Happy Second Half of the Year Day! Well, in arrears.

Photo of Nigerian Celebrity Idia Aisen lounging on a beach in Ibiza Spain

Yes, it’s totally a thing. July 1st or Second Half of the Year day is a day to re-evaluate the year so far vis-à-vis the goals and objectives you set out with and take necessary steps to get back on track if need be. Let’s call them Second Resolutions. So, whatever it is you set out to do at the start of the year, the weight loss program, the luxury fund account, a career switch etc. none of which you actually got around to (do not fret. Mine didn’t last up to an hour in the New Year), here’s our chance to change things, wipe the slate clean and start over.  You’re welcome!

In other news, summer is loading. Technically, summer arrived a week ago after the solstice but the real summer? That’s not until late August when the rains have taken a break from pouring and only come in occasional showers, the sun is a happy yellow glow and everything is bright, pretty and colorful. It is the special time for holidays, picnics at the beach, a break from routine, a time for exuberance and grand gestures.

Summer is loved by everyone even when their weather calendar says different. Summer is… a state of mind.

Every year, we all make plans for the summer. Oh, how great it’d be to shop till we drop, drop the kids at Grams’ so you can go get that wax, sauna with your best girls , holiday in three continents, buy a gemstone and try meditation and the list goes on. Much like resolutions, these plans often go sideways because everybody else is also making theirs. If you’re not going along with someone else’s plans, odds are, you’re dragging them into yours. Sounds a bit theatrical but if you think well about it, you’ll realize I’m probably right. If you have even the vaguest notion of what to do with yourself, no matter what it is, then you’re well on your way to the summer state of mind. Thing is, if the plans aren’t for you alone it defeats the purpose.

Summer I believe should be a personal holiday. Some downtime with yourself. By all means, supervise your children’s plans but do not interfere. If you’ve made plans with friends or family to travel, find time to be with yourself while you’re away. Whatever plans you eventually follow for the summer, just remember to take the time to love yourself. Yes, take the time. Set it apart. Write it down in your diary. Be with you.

Still at a loss on what to do or what being with your self should be like? There’s no way to doing it better. There’s only doing it and having it work for you.

Conversations on the Summer of Self-Love are ongoing across social media platforms like the #howtomend trend where women in beauty and fashion share personal stories and experiences they’ve grown through, in salons, in magazines (you read it here first) sharing tips on new things to try but the general premise is knowing yourself and loving yourself.

Here are a few suggestions:

Read Avidly. Books, novels, magazines and even the uncharacteristic newspapers. Devour them all… Social media is fun but very saturated. Read widely for a fresh perspective. Also, isn’t there just something almost transcendent about getting carried away with a really good old hardback?

Take up a Ritual. I don’t mean you should dress outrageously in red and start chanting. Rather, find something stimulating or relaxing to do at a given time, everyday. You could try meditation for a minute a day, yoga or simply just make yourself a cup of mint tea, put up your feet and play some Erykah Badu and enjoy. Same time, each day.

Try Wellbeing Apps. I’d recommend staying off technology during your personal time but some people do love the ease and to each her own. Wellbeing apps to help you regulate your time and consistently improve yourself are rapidly on demand. Examples are Todoist, Habitify, Aloe Bud, Freedom, etc. Each uniquely designed to suit your eccentricities.

Take Up a Project Immersing yourself in something worthwhile can be truly rewarding. It could be gardening, learning a new language or teaching it to your kids, championing a cause in your community, volunteering your help with your skills wherever needed.

Do something you’ve never done. You might want to go easy on this option. A big change all at once may upset your balance. So, start small but make it meaningful. You could rearrange your room or try a new flavor of ice-cream.

One or all, be sure to attempt something geared towards bettering yourself. The results can be so fulfilling, so keep at it until you feel your halo glowing in that cheery Summer hue.

Have an unforgettable summer!

Black & White Photo credit: Pascal B. & Thought Catalog ( Unsplash)

Abiodun Odusola
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