You wait all year for summer to arrive, but when it does, you feel a little… thrown off. Sure, you love beachside bungalows and any excuse to sip on something fresh-squeezed, but the comings and goings of the season often send your tried-and-true routines to the sidelines.
There’s no reason you should have to toss out the wellness practices you’ve established throughout the year once the temps start to rise, and there’s no need to dread the season’s frenzied pace and packed calendars. You can maintain your daily self-care routines while you enjoy fun summer travel—and (bonus) you can accomplish both sustainably.
Sustainability expert and content creator Jhánneu Roberts believes that self care is an essential part of a sustainable lifestyle. “It’s all connected,” she says. “When we take care of ourselves, we’re better equipped to take care of the planet and inspire others to do the same.” To maintain that commitment to herself and to the environment while she’s on the go, she relies on a mindfulness practice and a simplified packing list.
A few things that always make the list? A small collection of multipurpose cotton goods. Whether it’s a lightweight Turkish towel for morning meditation or a canvas makeup pouch for her summer beauty routine, Roberts loves naturally grown cotton because it’s biodegradable, recyclable, and durable—as in, it can keep up with all her adventuring.
Check out the simple ways she recommends taking your self-care routine on the road, stock up on a few cotton packing essentials, and get ready to travel sustainably, all summer long.
Hydrating and feeding her body with plenty of fluids and nourishing foods is key to Roberts’ daily self-care practice. Taking that routine on the go can be challenging, she says, but it’s made easier with reusable items like a large water bottle, food-storage containers, a canvas tote, and cotton napkins.
When she finds herself in a new place, she makes an effort to check out any local farmer’s market she can find. It’s an easy way to travel sustainably and, for Roberts, the experience of connecting with locals and stocking up on gorgeous fruits and veggies is a total self-care win. “Farmers’ markets offer locally grown produce, often with fewer packaging materials and a smaller carbon footprint compared to supermarket goods,” she says. “Supporting local farmers not only promotes sustainable agriculture but also connects you to the community.”
Speaking of family farms, while you might not find a booth filled with cotton plants at the market, choosing naturally farmed cotton over other kinds of fabric is another way to support farmers. So fill your tote with bursting berries, meet a new friend or two, and get to know the place you’re visiting, all in one fell swoop. That’s a healthy serving of self care.
With UV indexes at an all-time high, Roberts considers sunscreen a key step in her summer self-care routine. Take her lead and keep a stash in your bag—but be sure it’s the high-quality stuff. “Look for [reef-safe] and mineral-based sunscreens that are free from harmful chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate,” she says. “These formulations are better for your skin and the ocean ecosystems you may encounter during your travels.”
Add an additional layer of sun protection with comfy clothes you can wear and re-wear. A bright, easy-to-pack cotton crusher hat will keep your face shaded all day, and a dreamy, crinkly, cotton caftan will keep you cool whether you’re at the beach, enjoying dinner outside, or snuggling up for a summer sleep.
If a fun skin-care and makeup routine is your definition of self care, well, same. Once you’ve lathered up with planet-friendly sunscreen, swipe on a bit of waterproof mascara and a bright pop of SPF lipstick and get to exploring.
Transport your makeup must-haves in a cotton cosmetic case—extra credit if it doubles as a clutch you can carry for an evening on the town—and be sure to travel with reusable, easy-to-wash makeup towels. “[They’re] not only cost-effective, but they also reduce the amount of waste we generate,” Roberts says. “By making the switch to reusable options, we’re helping to cut down on single-use items and making a positive impact on the planet.”
Roberts tries to minimize car time when she’s traveling, in an effort to reduce her carbon footprint and find meditation in movement. “Whenever possible, choose walking or cycling for shorter distances [and] public transportation for longer trips,” she says. “Carpooling with friends or colleagues is another great option for reducing emissions and sharing the journey.”
With walks and bike rides on the itinerary, comfortable clothes are critical. Consider investing in a pair of neutral and soft wide-leg cotton pants you can dress up or down, and breathable cotton canvas slip-ons that easily transition from day to night.
Amidst your adventuring, challenge yourself to carve out a daily moment for stillness—because tuning into your mind and body is especially important when you break from your normal routine. That mindfulness is at the core of both self care and sustainable living, Roberts says.
To keep up the habit while you’re on the go, tuck a handmade cotton notebook and a breezy Turkish towel in your suitcase—for gratitude journaling, a morning sit, a farmers’ market list, an afternoon nap, or all of the above. Happy adventuring.