July…hot fun in the summer time! A mantra we should all be embracing as we swing into the heart of the season! Did you know, summer is also the season filled with energy, growth, and transformation opportunities? Summer may be the best time of year for our personal wellness! The sun, rich in vitamin D, is abundant during this time of year and we have more exposure to it when spending time at the beach and pool. We also wear less clothing, to stay cooler, which gives us the opportunity to absorb more sunlight.
Summer is also a time when our mood seems to improve. We have less time constraints with our children’s school and extracurricular activities. We often engage in travel, and have more time to exercise. Good social relationships are important to our wellness, and summer offers great opportunities across several holidays to spend time with our family and friends.
In addition to some of the physical, social, and mental benefits mentioned already, here are some other opportunities during the summer months, which can help improve your overall wellness and prepare you for the fall season (which we hope doesn’t come too fast!):
You are what you eat: Your gut plays a significant role in your wellbeing and is connected to your mood, behavior, and mental health. Did you know that July is national grilling month? What a great opportunity to cook some healthy favorites! Cleansing our bodies during the summer is important. It is a wonderful time to take advantage of many of the nutritious fruits and vegetables in season. Be sure to also drink plenty of water and flush your system. Hydrate your skin, and beat the heat! When you eat well, your body will feel energized for all the fun activities you want to engage in. When you feel well physically, you feel well mentally.
Get out to get in: Take advantage of the beautiful weather and get outside. Spending time outdoors helps to relieve stress, and feel more inner peace. Staying inside prevents you from getting the natural light needed to improve mood. SAD, seasonal affective disorder, can be combatted by participating in outdoor activities during the daytime hours. Those who experience anxiety and many other mood disorders can benefit from engaging in outdoor exercise just 30 minutes a day. Find your favorite outdoor quiet spot and meditate; you will feel refreshed and clear minded.
Sleep Tight: No scheduled activities? No place to be? Take advantage and get some rest! Sleep is essential to our mental and physical health. We need good quality rest so our bodies can recover from the physicality of the prior day and our brains can recharge. When we get 7-10 good hours of sleep we can go into the activities of the next day feeling fresh and happy.
Go lite—on the alcohol that is: Summer is a great time to socialize, which often includes sipping on your favorite chilled alcoholic beverage. However, as tasty as that cold brew may seem, you aren’t doing your body any good for hydration by overindulging. The summers seem to be getting hotter, and hydration is important. Alcohol creates the opposite problem by dehydrating the body. So sip on your favorite sangria or wine spritzer, but only in moderation (which is defined as 1-2 drinks).
A little bit of wellness goes a long way. If you have vacation time use it and unplug from work! Take care of your body and your mind. When we choose healthy behaviors we experience improved quality of life, greater longevity, increased happiness and life satisfaction, and more energy…THAT is wellness!