If you're like me, you live where you experience all four seasons. But even if you're in warmer cities like Los Angeles, you still have a slight shift in weather and mentality when the seasons change from winter to summer. It's like a mid-year evolution where you shed your old skin, clean out your house, and find inspiration for something new. Here are nine steps for you to prepare for the summer.
My favourite time of the year is that change from spring to summer. As much as I love all of the seasons, this time of the year is the best because I have this internal sense of evolution - becoming a new person. I'm shedding the old and removing my cocoon of oversized sweaters and leather boots.
You can even smell Summer arriving as the tiny buds on trees are in full bloom for us to smell and admire. The April showers are finally over and we can look up at the clear blue sky. With the shift in seasons, there are things I do differently to prepare for the summer that may help you to get you into the season.
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1. Pack Winter Clothes
The warm weather is here and there is no longer any need nor want for your heavy sweaters, parkas, and wool pants. Pull out those storage boxes and vacuum seal bags. Bring out the clothes from the closet and winter boots from the shoe rack. I usually put everything in a pile on my bed (but shoes on the floor by my bed). Then, I fold each item of clothing, giving me time to decide if I want to keep it for next year or not. There are a few things I think through to make that decision.
Did I wear this article of clothing this past winter?
Does it still fit?
Will it still be in style next year?
Is it too worn out?
If you answer "no" to any of these questions, it may be time to part ways with that particular article of clothing. Throw out the clothes that are worn out. Donate the clothes you no longer want to wear. Then let's pack away what we don't need until next winter. Hoarding is not what you want to do because it's just holding on to dead weight that you'll never actually use in the future.
2. Unpack Summer Clothes
Unpack your summer clothes, shoes, accessories, and swimsuits. What I like to do each time I pack and unpack clothes from storage, I take a page out of Marie Kondo's playbook and ask myself if this article of clothing "sparks joy". (If you haven't heard of Marie Kondo, I suggest you take a peak at her method on Netflix).
If it's something I won't wear whether because it's fast fashion that's out of style or no longer fits me, I'll place it in my donation pile. If it's worn out, that will be thrown out or up cycled.
Then, empty out your closet and armours and rearrange your summer and evergreen (all-season) clothes so that they have a shared space together. I make sure to keep some cardigans and a couple of sweaters out of storage for those cooler summer nights by the beach or for any vacations to colder countries. Next, comes my favourite step!
3. Purchase New Summer Outfits
If you applied Marie Kondo's techniques to your old summer wardrobe and find it a bit sparse now, you have a perfect reason to go shopping. When a butterfly emerges out of its cocoon it naturally comes out with a new look. So why can't the same be said about you?
The newest trends for the summer are all over the internet from top magazine sites to Pinterest. Check them out before the summer hits so you can be on top of your fashion game. I always say one can never have too many swimsuits either for those beach days.
4. Switch Cosmetics
The harsh winter chill and the dry air produced by the heater really does a number on your skin. You probably switched over to heavier skin products in the winter. I usually add on facial oils to my winter skincare regimen and oil-based body moisturisers to prevent excessive drying and winter itch on my skin. Well, it's now time to switch gears to lighter skincare products.
With the warmer temperature, you'll find yourself perspiring a bit more throughout the day. I think it's safe to put away that oil-based body moisturiser and facial oil serums for the time being and switch over to lighter oil-free skincare. We don't want to promote clogging of our pores with excessive moisturisers.
One thing I love to add to my skincare regimen are facial mists. When you're out having a picnic at the park or sunbathing by the beach, the summer sun is still drying you out with the heat despite you producing sweat to cool it all off. The perfect medium to battle the heat of the sun and the drying while keeping your skin cool are facial mists. I love keeping one in my bag at all times. It's like a mini skin rescue.
In the winter, I tend to be paler due to the lack of sun exposure so my foundation is usually at least a shade or two lighter. In the summer, with more sun exposure my skin usually gets a couple of shades darker. You're going to want to switch your foundation to a darker shade to match. Or else, it'll look like you're wearing white clown makeup.
I'll be switching over my makeup palette to match my darker complexion. Put away the maroons and darker shades of lipstick, eye shadow and blush. Summer makeup palettes need to go lighter with pinks, corals, and peaches for that sun kissed glow.
Summertime means the sun's out longer and people are doing more outdoor activities. You're staying outdoors longer on vacations by the beach, hiking around a different country abroad, or having a backyard poolside barbecue. With extended sun exposure comes the risk of sun damage on your skin. I think you know where I"m going with this.
It's time to whip out that SPF and ideally, you want an SPF of 50. But some is better than none. Apply it frequently while you're outdoors. Many moisturisers come with SPF included, so for those who hate wasting time applying this, here's a way to cut out a step with a 2-in-1 product.
6. Invest in a Water Bottle
In the warmer months, you're losing much more water passively than you realise. With frequent and mild sweating that you're not really noticing, you need to drink much more water to compensate.
Cold water is probably a better thirst-quenching option than lukewarm if you're actively perspiring such as walking outside in the heat or during exercise. The cold water will help moderate your body temperature better as mentioned in Healthline's article "What are the Risks and Benefits of Drinking Cold Water?" But if you're prone to migraines, you want stay away from cold water since it could be a trigger.
Carry around a light stainless steel water bottle that will keep your water ice cold for several hours. It's eco-friendly and keeps you hydrated. My water bottle never leaves my side whether I'm at work, on a walk, or moving from room to room inside my home. Undoubtedly, we need to focus on hydration in the summer.
7. Summer Salads
It's surprisingly how good salads are for you in the summer. Besides their nutritious values, they actually carry electrolytes and water that can replenish what you're losing through sweat on those hot summer days. It all depends on which vegetables you're eating such as cucumbers, radishes, lettuce, and of course, fruit. Choose the vegetables with high water content. Here are some great recipes.
Check out any of my salad recipes: Immune Boosting Summer Salad, Cucumber Salad, Refreshing Watermelon Salad, and Southwestern Salad for some great ideas. These are perfect for your outdoor barbecue, weekend brunch, or a meal for one.