As we all try to stay positive and look forward to the things in our control, let’s look ahead to a summer staycation. Daily life continues to be in flux so summer travel plans are going to be a fluid, changing concept.

Preparing for a relaxing staycation means creating an ideal setting. Use these 15 ways to get ready to welcome summertime and those warmer and brighter days ahead. 

1. Make A Playlist

Mindset is everything. Making a summer playlist will help you get in the mood for preparing your mind, body, and home for the summer season.

Enjoy the fun of it and don’t rush. Make sure your soundtrack is at least one and a half hours long. Time flies when you’re having fun and nobody likes hitting replay all the time. Make it three hours long and you’re good to go for a solo listen or sharing.

If there is a chance that you will share this playlist in the future, consider making it friendly to all listeners. Otherwise, clearly mark your list as “for your ears only” to avoid any cringe-worthy moments.

What songs get you into a summer mood?

  • Tell a story, your summer story with the music playlist
  • Start slow and chill
  • Add some throwbacks
  • Sprinkle in some fast songs
  • Keep the same tempo
  • Don’t forget old favorites
  • Add new artists in between big hits
  • End on a good, mellow vibe to round it out 

2. Practice Wellness Daily

Lazy days of summer aren’t always just that. They can be hectic, busy, and stressful. Your mental health is most important. You are the priority! Pick one thing to do for yourself every day of summer that brings joy into your life.

Here are 4 simple ways to improve your well-being all the summer long: 

  • Journaling
  • Daily sweat sessions
  • Less is more approach
  • Put down your devices
  • Read anything but a device for 15 minutes
  • Look out a window that shows nature to reduce stress and give your brain a rest

3. Brighten Living Spaces

Don’t forget to prepare your home for warmer weather too. Refresh your indoor and outdoor spaces. Create an inviting way to recharge or relax in them. 

  • Put away heavy blankets and pillows
  • Swap pillowcases and slipcovers for lighter colors and textures
  • Replace heavy curtains with thinner styles
  • Lighten up your rooms by removing dark décor items
  • Add a summer quote to your wall

4. Clean It Up

We always think of Spring as a time to do some cleaning but the weather may be unpredictable. With summer’s sunny days, open the windows and air out those rooms. Take rugs outside, shake them out and hang over a railing to air-out. A quick cleanup can make your space feel lighter and more summery instantly. 

5. Add Summer Touches

This probably sounds redundant but actually add some touches of the season into your home.

  • Add fresh flowers to one or more tables
  • The humidity in your bathroom is the perfect place to add plants
  • DIY a new front door wreath with supplies from Michael’s or Joann’s
  • Include pops of white throughout your home for a brighter mood 

6. Exfoliate Your Skin

Summer means getting rid of big, bulky layers and showing more skin. That’s great except what to do about the dry, rough winter skin that’s still hanging around?

If you haven’t already been doing it starts a good exfoliation routine so your skin will be ready to glow. There are two kinds of exfoliants, physical and chemical. 

Physical kinds include small grains, brushes, or microdermabrasion.

Although grains are a popular choice, be careful because they’re not as gentle as you’d think. They can cause micro-tears in the skin. Check ingredients and look for sugar granules that are small, powerful, and safe. 

Another feel-good physical option is with a body brush, like the goop G.Tox Dry Brush.

  • Use sweeping motions, always going towards your heart
  • Add body oil to your brush if you have sensitive skin
  • Always shower off after brushing to remove the dead skin cells.

No time to body brush? Try a chemical exfoliant.

They’re great for turning over skin cells as well as smoothing and brightening. With any peeling product you must wear sunscreen during and after application or you risk exposing your skin to sunburn.

These brands offer organic or natural ingredients, are cruelty-free, and have commitments to sustainable practices.

