Self-Care Ideas for June

June brings warmer weather, longer days, and a whole new set of commitments. Remember through all the hustle of the summer months to take time for self-care. Do you need inspiration for self-care activities? Check out the following list for June.

  1. Stay hydrated. (Add sparkling water with fresh fruit, iced tea, or lemonade to your daily intake)
  2. Make a summer bucket list.
  3. Take a long, hot bubble bath or shower.
  4. Go hiking at a National Park.
  5. Spend a rainy-day doing arts and crats.
  6. Go on a virtual tour of another country.
  7. Make yourself a smoothie with fresh fruit from a farmer’s market.
  8. Go for a nature walk. Do not forget your camera.
  9. Play video games.
  10. Stop at your local ice cream shop and indulge.
  11. Order take-out for dinner.
  12. Spend the afternoon at the beach.
  13. Go on a picnic.
  14. Go on a bike ride.
  15. Binge watch your favorite show or discover a new one.
  16. Make a summer playlist.
  17. Go on a long car ride, roll the windows down, and sing along to your favorite songs. (Do not forget your summer playlist).
  18. Take yourself out on a date.
  19. Volunteer
  20. 1st day of Summer. Get outside!
  21. Buy a new summertime outfit.
  22. Call an old friend, just to chat.
  23. Start a journal or create a summer scrapbook.
  24. Got to a community event. (For example, attend a music in the park series).
  25. Go bird watching.
  26. Join a group.
  27. Give yourself an in-home spa day.
  28. Read a new book.
  29. Try a workout routine, Yoga, or meditation.
  30. Unplug from your devices and do nothing for an entire day.

20 Earth Day Photo Prompts

April 22, 2021 is Earth Day. The annual holiday recognizes the need to preserve the planet for future generations. Grab your camera or cell. Go outdoors and document the beautiful world around you. Share your photos on social media to help promote the natural beauty of the Earth.  

Do you need some photo inspiration? Check out the following Earth Day photo prompts.

  1. Photo of yourself outside
  2. Clouds
  3. Weather
  4. Trees
  5. Hiking or Walking Trail
  6. Rocks or Stones
  7. Wild Animal (Remember to keep a safe distance)
  8. Leaves
  9. Wildflowers
  10. Birds
  11. Landscape
  12. Waterscape
  13. Hills or Mountain
  14. Blades of Grass
  15. Sunrise or Sunset
  16. Night
  17. Butterfly or Other Flying Insect
  18. Dirt, Mud, or Sand
  19. Frogs or Turtles
  20. Need for Conservation

Self-Care Ideas for February

Between the winter months and the pandemic, self-care is essential for your physical and mental health. Even though your schedule may be chaotic at times, focusing on yourself will help alleviate stress. Try to set aside a little time every day just for you. Do you need some ideas for self-care? Check out the following list for self-care ideas for February.

  1. Stay hydrated at all times, drink plenty of liquids, especially water.
  2. Call (not text) a friend just to chat.
  3. Take a long warm bubble bath on a cold wintry evening.
  4. Go on a nature walk.
  5. Write in a journal.
  6. Write letters or send out homemade cards.
  7. Give yourself an in-home spa treatment.
  8. Drink a warm beverage, herbal tea, or hot cocoa with marshmallows.
  9. Binge-watch a series of movies or your favorite television show.
  10. Meditate or pray.
  11. Listen to soft music while wearing headphones to tune out the world around you.
  12. Turn down the lights, light candles, or use flameless ones.
  13. Buy yourself flowers.
  14. Happy Valentine’s Day! Eat the chocolates.
  15. Go for a hike. Even if you are just starting, many trails are for beginners.
  16. Get take-out from somewhere new.
  17. Feed the wild birds, just to be outdoors for a few minutes.
  18. Do you have snow? Make a snow angel or build a snowman.
  19. Try a new workout regiment.
  20. Watch the sunrise or sunset without any interruptions. Put your phone on silent just for a short time.
  21. Take a nap.
  22. Try a new dessert recipe.
  23. Skip social media for a day.
  24. Do something for someone else.
  25. Get outdoors and take photos.
  26. Get crafty. Dollar stores have inexpensive crafting supplies to get you started.
  27. Try something new.

Self-Care Ideas for December

The holiday season can be stressful. The ongoing pandemic and social distancing increase the strain on your daily demands. During this time, self-care is essential.

