July in New Orleans often feels like a slog. The heat makes it hard to be out and about, and if it doesn’t feel like you’re walking through a wall of water because of the humidity, you’re actually walking through water while it rains. Many people leave town for as long as possible, escaping to either cooler climates or places with cool water. But there’s a certain kind of elegance in allowing the weather to determine what you do and the pace at which you do it.
The term self-care is thrown around often these days, encouraging us to give more time to things that sustain us and make us feel good. Our feature on the benefits of indulging isn’t just a list of spa treatments, it’s a discussion of local rejuvenations that will make you feel more like yourself.
After you’re refreshed, read about local Happy Hours that are raising the bar on opulent dining at a sweet price, and then schedule time at some of them with the person or people that make you feel most heard and loved – that’s also self-care!
The past few years I’ve noticed that if I spend too much time driving, the tops of my hands begin to feel sunburned very quickly. I know that I should be wearing sunscreen whether I’m outside or not, but as I age the list of things I’m supposed to be putting on my skin keeps growing and some mornings it just feels like a step too far. Recently, however, I’ve discovered two sunscreens that are lightweight and easy to use that don’t leave me feeling like I have a layer of oil on top of my skin. (Note: I haven’t been paid to endorse these products, I just really enjoy them.) Glossier’s Invisible Shield (available Glossier.com) is a watergel formula with SPF 35 that seems to instantly absorb with no greasy residue, that they say “also works to neutralize harmful free radicals, and keeps pollutant junk from getting in there in the first place.” The second is a cult favorite from Japan called Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Sunscreen (available Amazon.com). It has an SPF of 50+, smells lightly of lemons and is immensely hydrating without any greasy feel.
My son turns two this month, and he’s old enough now to go on “adventures” with me to the grocery, around the block to check out a new shop or for a drive to a playground. I find myself taking him places that I dread going or have dismissed to see them through his eyes. The grocery store, for example, is an overwhelming series of colors and smells that need to be explored. A new-to-us playground offers the chance to say hello to someone new or to use our bodies in ways we may never have before when climbing or, in my case, ducking under and around structures. And if all else fails and the heat has sapped us of our wonder, then it’s time to get in line for a snowball and try a new flavor to find it all over again.
Grab some sunscreen and go out and find your wonder this summer, and let me know what it is: Morgan@MyNewOrleans.com!
Morgan Packard Griffith
Fourth annual “Chicken Jam,” benefiting Al Copeland Foundation, 620-3727, AlCopelandFoundation.org/chicken-jam
“Mr. Legs XIX,” benefiting Bridge House/Grace House, 821-7134
“Casa Argentina’s Tango and Dinner,” benefiting Casa Argentina, 237-1093
18th annual “Susan G. Komen Summer Cure Chefs Wine Dinner,” benefiting G. Komen New Orleans, 455-7310
“You Night Cancer Survivor Runway Show & Celebration,” benefiting You Night Events, (877) 591-5936, extension 3