It’s here! The official start of summer is here. And while summer is a fun time of year, getting sick during the summer season can suck big time. But staying healthy during the summer is more than about than about diet and getting back on your exercise regime. It’s also about taking physical and mental breaks to energize your mind and body. Here are some tips on how to stay healthy this summer.
Schedule Some Down Time
Often we go from the crazy fall/school schedule to a crazy summer schedule. Here’s an idea, don’t schedule every minute of every day however tempting it may be. Summer camps, enrichment programs and vacation bible school can be great for kids but don’t forget to leave some time for the kids to just “be kids”. Even during summer travel, try not to schedule every moment of everyday. Sometimes, the most rewarding experiences are the ones that are unplanned.
Sometimes you have to disconnect to reconnect. And while you think that that’s not as easy as it sounds, simple steps can go a long way for greater mental clarity and health. Taking steps like disconnecting push notifications, putting your phone on another floor in the house and and scheduling “off time” can reap huge benefits and help you to embrace the summer.
Connect with Nature
Studies show that spending just as little as two hours a week outdoors, makes you happier and healthier. That could be bike riding, taking a walk, run, kayaking, going to the beach…you don’t even have to be adventurous.
Eat More Fresh Produce
The summer season is a great time to take advantage of the plethora of summer produce. Go to farmers markets, produce stands or grown your own. Use the fresh ingredients to make things like summer salads, infused waters or just eat the produce fresh.
Tomatoes, berries and zucchini are a few examples of produce that you can find. If you find a good organic market, you may be even be able to find golden zucchini. They’re delicious.
Connect and Make Friends
One of the most overused phrases in this busy season of life is, “We should get together”. I say this because, I can’t tell you how many times people use that phrase with no intentions of actually “getting together”.
The truth hurts but, if you really want to get together with someone, you can make the time to get together. Now, that doesn’t mean that’ll happen next week or next month but, simply put…get it on the calendar.
Everyone complains that there isn’t enough time in the day and life is so busy that they don’t have time to connect with friends but, the summer is a great time to connect. Fall schedules and school activities relax in favor of more unstructured activities. Even if you’ve tried to connect several times before, reaching out to the a friend during the summer is a great time to give it another try.
Jyl of Forward Influence (formerly known as Mom it Forward), uses some of her downtime in the summer to get to know her neighbors by having an open house style barbecue for the whole summer. Neighbors and friends don’t have to RSVP. They just bring a main dish, side or dessert at the designated time and day to share and that’s it.
Several studies have shown that those connections lower stress, increase immunity, improve confidence and lead to overall better health. And “no” all your friends can’t live inside your computer. Even if you’ve been friendly with someone for years, now is a good time to make that real life connection.
How did I do it?
Simply put, I just asked. I told her that I was going to be in town and asked if she would be available.
What happened next was 2.5 hours of pure fun at the Whitney Museum of Art.
Update: Do to recent restrictions due to COVID-19, it’s important that when connecting with friends that you do it safely, following guidelines of your state and/or county.
So this summer, make it a point to stay health by doing other than brushing off that gym membership that you never get to use. You’ll be happy that you did.