  1. Stay hydrated; drink plenty of water or herbal tea.
  2. Go for a long nature walk after a snowfall.
  3. Watch Christmas cartoons.
  4. Go hiking.
  5. Put up Christmas decorations.
  6. Play soft music and take a long hot bubble bath.
  7. Meditate or pray.
  8. Check out beginner yoga or workout videos. (YouTube is a great resource).
  9. Go for a ride and look at Christmas videos.
  10. Call or host a zoom meeting with old friends.
  11. Paint or draw a Christmas scene.
  12. Give yourself an in-home spa treatment.
  13. Declutter a room.
  14. Snuggle under a blanket, sip a warm beverage, and binge-watch your favorite series.
  15. Do crafts.
  16. Keep a journal.
  17. Try a new recipe.
  18. Light candles (or use flameless ones) and put on your favorite playlist.
  19. Sleep in.
  20. Make a new playlist or Christmas one.
  21. Unplug from your devices for an afternoon or the entire day.
  22. Buy a small gift.
  23. Cut out paper snowflakes to hang on your windows.
  24. Christmas Eve—Watch It’s a Wonderful Life or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
  25. Merry Christmas! Relax and enjoy your day.
  26. Play your favorite songs and sing loudly. If you have neighbors, you may want to sing in your car.
  27. Make your favorite food.
  28. Buy a bouquet of flowers to sit in the middle of your table.
  29. Spend a day reading.
  30. Write your New Year’s Resolutions or create a bucket list.
  31. Happy New Year! Toast 2021.

Family Fun Month: Hiking

Exploring the outdoors is a wholesome activity for the entire family (including the dog) to enjoy. Hiking provides physical exercise, reduces stress, and boosts creativity.

Find the Right Trail

Before heading out, do your research. Find the right hiking trail for you and your family to safely enjoy. Trails generally run from easy to extremely difficult with numerous obstacles. Finding the best one for your family requires research. If you are uncertain about where to start, set out on an easy trail than work your way through the rest.

What to Pack

If you are just beginning, day trips are the best. Heading out on the trail for a day gives your family a chance to familiarize themselves with the trails and the equipment.

Do you need ideas for the basics for backpacking essentials for day trips?

  • Backpack: Use a high-quality backpack to protect your basic hiking necessities. Even younger children can carry a lightweight backpack.
  • Water: Staying hydrated is critical when hiking.
  • Food: Pack plenty of food to get you through your hiking trip. Small children may require frequent stops with extra snacks. Pack to meet each family members’ needs.
  • First Aid: Bringing a first aid kit is essential for handling minor scrapes and cuts on the trail.
  • Compass: Do not always rely on your cell phone. If your battery goes dead, you may need an alternative navigation device.
  • Hand Sanitizer: Use to clean your hands before eating.
  • Mask: Once you are on the open trail away from people, you will not need a mask. However, certain areas of the park may require a face covering. Be respectful of others. Pack a mask to follow any restrictions.
  • Extra Socks and Hiking Shoes: If you accidentally get your feet wet, having additional foot attire is a priority, especially with children. You want to make hiking a positive experience.

Before You Hit the Trail

Before heading to your destination, check the weather forecast. Dress in weather-appropriate clothing. Remember, clothing layers are the best option for being outdoors. If you are uncertain what to wear, add an extra layer. If the weather is too warm, a sweatshirt is easy to remove.

Have Fun

Hiking is not a race to get through the trails as fast as possible. Take your time with your family. Pause to view numerous scenic areas or enjoy nature.

Ask your children open-ended questions or make up stories. Being outdoors increases creativity. Encourage conversation among your family about the experience. Bring your camera or use your cell phone to take lots of photos to create a memory book. Wildlife and nature discoveries can lead to a lifetime love of the outdoors.

 

End of Summer Activities

Summer is quickly coming to an end. Soon, either virtually or in-person, school will back in session. Homework and work commitments will rapidly fill your schedule. Practicing social distancing and other guidelines in your area, you and your family can enjoy numerous fun-filled activities.

Do you need some inspiration? Check out the following list.

