. You won’t want to miss this snackable episode full of resources and a podcast announcement at the end.
here’s a glance at this episode:
- Summer goes by fast! Before we get there, let’s take the time to create some supportive habits around self-care. Below are our 10 easy ideas!
- #1: Think about how you feel and how you want to feel. Use this perspective to structure your habits and activities so that you are in alignment with how you want to feel this summer
- #2: Put a summer twist on your movement routine.
- #3: Simplify your meal routine.
- #4: Create an after-dinner routine to take advantage of the long days.
- #5: Cultivate a summer morning routine.
- #6: Consider a digital detox.
- #7: Walk more!
- #8: Spend more time in nature.
- #9: Create a fun list and prioritize having fun!
- #10: Make time to rest.
- The podcast is taking a summer break in June and July. We’ll be back in August!
links mentioned in this episode
read the transcript
Robyn Conley Downs: (00:01)
You’re listening to The Feel Good Effect, hot girl summer? How about self-care summer? I have 10 easy ideas for a summer full of self-care simplified coming at you right now. Let’s make it happen.
Robyn Conley Downs: (00:19)
Radically simple and ridiculously doable. The Feel Good Effect will help you redefine wellness on your terms. Hi, I’m your host Robyn Conley Downs. And I believe that wellness isn’t about achieving another set of impossible standards, but instead finding what works for you, drawing from cutting-edge science on mindfulness, habit, and behavior change. This podcast offers a collection of small mindset shifts that allow for more calm, clarity, and joy in everyday life and allows you to embrace the idea that gentle is the new perfect. I invite you to listen in as we cut through the clutter and find the small shifts that create huge changes in your life. Less striving, more ease. It’s time to feel good.
Robyn Conley Downs: (01:08)
Well, Hey, Feel Good, fam. I am so glad you’re here for this episode all about summer self-care. And honestly, after the last two-plus years, we’ve had, I can’t think of a better time and a better season to slow down and kind of take a little bit of stock and create some supportive routines that are all about caring for yourself so that you can do the things that matter so that you can show up in your life the way that you need to, the way that you want to. And so that you take advantage of this time of year, that I think can feel like it’s gonna go slow, but it goes so quickly. Be sure to stay tuned till the end. I have an announcement about the podcast that you don’t wanna miss, but first, let’s get into idea number one for summer self-care.
Robyn Conley Downs: (01:58)
So number one is to think about how you feel and how you want to feel. And this is a fundamental mind shift that can really make a huge difference in your life and your daily habits and your perspective. Uh, and it’s something I talk about in my book, The Feel Good Effect. So I have to say a really good summer read if you haven’t gotten it yet, is The Feel Good Effect. You can get it anywhere books are sold, and it has this activity in it, which is to ask yourself how you feel right now and how you wanna feel, and then to structure your routines and your habits and your self-care around how you want to feel. So before planning out anything else, routines, habits, activities, I would really wanna know how do you wanna feel this summer? Do you wanna feel connected? Do you wanna feel grounded? Do you wanna feel energized? I think that there’s a lot that I can think of for myself that I’ve been missing the last couple of years that I want to focus on in terms of connection and fun and feeling alive. And so asking that question, it’s really simple. It’s something you can journal on. It’s something you can write about. It’s something you talk about. It’s something you could again, use the book as a resource. It’s just to think about the summer of how you want to feel this summer. And then the rest of the things that we talk about today, you can kind of ground in that question.
Robyn Conley Downs: (03:15)
Number two is to put a summer twist on your workout or movement routine. So whatever you’ve been doing to move your body, or if you haven’t been moving your body lately in the spring and winter, I think to reevaluate that and look at what could be fun, what could be connective, what could be energizing about movement in the summer. So whether that is hiking or walking outside, which is actually another suggestion I have coming up here, but is to just put a summer spin on your movement routine. I know that I’m actually going back to in-person workouts right now, after taking a couple years off. And even though that’s not, particularly summary, just the being around other people and the energy that other people have when, when they’re moving together is really felt invigorating and energizing and has that summer energy. So that could look like getting out on the water. We love personally stand-up paddleboarding. We got a couple, uh, inflatable standup paddleboards, I think last summer actually, and absolutely loved them and loved doing that as a family, as a form of movement as a form of exercise, but also just a form of fun. Whether it’s getting out canoeing, any kind of water, sports, swimming, all the, the things that your body craves in the summer is just kind of switching things up and taking advantage of this opportunity to do something different, do something new and hopefully get outside.
