There is something about the longer, warmer days that sparks a bit of self-reflection. Maybe it’s the extra time spent outdoors being active or the opportunity for more gatherings with family and friends. Whatever it is, summer, for many, serves as a seasonal springboard on a journey towards the best version of yourself that you can envision.
To take advantage of this potential for self-improvement, read on for helpful ways to make changes and become healthier, more fulfilled.
For most of the world, summer is the time of pool parties, morning hikes, and evenings spent dining al fresco. The added opportunities to get outside aren’t just ways to incorporate more fun into your life. Time spent outdoors has been shown to lower your blood pressure, reduce stress, boost your mental health and even fight off illness.
It’s easy in the digital age to get caught up indoors endlessly scrolling social media, but this doesn’t do much for your overall health and wellness. Human beings crave novelty, so it’s important to put getting outside and experiencing new and exciting things on your calendar. From booking a Western Caribbean cruise to attending an open-air fair in your area, schedule some rejuvenating time, in big and small ways, for yourself in the great outdoors.
Revamp Your Diet
Though much of a healthy diet’s benefits seem to achieve a summer-ready swimsuit body, a healthy diet is an asset to your wellness for many other reasons. A healthy diet boosts your immune system, aids in stabilizing your mental health, helps to regulate your sleep-wake cycle, and provides your body with sustained energy to keep you healthy, active, and ready to hit the pool whenever an invite hits your inbox.
The increased availability of fresh produce should make this one a snap. The growing season makes it easier to include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet as you’re no more than a farmer’s market trip away from a kitchen stocked with healthy, nutritious foods. Focus on plant-based, unprocessed foods at mealtimes for optimal health.
Your body consists of 60% water, and when it’s warmer outside, you’re more likely to lose some of these fluids through sweat and body temperature regulation. It’s important year-round but essential during the summer months to make sure your body stays hydrated.
Though you’re probably familiar with the recommendation to drink eight glasses of water per day, recommended water intake varies based on your activity level, location, sex, and age, so be certain you’re getting the hydration you need to keep your body functioning well.
Start a Practice
Health and wellness extend past just your physical body. The relationship between your mental or emotional health and your physical health is significant, as a significant change in one aspect of wellness has a ripple effect on another.
Take this time to start routines aimed at clearing some of the noise and chaos that accumulates through your day-to-day life. Some find that a quiet practice such as journaling or meditation helps them stay grounded, while others take on a restorative exercise program or learn a new skill. No matter what route you take, it’s important to prioritize both your mind and body on the path to wellness.
Positive interactions with family and friends have marked benefits on both your mental and physical health. Studies have shown that those who feel a sense of belonging in a strong, stable network of loved ones are less likely to develop chronic illness, more likely to report better emotional health, and actually have sharper cognitive skills.
If the invitations aren’t coming to you, start sending out a few yourself. Social interactions don’t need to be lengthy or complex. Even a walk with a coworker on a lunch break or a quick video call with a family member can increase your sense of happiness and wellbeing. No step is too small when it comes to caring for yourself and, though it may not seem like it at first, fostering relationships with others helps you to have a better relationship with yourself, too.