Loving yourself. It's easier said than done, right? But this summer with the whole slogan of 'hot girl summer' and 'look your hottest it's easy to get lost in the mix.

Hot girl summer is basically the idea of no matter who you are or what your situation is, living your best life and accomplishing goals and learning about yourself is what the standard should be this summer. Activities for hot girl summer might include, working on your 'best body yet!' or 'having hookups, not a real relationship,"

However, when you take more time to think about it, Hot Girl Summer really isn't all that what it's made out to be. Casual sex, overworking your body, obsessing over the idea that if you aren't looking and feeling your best, you're letting down your fellow women, are harmful ideologies.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with wanting to be fit, healthy, and happy. But when a narrative that is constantly pushed onto you that tells you, you need to be your best self right now, starts to fill your mind more than actually bettering yourself, that's when it gets dangerous.

My summer has not been a hot girl summer. I do not have washboard abs, and I do not eat salad three times a day with an acai bowel on standby. And I do not drink 8 cups of water before noon. And my nails are never done, and don't even get my started about the unhealthy habits I've picked up. I've been on my phone so much, and I've been allowing myself to feel lazy and unmotivated, and gross.

So, no. I have not had a hot girl summer. But I have had a self care summer. A self care summer does not involve obsessing over being fit and following a routine that involves way too much effort on all of our parts. A self care summer is one that takes care of you.

A self care summer is a summer that allows you to grow and learn about yourself, no matter how you get there. We can all start our self care summers by doing many productive and mind engaging activities.

Last February, I got into a slump so bad, I didn't want to get up in the morning. Since then, I've created a challenge for myself. It's called "The 30 Day Challenge" The premise of my challenge is to do something every single day on the list until you run out. Each activity is a form of self care that reminds you to take care of yourself daily. They can range from the smallest things, painting my nails, to taking a full on relaxing bath.

Yes, I have missed days. Yes, I have missed many days in a row. Yes, one time I missed a whole week. (Whoops!) But the important thing is that I have kept going. I continued to pursue these acts of self care, and you should too. I have now successfully completed 140 acts of self care this year that I have recorded. This summer shouldn't be about following a routine, it should be about bettering yourself.

We have all had a rough year and a half, have we not? We need some time to ourselves to reflect on things that are really important to us, whether that be our careers, relationships, etc. We need to find motivation in places that we never thought motivation could come from before.

Here is the list of my 30 Day Challenge. Feel free to tailor it in any way you want to fit your lifestyle or the lifestyle you want to have. And don't worry, I am constantly updating it.

1. Meditate
2. Workout
3. Read
4. Publish a piece of writing
5. Write
6. Go for a bike ride
7. Drink a cup or water or more
8. Take a bath
9. Watch a comfort show or movie
10. Put on a face mask and hair mask
11. Light a candle
12. Take a long shower
13. Do some yoga
14. Positive Affirmations
15. Clean your room
16. Journal
17. Do something that engages your mind (Crossword, Duolingo)
18. Prioritize your sleep
19. Drink tea
20. Watch the sunrise
21. Listen to a podcast
22. Watch a comedy
23. Do a breathing exercise
24. Cook something
25. Paint your nails
26. Talk to or visit a friend
27. Dance around
28. Compliment three people
29. Bake something
30. Something or your choice that is healthy!

P.S- I write these all down in my notes app with a checkmark so I can keep track of what I've done. And when I'm done, I just start all over again!

If you have a question, you think I can help answer, message me and I'll get back to you. I'm serious! If you'd like me to research a topic and write about it, I'll do it. Need advice about that boy in your math class? I got you girl! Want to know more about plants and herbs? Information coming right up. Please feel free to be active in this community with me!

And with that, I sign off. Hope you all are having a nice day, afternoon, or evening and to drink water and believe in yourself.

-LM Swan