Welcome to June! Pools are open, schools are out, and summer is officially here! Summer is a great season to focus on your overall wellness. The days are longer, the weather is warmer, and there’s more time for recreation and relaxation. Read on for some no sweat tips to thrive this summer.
Focus on fresh light meals
When it’s hot it feels good to eat light. Think fruit smoothies, colorful vegetable salads, and fresh fish and seafood entrees. Consider cooking at home more and using your grill for some tasty chicken, shrimp, or veggie skewers. Or opt for no cooking at all with a delicious crunchy salad loaded with different color vegetables and beans. Going to a Summer BBQ? Great! Ask if you can bring along a side dish. A healthy salad or bowl of fruit will be a nice complement to the BBQ spread and something safe that you know you can fill your plate with. Craving dessert? Reach for some fruit! There’s nothing better on hot day than some sweet and juicy watermelon! One of my summer go-to meals is this super simple yet delicious
Adequate fluid intake is about 15.5 cups/day for men and 11.5 cups for women. When it’s hot we sweat more, and our fluid intake requirements may go up to replenish those lost fluids. Water is the best and lowest calorie option to stay well hydrated. Carry around a refillable water bottle
and make it a point to drink every hour. If plain water is boring, trying adding some fruit or cucumber to spice things up. You can also increase your water intake through hydrating fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, cucumbers, and lettuce.
Be active outside
Summer is a great time to be active outside going for walks, playing sports, and hitting the pool. Try to get outside either early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the hottest parts of the day. Bring plenty of water and make sure you dress appropriately in light, moisture-wicking clothing.
Spend time with friends and family
Whether it be a family vacation or a cookout with friends, make time to connect with
those you love over the summer. You can typically do a broader range of activities during the summer, due to warmer weather and more time off from school and work. Visit a theme park, zoo, or sporting event with the whole family. Plan a hike, trip to the park, or visit a local farm with friends. You’ll make amazing memories and strengthen important relationships.
Plan a fun get away
Summer is a popular time for vacations. Regardless if it’s a day trip or a whole week, make it a point to get away at some point over the summer. It doesn’t matter where – beach, camping, or sightseeing – whatever sounds fun and relaxing is where you should go. And those should be your only two priorities – have fun and relax. We all need some time away to rest and recharge. Staycations count too. Try being a tourist in your own city!
Prioritize mental health
Are you familiar with the condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD? It’s a type of depression that affects people in the winter when they do not receive enough sunlight. This summer take steps to improve your mental health by getting outside. Natural sunlight increases serotonin and vitamin D, both know to boost your mood. Gardening, hiking or walking on the beach can be very calming and grounding.
I don’t know about you, but some days are so busy that I feel like I’m on autopilot just trying to get through my to-do list. When we are in a constant state of hustle and bustle, we may forget to stop, breath, and actually be present in what we are doing. Prayer, meditation, and simple deep breathing can help us become more mindful and present. Try slowing down and take time to reflect on all of the good around you.
Engage in a digital detox
One way to be more mindful is to detox from your digital devices. It’s hard to be mindful when you are mindlessly scrolling through social media, right? Try unplugging for a weekend, a day, or even an hour. Maybe set a timer to turn off you phone at a certain time every night and instead spend time reading, talking with your family, or catching up on sleep.
Get plenty of rest
It may be tempting to stay up later during the summer, but it’s important to keep a consistent sleep routine and ensure you are getting the recommended 7 to 9 hours a night. Stick to a sleep schedule, create a restful environment for sleep, and develop a wind-down routine such as a warm bath, meditation, and cup of chamomile tea. It’s fun to be busy in the summer, but don’t pack your schedule so tightly that you no longer have time for rest.
Don’t forget the sunscreen
Finally, don’t forget the sunscreen…every day! Even when it’s overcast, or if you don’t plan to be outside for long. Make sunscreen a priority and don’t forget to re-apply based on the instructions, especially when you are sweating or swimming. Follow the American Cancer Society’s Slip! Slop! Slap! And Wrap campaign which includes:
Slip on a shirt
Slop on sunscreen
Slap on a hat
Wrap on sunglasses to protect your eyes and sensitive skin around them
Happy summer. Wishing you plenty of sunshine and smiles!
Until next time…Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well.