20 End of Summer Activities for the Entire Family

  1. Go on a hike
  2. Go on a nature walk
  3. Go camping (yes, the backyard counts)
  4. Make a fort in the backyard
  5. Blow bubbles
  6. Water balloon fight
  7. Play in the sprinkler
  8. Go for a bike ride
  9. Host a treasure hunt or scavenger hunt
  10. Go on a picnic
  11. Go on a walking tour of local sites
  12. Gather rocks to paint
  13. Go swimming
  14. Go out for ice cream
  15. Go on a scenic drive
  16. Have a craft day
  17. Host a game night
  18. Go stargazing
  19. BBQ
  20. Have a bonfire

The recent health crisis is a cause for concern. Staying safe and healthy is always a priority. But you can still enjoy the outdoors.  Get outside with your family, including the dog. Enjoy the remaining days of summer. A simple nature walk or hike can transform into long-lasting memories for your family. Grab your camera and go.

31 Days of Self-Care for August

August marks the end of summer. School will be starting soon. Whether virtual or in-person, school and work schedules take up a lot of your time. Finding time to relax and care for yourself is essential to your overall well-being.

Self-Care Ideas for August

  1. Stay hydrated! Drink lots of water.
  2. Get enough sleep! If possible, take a nap or sleep in for an extra half hour.
  3. Go for a hike. Do not forget to bring the dog.
  4. Go for a nature walk with your kids.
  5. Go for a bike ride.
  6. Pamper yourself with an in-home spa day. Paint your nails or give yourself a facial.
  7. Take a long relaxing bubble bath.
  8. Write a letter or send out thinking of you cards.
  9. Call or chat online with a friend.
  10. Do yoga or other exercises.
  11. Meditate or pray.
  12. Read a book.
  13. Binge-watch your favorite television series or find a new one to enjoy.
  14. Have a movie marathon, complete with popcorn or other treats.
  15. Make a gratitude list, at least 10 things.
  16. Try a new recipe or cook an old family favorite.
  17. Listen to your favorite music, turn up the volume, sing along, or dance.
  18. Order pizza or another type of take-out to give yourself a break from cooking.
  19. Buy one new item to try at the grocery store. Your pick doesn’t have to be expensive. For example, buy a new type of fruit to try or a candy bar.
  20. Do crafts.
  21. Do not be afraid to say no.
  22. Listen to a Podcast or watch YouTube videos.
  23. Declutter your space.
  24. Go on a virtual tour of a museum, art gallery, or the zoo.
  25. Make a visual board or a mood board.
  26. Keep a journal.
  27. Spend a day in your pajamas.
  28. Invest in a high-quality weighted blanket.
  29. Buy your favorite scented candle to burn.
  30. Make lists.
  31. Be kind to yourself, always.

 

Celebrating the Summer Solstice

Most people associate the first day of summer with the 3-day Memorial weekend. But technically this year, on June 20, 2020, the northern hemisphere will officially begin the first day of summer. Staying light longer, the sun will finally reach the furthest northern point in the sky. The summer solstice marks the longest day of the year. After the summer solstice, the days will begin to lose light.

Ways to Celebrate the Summer Solstice

Different cultures have a wide range of traditions to welcome the summer. Unfortunately, due to recent health mandates, social distancing, and stay at home guidelines, many festivals and celebrations are canceled this year. But do not let all the restrictions keep you from celebrating the summer solstice.

  • Go Hiking: Numerous parks are open to the public. Yes, social distancing still applies to the trails, but you still can enjoy the great outdoors. Hike a new trail. Spend an extra hour outdoors. Hiking is good for the entire family. Even young children can enjoy easy trails. Of course, don’t forget your dog.
  • Go for a Walk: A simple walk around the block can be refreshing. Walk to your local park. The playground equipment may still be inaccessible. But enjoy the different paths throughout the park. If you are working, go for a short walk on your lunch break.
  • Enjoy Nature: Take a leisurely stroll in your local park to enjoy nature. Take along binoculars and a camera to capture your view. If you are allowed, pick wildflowers, collect rocks, and other nature items to use for craft projects later.
  • Meditate or Pray: Sitting outside in nature is the perfect time to reflect. Give yourself time to meditate or pray.
  • Watch the Sunrise or Sunset: Taking a moment out of your day to simply watch the sunrise or set, gives you a chance to relax and destress.
  • Cook a Feast: Okay, a simple BBQ or a picnic will do the trick. But cooking a meal and enjoying the celebration as a family is a great way to honor the changing season.
  • Host a Bonfire: If you haven’t used your fire pit this year yet, the summer solstice is the perfect day to start. Build a small fire, watch the sunset, and marvel at the stars. Oh, and don’t forget the chocolatey, marshmallow goodness of S’mores.
  • Celebrate Virtual: Due to restrictions, many popular sites, including Stonehenge, are celebrating the summer solstice online. Watch the sunrise or set, listen to music, or watch an event.