Robyn Conley Downs: (04:44)
Number three is to simplify your meal, planning, simplify how you’re eating. I would highly recommend you listen to our summer capsule meal plan episode. And with that, we’ve actually put together a summer capsule meal plan on www.realfoodwholelife.com links will be in the show notes. So if you go to the app, you’re listening on and you open this episode, the links are in there, but you can also find them on www.realfoodwholelife.com. You can search for summer capsule meal plan. Um, and also that summer capsule episode and the idea of capsule meal planning in general is just to pick one meal type for each night of the week. So in the summer, I like to get ultra simple and think about like grilling. Honestly, I think I mentioned here before that we grill more than once a week in the summer.
Robyn Conley Downs: (05:30)
So maybe it’s two nights grilling. I like to play around with different marinades and sauces in the summer, which keeps some variety without keeping any, keeping me in the kitchen. So really not so much focused on the work, more on the enjoyment and the outcome. I’m a huge proponent of snack dinner in the summer, which is taking anything in your fridge and just making it into like a little platter. So no cooking, no time, really just opening different things, arranging them and enjoying outside. So take a minute to think about how you wanna do meals this summer. And if you want to do like a light version of a summer capsule meal plan definitely recommend that in terms of helping you eat well, helping you feel nourished, but without time and effort and decision fatigue.
Robyn Conley Downs: (06:21)
Number four is an after-dinner routine. So taking advantage of those longer days, I live in the Northern part of the Northern hemisphere. So the days here in the summer are wildly long. It does not get dark until like 11 o’clock at night, fully dark. So it really feels like an extra day that we get. And I love using that time to either take a solo walk or a family walk or some other kind of reflective or restorative activity. I might pop in my earbuds and listen to a podcast or an audiobook, or like I said, I might spend time with the family doing a walk or even a bike ride. But I think if you intentionally take some of that time after dinner, when otherwise in the winter, you might be, you know, on your phone or watching TV or doing something really kind of inactive is to, to use this time to move your body.
Robyn Conley Downs: (07:21)
We talked to the Glucose Goddess a couple episodes back about the value and the benefit of doing 10 minutes of movement after eating. But I think more than that, it’s, uh, just this kind of gift, right? This little extra routine that you can give yourself to care for yourself through movement through again, being outside is the theme of today’s episode or doing it with friends and or family.
Robyn Conley Downs: (07:46)
Along those same lines, number five is cultivating a summer morning routine. So I talked before about my morning routine and self-care routine. And I really like to reevaluate my morning routine every season. It definitely changes based on the season for, so for us, um, Elle is in my daughter, Elle who’s 10, this summer is doing camps. She’s kind of doing a mix of camps home, and then we’re doing some travel. And so I just look at the calendar and kind of realistically look at what does a morning routine look like from the end of school for her till the beginning of school. And then I’ll redo it again in the fall when she’s back in school and we have our rhythm going again.
Robyn Conley Downs: (08:27)
So my summer routine am routine that is typically starts earlier. I’m not a big get up really super early for morning routines advocate, but in the summer for me, it’s really this great time to get time alone. If my daughter’s home more during the summer, I just know that I’m gonna get that time for myself. It’s light out. It’s not freezing cold. So it makes it easier to get outta bed. So a lot of times that’s when I do my workout or when I do my walk, I might come home and do some meditation or do some journaling and then have breakfast. And then I have fully taken my care of myself. When then we move on to shuttling around to camps, or if we are going on a trip, getting ready for that, all the kind of moving parts and pieces that for at at least if you’re a caregiver I know summer has to offer. So your morning routine does not have to look anything like mine. It can be very individualized, it should be individualized, but think short, think, think about how you feel and how you wanna feel and think about how to kind of cultivate that just for the summer season so that it works with what’s going on in the next few months in your life.
