We all get tired, aching feet from time to time, but this is the part of the year when they're likely to be under most duress. Summer holidays, day trips out with the kids, rushing around after grandchildren - it's no wonder we're likely to end the day desperate for a sit down.
However, if you're finding your feet are particularly uncomfortable thanks to the hot weather and long periods of time standing up, there are a few things you can do to soothe them and prepare for another day of adventuring.
1. Use a skincare regime for your feet
You go through the routine of washing your skin and moisturising your face, so don't let your feet be an afterthought when you have a shower or bath.
Instead, get used to having a pumice stone on hand to gently slough away dead skin that can trap odours and turn into callouses. Once you're out of the water, apply a nourishing foot cream to add essential moisture and keep your feet looking fabulous.
Treat your feet:
- Citrus & Lavender Body Wash - for a soothing and refreshing feel at the same time
- Green Tea & Grapefruit Foam Bath - zesty enough to wake you up and leave your feet fragrant
- Citrus & Lavender Body Lotion - for a lasting fragrance
2. Try an emergency soak
Sometimes your feet might be so achy and clapped out that you can't wait until an evening shower or bath. In that case, employ an emergency soak! Get a dedicated foot bath or even a large bowl and fill it with water. In a heatwave, feel free to make it ice cold, something that will feel particularly lovely after a country walk.
You can add a soothing natural bath oil or foam bath and soak for five to ten minutes, after which time you should feel swelling subside and muscles begin to relax. Try to do this once a week as a treat for both your body and mind.
Treat your feet:
- Neroli & Rose Foam Bath - natural ingredients combined with a perfect, summery scent
3. Put them up
There's a common reason why relaxing is referred to as 'putting your feet up' - elevating those toes will help fluid drain away from your ankles and calves and relax muscles that have been under strain from standing up.
Sit or lie on a couch, put a small pillow under your insteps for support and feel the tension drain away. Alternatively, if you're feeling really determined, lie on your back on the floor with your bottom a few inches from a wall and place your heels up so your legs form a wide V.
This not only drains away the fluid, but also stretches the legs from the inner thighs to the arches of your feet, getting rid of any strains and cramps. You might get a few strange looks from the family, though.
4. Massage them
Sometimes rubbing muscles is the only way to alleviate the tension stored up in them, so try some of the techniques chiropodists use. Rest one foot on the opposite knee so you can reach it and then flex your toes, seeking out the cord-type part that pops up when you're in this position.
This is the plantar fascia and gently massaging it with your thumb should provide relief for your heels and insteps.
You could also get hold of a designated wooden foot roller or even get used to rolling a tennis ball or rolling pin under your feet while you're watching TV to soothe the muscles.
5. Take care of your feet in the long run
It's easy at this time of year to stick on a pair of flip-flops or clogs and go about your business, but don't forget to think about supporting your feet throughout the day. Flip-flops are famously hated by chiropodists because they force your feet into unnatural positions as the toes try to cling on to the flapping shoe, while many sandals have soles so thin that every stone pokes your foot underneath.
Treat yourself to something cool with a proper, supportive sole so your arches are supported and your feet aren't rolling in with each step. Also, double-check your sizing as feet can change over the decades and many fashion fits are slightly out. A good shoe should help to keep you going whatever you're up to this summer.
So there we have it - using some naturally soothing skincare products and employing a little extra TLC could make all the difference as we make the most of this wonderful yet invariably busy season.