Regardless of the way you celebrate the solstice, enjoy the summer day. Summer goes by quickly. Soon, the cold weather will return.

Hiking in Winter With Your Dog

Do you usually hike with your favorite four-legged companion? Has the winter weather made you leave your best hiking partner at home? Changing weather does not mean your dog has to stay home from your next hike. With a little planning, your dog can hit the open trails with you.

Tips for Hiking With Your Dog in the Winter

As a responsible dog owner, you are fully aware of your pet’s hiking limits. Hiking in the snow and cold requires additional care for your dog’s safety. Consider the following tips to help your dog stay healthy and happy during winter hikes.

  • Be Warm: Some dog breeds love the snow. Others may need some extra protective gear to help maintain warmth and protect against hypothermia. Dog coats, booties, and paw protectors may be part of your dog’s new hiking routine. Coats help your dog stay warm and dry. Booties or paw protectors are essential to protect your dog’s paws from the elements. If your dog does not wear paw protectors, consider using a paw protection wax. The wax is easy to apply and helps keep your dog’s paws safe from the natural elements.
  • Know Your Trail: Winter can add other hazardous conditions to hiking. Sticking to familiar trails can keep you and your dog safe.
  • Dog Permitted Trails: Remember to only hike trails that allow dogs. Rules and guidelines may change in winter months. Checking ahead is essential.
  • Keep Your Dog Close: Dogs love to run and explore. During the winter months, your dog may wander off too far. Lakes, streams, and rivers may not be fully frozen. Your dog slipping through the ice can be highly dangerous and sometimes deadly. Keeping your dog close is critical. The chances of hypothermia and other injuries could happen quickly.
  • Food and Water: Like you, your dog will need proper hydration and nourishment during the hike. Snowy covered trails mean extra work for your dog. If your dog starts to slow down or stops, he may need a food and water break. Dehydration, hypothermia, and exhaustion are highly dangerous for your pet. Learn to read your pet’s signs to know when to take a trail break.
  • Emergency Kit: Pack a first aid kit for your dog. Keep extra blankets in your vehicle in case of an emergency. The blankets can help keep your pet warm and dry.
  • Mobile Device: Always carry a cell phone with you for emergencies.  Use your phone to check on the weather. A forecast can change quickly, wintry weather can be dangerous for you and your dog. When hiking away from home, program local numbers for pet emergencies.

Winter does not automatically require you and your dog to stay indoors. With a little pre-planning, you and your faithful hiking companion will be out on the trails in no time.

 

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Celebrating Sweetest Day on a Budget

Did you know today, October 19th is Sweetest Day? Did you plan ahead? Are you scrambling to find the perfect date within your budget? Celebrating Sweetest Day does not require a lot of money. In fact, with a little creativity and planning, many activities can be free or cost very little. 

Low-Cost Ideas for Sweetest Day

  • Picnic: Pack a lunch and head out to your local park for a picnic. If the weather is too cold, have a picnic inside. When eating indoors, you can also have candles and music to set the mood. 
  • Go for a Walk: Autumn brings bright colored leaves, harvest, pumpkins, and more. Get outdoors, go for a walk to view the changing colors. Head out to the nearest pumpkin patch or apple orchard. Enjoy the day together. Hold hands. Drink warm cider. Buy a pumpkin for Halloween. 
  • Go Hiking: Hit your favorite trail. Do not forget to bring your dog along. Hiking is a great way to spend time together. Being outdoors is beneficial to your physical and mental health. Your dog will be happy to be part of the celebration. 
  • Be a Local Tourist: Check out your local tourists’ sites. When was the last time you went to the hometown art gallery, museum, historical landmark, brewery tour, apple orchard, cider mill, or other tourist destination? Spend time exploring your town.
  • Make a Card: Remember getting a note with the words, do you like me? Check yes or no. Get creative. Make a Sweetest Day card. Write a poem or include a special memory. 
  • Make a PlayList: Put all of the songs that are special to your relationship on a playlist. 
  • Make a YouTube Video: Okay, it’s not what you think. Video the place you first met, your first kiss, your wedding location, or other memorable locales. Take the video pieces and create a documentary about the two of you. 
  • Make a Meal Together: Cook together to make the perfect meal or dessert. 
  • Movie Night: Cuddle on the couch, make popcorn, and binge-watch your favorite movie series. 
  • Unplug for the Day: Turn your phone to vibrate, step away from your computer, and just spend the day together.