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This July 4th, Declare Your Own Independence

July 4, 2014

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If you live in the United States, July 4th is often one of the highlights of summer. It means boating, sun, fireworks, and juggling more than a few friend and family obligations.

We all try to take advantage of the opportunity summer provides to revisit and reconnect with those who are most important to us, but what about reconnecting with ourselves? Between all the backyard barbecues and beachside get-togethers, it can be easy to forget to nourish your own inner being. And what better occasion to foster your own independence than on Independence Day?

This year, amid the flurry of 4th of July engagements, take some time for yourself. It may seem impossible to carve out time on your own on one of the biggest American family holidays of the year, but we’ve got you covered on how to declare your independence this 4th of July:

Start Small

Asserting your independence is just another way of mindfully setting aside individual time to rejuvenate. Plan to get up early on the morning of July 4th. Particularly if you are hosting guests, this solo morning time can be essential for grounding your energy and helping you maintain your focus throughout the day. So set your clock, slip out of bed in the quiet of the morning, and go for an easy one to two mile walk or jog around the lake. If swimming is more your speed and you happen to be close to a pool or lake, dive in and indulge in 20 to 30 minutes of backstroke or easy crawl. This morning exercise isn’t so much about burning calories (though it’s certainly an added benefit) as it is about centering your mind and enjoying peaceful time with just yourself.

Reflect on Your Summer Thus Far

Often, it seems like summer flies by just as soon as it’s begun. Take this occasion to appreciate the beauty of the season, and take stock of what you want to carry with you and what you want to let go of going forward. How have the summer activities and commitments been going? Do you find yourself feeling content and refreshed when you awake each morning, or have you been feeling tired and bedraggled despite the summer rays? July 4th is a great time to assess your summer thus far and decide to make changes.

Check in Physically

Independence has as much to do with your body as your mind—after all, how can you be independent if your body isn’t functioning as it should? Nutrition is a key part of a rejuvenating self-care routine and of feeling your very best. Summer brings with it a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables, but it also brings ice cream, hot dogs, and chili fries; now is the time to remember that though it’s healthy and normal to celebrate and indulge from time to time, your body is happier when it’s regularly nourished with foods that make you feel good. Though many people associate the 4th of July with an abundance of not-so-healthy foods, it’s actually the perfect time to enjoy the healthy bounty of the season. Get inspired by these delicious and healthy 4th of July recipes.  

Set Limits

It can be tempting, especially on July 4th, to overcommit yourself to picnics, parties, and parades. This 4th of July, take the name “Independence Day” literally: declare your independence from obligations and embrace the freedom to pick and choose the events that feel personally nourishing just to you.

How do you declare your independence, on the 4th of July and every day? Share with us in the comments below!