  • True Botanicals Resurfacing Body Mask, a lactic acid body wash to gently renew the skin. 
  • Eminence Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant. “Rice powder absorbs oil while lactic and salicylic acids remove dead skin cells. The strawberries and rhubarb infuse the skin with antioxidants.” 
  • Naturapathica Pumpkin Purifying Peel. With 3% Lactic Acid, Pumpkin puree and antiseptic herbs to promote clear skin

7. Pamper Your Feet

Exfoliation isn’t just for your face and body. At least once a week, exfoliate your feet with a pumice stone or a scrub.

Here’s an easy a do-it-yourself- sugar and almond oil foot scrub. When you’re all done slather on shea butter or coconut oil and wear socks to moisturize your feet to baby soft levels.

  • 1 Cup of Epsom Salt
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • 10-15 drops of essential oil of choice 
  • Always use clean hands. Sanitize your preparation area. Spray or soak jar, spoon and other prep materials with isopropyl alcohol or a diluted bleach solution and let air dry before use
  • Mix ingredients and scoop into a shower-safe container with a waterproof lid. Use 1-2 teaspoons at a time. Rinse after use

      9. At-Home Manicure

      A perfect, at-home manicure isn’t difficult to achieve. It’s setting aside the time for yourself that’s hard. We often tell ourselves that we’re not worth it by saying “I’m too busy”.  You are always worth pampering and here’s how to give yourself a professional quality manicure in 9 easy steps.

      • Clean your nails with polish remover. My favorite is Organic Lavender Nail Polish Remover (get here).
      • Clip, file, and buff your nails. Rounded nails that follow the shape of your cuticle is easy to do yourself.
      • Get your cuticles prepped with a cuticle remover to soften and dissolve dead skin. Push them back. Do not cut them - the skin protects your nails from bacteria.
      • Soak hands in soapy water then exfoliate your hands with a scrub to eliminate lingering dead skin. Dry hands and nails completely.
      • Moisturize your hands and nails. Try Coconut Rehab Nourishing Cuticle Oil by Clean up the nail bed with your organic nail polish remove to prevent smudges.
      • Apply a base coat
      • Apply two coats of color but wait about 2 minutes in between each coat
      • Apply a topcoat
      • Clean up rough edges and let air dry

      10. Refresh the Sunscreen

          More than likely the sunscreen you used last summer has expired. Hopefully, you’ve been using SPF in your facial products during the winter. When you’re looking for sun protection be sure to avoid products that are toxic to our environment.

          Sunscreen pollution is a real thing. Traditional products contain caustic chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate that seep into the water. These chemicals have nanoparticles that disrupt marine organism's growth, reproductive cycles, and overall life cycle.

          Ingredients to avoid:

          • Petrolatum
          • Titanium Dioxide
          • Oxybenzone
          • Octinoxate

          Of course, don’t throw out all your sunscreens right now. Just get safer and healthier replacements when you need them. 

          Reef safe sunscreens:

          • Hello Bello Sunscreen Lotion – The only FDA approved sunscreen to protect against all 3 types of UV rays, UVB, UVA2, and UV1. It also happens to be from Kristin Bell and Dax Shepard line
          • Raw Elements – the whole product line is certified natural
          • Kokua Suncare Hawaiian SPF Natural Zinc Sunscreen
          • Thinksport SPF 50
          • Badger Active Natural Mineral Cream SPF 30 Unscented
          • Suntregrity Natural Mineral Sunscreen
          • Stream2Sea SPF 30 Mineral Sunblock
          • Babo Botanicals SPF 30 Clear Zinc Lotion
          • Art of Sport (AOS)

          The sun, saltwater, and chlorine can all have damaging effects on your hair. The scalp is also vulnerable to sun damage. A wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and limiting time in the sun are healthy habits during any season.

          Even the best intentions require some reinforcements. Protect your beautiful strands with a serum or spray. Apply before, during, and after activities to protect, nourish, and repair your locks.

