I’d argue that summer is the healthiest season there is. As a society we tend to naturally gravitate towards eating more fresh, raw foods, increased physical activity, and spending more time outside soaking up natural vitamin D. We tend to slow down the stresses of busy life a bit, even taking time off to enjoy the weather (summer Fridays anyone?).
Want to amp up the wellness factor of this naturally healthy season even more? Then enjoy this summer wellness bucket list for your healthiest summer yet. The common theme here is that most of these activities connect you to your childlike self, the one that had summers off of school and looked forward to the season with joy! Do you remember that person? If not, try some of these tips to refresh you memory!
1. Picnic like it’s required.
This means, eat outside as much as much as possible. This can be as simple as taking your breakfast out to your porch or eating in a park rather than unconsciously scarfing down lunch at your desk.Taking it outside will naturally force you to slow down and mindfully eat by getting you away from your desk or TV. Bonus points for hosting a cookout with neighbors or taking a picnic to a park.
2. Unplug and connect with real life friends.
Winter is the time to hibernate and hide behind your computer tweeting and catching up on work, but summer is the time to shut off the laptop and ditch the phone. Get out of the house more and unplug as much as possible. If that's not possible, see if you can mobilize your web surfing. Take your setup to a café, maybe sit outside and at least connect with some people by putting yourself in a unique environment. Smiling at people who walk by and perhaps even strike up a conversation with someone in real life rather than spending your time talking in the comments section on Instagram.
3. Get near the water.
Spending time near water has a calming effect on the body. Just looking at water can make you feel more connected, peaceful, and free. Get yourself to the nearest body of water as frequently as possible this summer. Whether it's a lake, ocean or your friend's backyard pool, spend as much time as possible relaxing by the water or, better yet, swimming. Remember your best memories of summer as a kid? It’s likely the season included cooling off by the water in some way.
4. Use your legs as transportation.
Give your car a break as often as possible while the weather is nice. Walk, bike, rollerblade, or skip instead! Walk not just for practical transportation but also for fun with no destination in mind. Walking is proven to be excellent exercise and briskly walking for merely 10 minutes a day can dramatically lift your mood. I find my best ideas come while walking and listening to music or a good podcast.
If you need a reason to walk, go to your local animal shelter and help out by giving the dogs and yourself some much needed exercise and fresh air. Walking is a great way to have long conversations with friends too. For your local friends, suggest meeting for a walk rather than a meal and for your long distance relationships, it’s a great time to have a long catch up on the phone.
5. Drink green smoothies outside.
One of the best parts of starting your day with a green smoothie is that they are so mobile and quick. You can easily toss it in a jar and chug it on the go. This summer, lug your smoothie outside and eat it slowly with a spoon like it's a huge bowl of ice cream and you are 6-years-old. Remember what eating ice cream on a hot summer day felt like as a kid? You truly tasted every bite without rushing and feeling every sensation and taste in your body. Cultivate those feelings with every bite or sip of your high-vibe healthy concoction.
6. Swap your booze for Kombucha.
While a margarita or mojito by the pool is refreshing at first, the let down after a few too many could leave you feeling less than wonderful. Try occasionally trading in your poolside refreshment for an ice cold Kombucha. This fermented raw tea comes in countless flavors and can be found in most health stores these days. Kombucha is the perfect addition to your beach bag This beverage will not only quench your thirst but leave behind antioxidants and some healthy probiotics to aid with digestion.
7. Be fully present.
Spend time analyzing the clouds rather than your bank account or calendar for a change. Our society is so fast paced we’re constantly moving, thinking or planning. See if over this season you can take time to simply be. Stop contemplating the future or dwelling on the past, and see how present you can get to truly enjoy your surroundings in the flourishing season. Notice the clouds as you lie in the grass, the flowers as they bloom, the architecture on the tops of buildings as you walk, and the smell of the air as you open the windows.
8. Take time off.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur or not, use whatever vacation time you can. We tend to save it up for holiday time, but time off during the holidays is wrapped up in the hustle and busy with preparation and happenings, not self-care and outdoor time, like summer. Use your vacation now when it can actually be vacation!
9. Try a new activity.
Perhaps join a sports league, try a new workout routine, or even switch up the routine of your walk or drive. Growth happens outside of your comfort zone, and you’ll love the high you feel from stepping into something uncharted. It’s a great way to meet new people and connect with different communities.
10. Plant something.
Even if it’s just a basil plant on your balcony, get something alive in your space. Taking care of another living thing is rewarding. Perhaps you don’t have space for a mini-farm or even a balcony for a basil plant, at the very least just grab some fresh flowers from the farmer’s market to add a touch of green to your space. Looking at fresh flowers can increase your mood and buying flowers for yourself is a massive act of self-care and totally worth the money.
11. Plank yourself three times a day.
A strong, toned, and flat mid-section is so often desired for bikini season, but to get one you don’t need to painfully endure countless, monotonous crunches. It can be simple and even fun. In three minutes a day, you can start to see massive results in gaining the toned mid-section you crave for the beach. Simply, commit to doing a plank for 3 minutes per day.
You can do three one-minute planks all together or split them up throughout the day. I like to do one before each meal. Mealtimes are a great reminder to get them in and it’s best to do core work on an empty stomach. They also warm up your body so it’s primed for digestion. Simply set a timer and stay in plank for a full minute or fast forward until there is just one minute left in a song and remain in your plank until the track has ended and the next one begins.
Now, get out there and have fun! Happy almost summer, everyone!