It’s kinda hot and sticky out there. Here are a few simple and fun ways to keep (your) cool this summer, just like you! Mwah!
It’s officially summer! On top of our usual life to-do lists, we’re expected to look fresh, throw pool parties, make glorious salads, get out and move our bodies and be social. Whew. I’m tired already. Oh, and you have a pile of work-work staring at you? Help is on the way!
The concept of health and wellness can be a complex one and requires juggling many balls. Think of it like spinning a wheel…and needing to tick off each one while balancing on a tightrope. Quite an image, eh? You can do it! Life is all about balance, but not just in the way of equilibrium. Think of balance like racing down a mountain on a bike and you need a lot of stability for that! But you also need instability to go around the turns… Sometimes we lean one way a little longer than another. It’s okay! As long as you lean back toward the other side again.
The main holistic points of health and wellness: are physical, mental/emotional, intellectual, occupational, social, environmental, and spiritual. Balancing all of these points will bring you eternal happiness! Ha! Just kidding! But the pursuit of these will bring you closer…it’s all about the journey, kids.
Here are some healthy tips that will help you swim through the summer into a sea of wellness!
Mindfulness. One of the simplest things we can do for ourselves is to become mindful. Prepare yourselves: this could take a lifetime. “But you said it was simple!” Ah, the difference between simple and easy is vast but attainable. Easy is something that requires little effort whereas simple is direct and uncomplicated. Take your time. The effort is worth it.
Quite simply, mindfulness is the practice of three things: awareness of the mind, body, and environment, attention to the present moment, and a kind, compassionate and nonjudgmental attitude. Aside from the health benefits, it is a guide to leading a meaningful and happy life. Practicing gratitude, centering the mind, breathwork, being observant, and mindful actions can lead to greater wellbeing. Om…
Breathwork. Breathing is one of the body’s strongest self-healing mechanisms. It can help decrease stress and anxiety, blood pressure, heart rate, release trauma and grief, increase our deep sleep patterns, and help build immunity. Warning: It may allow feelings of love, peace, gratitude, clarity, and connection to flow freely. 🙂
Try this simple mantra from Thich Nhat Hanh:
Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment. I know this is the only moment.
Hydration! Ever feel like you’re running low? Headache come out of nowhere? Brain fog? It might be dehydration. We need 8-10 cups of water each day to function. Add in heat and sun, exercise and exertion, soda and alcohol, and you will need to drink more. It’s one of the best and easiest forms of self care we can do for our bodies, summer or all-year round. It’s also a wonderful way to keep our skin healthy and fresh – for free!
Sleep! Oh to sleep… As we get older, we realize how blessed we were to sleep as soundly and as long when we were teenagers. Remember your parents coming in to check your pulse? You don’t? Ha! We should aim for 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. Disconnecting from technology an hour before bed along with an herbal tea, and a cool and low-lit room can help bring on a deeper experience with those precious zzzs.
Eat Local! Summer is a perfect time to try all those salad and plant-based recipes you’ve saved! It’s also a great time to hit the farmer’s market or vegetable stand to enjoy all the local bounty of the season.
Tomatoes, corn, and blueberries! Oh my! Can you say delish? Nom? Yum? You know the word. It’s also a wonderful way to get to know your neighborhood sellers and support the economy of the community (while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving our carbon footprint). Healthy AND mindful? Who’s trending now?
Sunscreen! Summertime means lemonade, long nights, warm breezes on the mountain, and SUN! And at a high altitude – the sun really kisses our skin, a lot! But we should always protect our skin even on cloudy days… Make it part of your morning routine. Wash, serum, moisturizer, sunscreen, GO! Get a sunscreen with some healthy ingredients and you’re good to go, especially if you’re planning to be outside for hours and hours. It’s one of the easier and best health and wellness tips to add to your day. Aside from protecting you from skin cancer, it also slows the signs of aging, fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration. Talk about self care!
Fresh Air and Exercise. How many times over the winter did you wish for a beautiful day? Well, they’re here! There are a bunch of benefits to moving your body in the elements so get out there! It releases endorphins and helps relieve stress, builds immunity, gives you more energy and mental focus, aids in digestion, better sleep (!), builds muscle and endurance, and clears the lungs. Consider both the physical and mental parts of the health and wellness wheel ticked off. Well done!
Cold therapy. It’s hot out there so how about trying something a little cold?? Cold therapy is known to aid with inflammation and sore muscles in exercise and sports but it’s becoming more known for helping to boost mood and immunity. Practicing on a regular basis can also make lasting changes and improvements to the lymphatic, circulatory, and digestive systems. Summer self-care tip, FTW!
Practice Sustainability! Ground control to earth? You need help! There are so many simple ways to become more sustainable in your everyday life. Buying second hand or getting involved with a local “Buy-Nothing Group” is a wonderful way to keep things out of the landfill. Reuse and repurpose what you have! Save those glass jars to fill with leftovers or nuts and grains from the bulk bins at the grocery store. Bring canvas bags and a reusable water bottle (just say no to plastic!) when you’re on the run. Small simple steps add up!
A habit only takes 21 days to form. Even if you latch onto just one of these simple health and wellness trends, you can brag about it the rest of the year. Who’s better than you?
Happy summer and stay cool!