Ok, you’ve got your bathing suit, shades and sunscreen covered. But which other summer essentials do you need to turn these warm months into a fun and relaxing time?
No matter if you’re hitting the beach or hanging out in your backyard, here are 10 must-have items for a summer to remember.
This blog post contains some affiliate links to resources you may find helpful, at no extra cost to you. All opinions are my own.
1. Cool(ing) Drinks
We all know that hydration is key, especially when the heat is making you sweat more than usual. In summer, there’s nothing like homemade iced tea to help you stay chilled and hydrated at the same time. More into soda? This Cozy Turmeric Lemonade will both keep you cool and boost your health. And when you’re feeling fancy, these mocktails turn every ordinary day into a party, even without the alcohol.
2. Picnic Perfect
It’s the ideal activity for all ages, budgets and energy levels: having a picnic. What’s more, a picnic can be a safe way to get together while still social distancing. And if you’re not well enough to go outside, why not enjoy a picnic in your garden?
For a leisurely day in the park or at the beach, a good outdoor blanket and picnic basket packed with unbreakable tableware come in handy. And of course you need good food: a heart sandwich, a colorful salad, something to nibble on and a refreshing drink. Take a look at these 14 fresh recipes for healthy picnic inspiration.
3. Natural Bug Repellents
Itching insect bites are not the holiday souvenirs you’re looking for. Thankfully, Hello Glow shares 10 natural bug repellants to keep unwanted visitors away, from citronella differs to cedarwood sachets. A mosquito net around your bed is also an easy way to prevent mosquito bites. But if you do get bitten, try this DIY balm to soothe your skin.
If you spend time outdoors, also make sure you watch out for ticks. According to the American CDC, tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease are on the rise. That’s why you should carry a tick removal device in your backpack or around your key chain in wooded and grassy terrain, as well as high-incidence regions. Wellness Mama explains what you can do to prevent tick bites and how to safely remove ticks.
4. Armchair Journey Reads
Even if you can’t physical travel this year, that doesn’t mean you cannot discover new cultures or take a mental escape. A great book will take you places without leaving home. Travel memoirs from Paul Theroux and Bill Bryson feed your wanderlust, while Under the Tuscan Sun and The Kite Runner will transport you to the Italian countryside and Afghan mountains.
And classics like Eat Pray Love and Into the Wild not only take you to exotic destinations, but also on a journey of self-discovery. That’s what makes armchair journey books a real summer essential for your staycation.
5. Water Play
Isn’t summer pretty synonymous to having fun in the water? Whether it’s swimming in the sea, hanging by the pool or just setting up a splash pad in the garden, being in the water is cool in every way. So get yourself a giant inflatable llama or flamingo ride-on, and embrace your inner kid with a super soaker water fight. And if you love pool parties, a funky snack and drink float should definitely go on your summer essentials list!
More into relaxing by the water? Treat yourself to a comfy sling chair, elegant beach towel or cozy hammock.
6. DIY Popsicle Molds
Another great way to cool down on hot summer days is ice cream. And the best news is, you don’t need any fancy equipment to make as much healthy popsicles as you wish! Simple blend your favorite fresh fruits with coconut water, plant-based milk or Greek yoghurt and pour the result in (BPA-free) popsicle molds. You only need a little patience waiting for your next popsicle flavors to freeze.
7. Cooling Gear
It can be challenging to deal with the heat, especially when you’re chronically ill. In that case, wearable cooling gear may be just the summer essential you need. The Koldtec ice towel targets the pulse points around your neck to assist your body’s natural ability to stay cooler for longer. By re-regulating your breathing, heart rate and body temperature, this cooling neck wrap makes a great tool in any spoonie’s coping box.
8. Lawn Games
Staying close to home does not have to be boring. Why not release your inner kid again with lawn games? From an elegant round of croquet after brunch to a fierce competition of bowling, there’s an outdoor game for everyone’s liking. You could get active with a game of badminton and frisbee, or play giant Jenga and Four in a Row with the whole family. Summer is the perfect time for uncomplicated fun.
9. Rehydrating Facial Mist
Too much sunshine can make you skin dull. That’s when a DIY rehydrating facial mist comes in handy! You can easily create your own blend by adding your favorite botanicals – lavender, chamomile, rose petals – to 8 ounces of water. Green tea could also be used as the base of your face mist, as it’s packed with antioxidants that soothe your skin.
You can find more do’s and don’ts for a healthy skin year-round here.
10. A Summer Bucket List
When you’re living with chronic illness, it can be confronting to see your friends going to the beach and sipping cocktails in the sun, while you’re stuck at home. But just because you can’t join all the fun, doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun.
What do you really want to do this summer? Which activities would make you feel happy and alive? Make a summer bucket list, looking at your heart’s wishes instead of practical limitations. Next, take a closer look at the things you’d love to do most. Is there any way you could make it happen, with some serious planning?
If not, what is it about that activity that you’re longing for? For example, do you wish you could have more adventure and excitement in your life, or time spend with friends? Now, how can you satisfy those underlying needs, even if it’s in a different, unconventional way? Remember that even small rituals like eating fresh strawberries and walking barefoot can give that summer feeling you’re looking for.
For 120 more ways to entertain yourself at home, even if you’re (chronically) ill, download the Bored and Sick Guide for free. Because keeping your mind happy while your body rests isn’t a luxury – it’s a necessity.
What are your summer essentials for a fun and relaxing season?