Robyn Conley Downs: (09:37)
So number six is a digital detox. And I again, think summer is such a beautiful time to do a little bit of a dig, digital detox, because we have other things to do. We get to go outside, we get to travel. Hopefully we get to do kind of some fun things in our own communities. So I invite you to just think about how you, your relationship with the technology and what you want that to look like this summer. It could be a one-day off of all of technology. It could be a certain time of evening where you shut things down. It could be weekends free. It could be playing around with like a social media-free July. Like there’s a lot of ways to do it. And I don’t think there’s one right or wrong way. And I’m never saying that technology is a bad thing. It’s just our relationship with it. If it’s supporting us or if it’s holding us down. So think about this summer, your relationship with tech and whether you wanna do like a, a small digital detox. I’ve been pulling around with doing a whole July off of social. So we’ll see what happens, but it’s just a nice time to put the phone down and be in your life, especially because a lot of times there’s some really fun connective things that we can be doing with the time that doesn’t involve looking at our phones.
Robyn Conley Downs: (10:57)
Number seven is walk, which I’ve sort of mentioned a number of times. You could put that in the morning routine. You could put it in the evening routine. You could do that as a way to shuffle your workout and summarize your workout, but just think about all the benefits when it comes to moving your body after meals, when it comes to doing it in a way that, um, connects you to other people, to your community, to your friends, to your family, as a way to explore new neighborhoods, explore new cities. If you’re traveling, adding in walking as part of that trip, I know we’re going to British Columbia this summer, which we used to go all the time. We haven’t been for a couple years. So I’m really excited to do that. And our primary itinerary is just walking different neighborhoods, walking different parts of town, and just making that like the focus of our day, I’ve talked before about 100-mile summer, which is just setting a goal of a certain number of miles to move your body. Whether that’s walking, running, hiking, swimming, biking, all the things, but definitely a way to motivate you to get moving, to get walking and to walk everywhere you can this summer.
Robyn Conley Downs: (12:08)
Number eight is just to expand and enhance the time that you’re spending in nature. And whether that’s going to a local park or a forest nearby or somewhere you’ve never been, but you’ve always wanted to go let the summer be an invitation to explore nature, to get yourself out into nature, to get your family into nature and to experience all the benefits that nature has to offer from our physical health to our mental health, to overall how we feel in life.
Robyn Conley Downs: (12:39)
Number nine is just have fun. have a fun list. We’ve time talked about that. And in this podcast before about creating a fun list. So I, I think bucket lists can kind of feel overwhelming. I know I see a lot of that on social media at the beginning of the summer as people’s bucket lists or bucket lists for their kids. And to me, that starts to feel very like I’m just trying to check things off the list but if you feel motivated or inspired rather to create a list of ideas that sound fun, and that’s just a place for you to go and reference when you have some downtime, by all means, create a fun list. I know that we all need more fun in our lives. So if it helps you to do brainstorm yourself or with your family of like, what are some fun things that we can do together? What are some fun things that I could do just for myself, um, and then focus on doing a few of those a week and adding a little more fun back into life.
Robyn Conley Downs: (13:35)
All right, last one, number 10 is rest. I think this can be one of the more challenging ones first summer, especially I find that we’re like on the go and going to camp and drop off and trying to fit work in and going on trips. And the summer can just fly by. And so intentionally scheduling rest, whether that’s, I, I, I’m personally a big fan of a hammock. I’m personally a big fan of a picnic, and I’m personally a big fan of just a big blanket on the lawn or on the beach, just laying there and letting your body rest and knowing that it’s okay to just be where you are and not be going onto the next thing and not be over planning and not optimizing self-care, but just truly being and enjoying the season and resting.
Robyn Conley Downs: (14:24)
So that is my summer self-care routine for you or ideas for you. I hope some of those are resonant and that you’ll be able to enjoy yourself this summer and take care of yourself this summer and focus on those three meals, movement, mind as ways to care for yourself.
Robyn Conley Downs: (14:43)
On that note, The Feel Good Effect will be taking a summer hiatus for June and July. And we will be back in August. You can stay connected with me. I’ll be doing some personal updates and also new recipes and other new resources that will continue to come out over the summer at www.realfoodwhole life.com. And you can join us on The Good List, www.realfoodwholelife.com/resources. You can sign up for The Good List there. It’s our free weekly email newsletter, where we share new recipes. I, like I said, I’m gonna do some personal updates there and then go ahead and hit subscribe on whatever app you’re listening on. And that way, when we resume in the fall, you’ll be first to know about it. As always, I wanna thank you so much for listening for being part of this conversation and this Feel Good movement. Until next time, here is to feeling good.