          The elements aren’t the only things to watch out for. Many conventional hair care products contain harmful and unnatural ingredients. Look for natural products that are better for your precious tresses and health. Keep your hair healthy all summer long:

          • Carol’s Daughter Goddess Fortifying Shampoo with Castor Oil moisturizes and strengthens weak strands
          • Carol’s Daughter Coco Crème Creamy Conditioner for very dry hair
          • 100% Pure Pro-Vitamin B-5 Smoothing Hair Serum
          • Coola Scalp and Hair Mist Organic SPF 30 

          Hair masks are another easy do it yourself way to keep your hair thriving all summer long. Just like the foot scrub you should be able to find the ingredients in your pantry. A tip for DIY ingredients, I like to keep my cooking and craft items separate. The idea of cross-contamination gives me a big “yuck” feeling so I keep them separate. 

          DIY Olive Oil and Honey Hair Mask
          • Sanitize the preparation area, spoon, and bowl.
          • Dampen your hair with tepid water. Divide hair into 4 to 5 equals parts and section off with clips.
          • Gather ingredients: 2 tablespoons of honey, 3 tablespoons of olive oil 
          • Mix honey and olive oil together in a sanitized bowl and stir with a spoon. 
          • Apply to from mid hair shaft and coat all the way down to ends.
          • Leave on for a minimum of 20 minutes to penetrate into the cuticles. Create a deep condition treatment by using your bonnet hairdryer or a shower cap. 
          • After the processing time, gently shampoo the hair to rinse out. Be careful because the shower floor can be slippery. 

          12. Swap the Makeup

          Summertime makeup is about looking (and feeling) light and clean. For an all-natural glow use natural-based products. Don’t know where to start? No worries! here are 15 organic and natural cosmetics brands that combine effective and clean cosmetics.

          • Mented Cosmetics 
          • Alima Pure 
          • Au Naturale 
          • Cocokind 
          • Beauty Counter 
          • Jane Iredale 
          • Kosas 
          • Kari Gran
          • 100% Pure Beauty
          • Ere Perez
          • Vapour Organic Beauty
          • Honest Beauty
          • Ilia
          • RMS Beauty
          • Pacifica Beauty 

          13. Detox your Closet

          Curate a perfect summer capsule wardrobe by creating a pared-down version of the most versatile, quality clothing you love to wear.

          It should mix and max easily making getting ready easy and quick, leaving more time for the things you love as well helping you feel effortlessly confident.

          Try on any outfits that are normally reserved for spring and summer. If they’re still feeling good and match your summer style put them into a “keep it” section in your closet. Anything that doesn’t should go into the donation bag.

          Quality over quantity is best. Classic pieces always work best but don’t be afraid to add in a few statement items too. My list is slightly (wink, wink) influenced by the southern California lifestyle. I’ve broken it down into three sections.

          Capsule Wardrobe Checklist:
          • Silky cami or tank top
          • Puff sleeve blouse
          • Light wash denim
          • White dress
          • Maxi floral dress
          • Jumpsuit
          • Silky slip skirt

          14. Summer-Ready Shoes

            Certain shoes shout “I’m ready for summer!” Flip-flops always come to mind first. But don’t be afraid to mix in clean, classic white sneakers. A classic and light washed denim jacket paired with a maxi dress look fresh with a summer bootie. Bonus style points if the booties have a peep toe and wedge heel. Read on for the shoe checklist. 

            Capsule Summer Shoe Checklist

            • Flip flops
            • Minimal white sneakers
            • Espadrille sandals
            • Strappy sandals
            • Athletic sneakers
            • Summer bootie 

            15. Versatile Accessories Checklist

            A capsule wardrobe is meant to be small. The downside is that a lot of combinations are worn repeatedly. The fun part is adding accessories to outfits in a new or different way. A baseball hat, sneakers, and a dress can be an unconventional but new outfit. Or a traditional sunhat, white dress, and clean white sneakers make a normally upscale outfit comfortable and casual. Here’s a small accessory checklist.

            • Oversized sunglasses
            • Bamboo bag
            • Hoop earrings
            • Thin scarf
            • Sunhat
            • Baseball hat
            • Swimsuit 

            Summer is coming, thankfully. Warm weather will be upon us once again. Use these 15 ways to get in the summertime mood and look and feel your best. I hope this helps you create good summer vibes all season long. Be healthy, be safe.

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