How to Create your Perfect Summer of Health and Happiness
Updated: Jul 11
Summer is definitely upon us and if you are like me you are probably wondering where the last half of the year went! The good news is that there is still time to make this your best summer yet. By taking a holistic approach to your health and wellbeing and looking at ways to care for your mind, body and spirit you really can create health and happiness this summer. Schedule yourself a 10 minute break (you need that!) and check out the tips below:
Get moving to boost your happiness
Exercise is not only good for your body (if you want to be fit and healthy there is no escaping the exercise!) but it also improves your mental well-being and helps reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Make the most of the warmer summer weather to do some form of exercise outdoors everyday. This can be anything you enjoy from walking the dog, running, cycling, playing sports or jumping up and down on a trampoline! (If you need more gentle exercise then Qi-gong is a good one to try). Just make sure you are moving. The more energetic the exercise the better as more endorphins will be released to lift your mood and make you feel so much better.
Live in the present moment
One way to get the most out of your summer is to remember to take some time to practice mindfulness, especially if you are feeling under pressure. This allows you to disconnect from anxious thoughts and give your worrying mind a short break and helps you feel more calm. Make the time to experience the summer with all of your senses. Next time you are outside just pause for a few minutes and pay attention to what is around you without judgement. Feel the sun (or rain!) on your skin, the ground under your feet, the warm breeze against your face and notice any sounds. When your mind starts to wander and get lost in thoughts just accept and bring yourself back to the present moment.
Summer gratitude practice
At the beginning of the day be thankful that you are awake and alive to experience another summer day instead of waking up and focusing on your problems. The new day is a precious gift and not guaranteed to any of us. Try and take this feeling with you throughout the day and not get irritated by the small stuff. At the end of the day bring to mind 5 things that you are grateful for instead of allowing your thoughts to focus on anything negative that may have happened . This will put you in a better frame of mind for sleeping.
Make sure you are getting enough sleep
Sleep is so important for your body to enable it to rest and repair. It is also good for your mental wellbeing too as lack of sleep can impair your ability to think clearly and also increase feelings of anxiety. Ideally you should be looking at around 8 hours per night. If you are struggling then feel free to download your free sleep guide here
Use this summer to forgive, let go and move on
Holding on to bad feelings against a person due to their actions towards you in the past will impact your mental well-being. Use this summer to forgive and let it go so they don't have a hold on you. Even if you feel a particular person doesn't deserve forgiveness you will be doing yourself a favour by releasing yourself from the hurt and letting go of the past. The same goes if something is just not working out for you - let it go and move on my friend.
Have a regular media detox this summer
To protect your mental well-being this summer remember to also take a break from social media. The urge to keep posting, compare your life to that of others and be constantly checking your phone will not do your mental health much good. Neither will constantly focusing on the bad news stories around so disconnect from that too sometimes to avoid being overwhelmed.
Use positive affirmations this summer
If you suffer from anxiety issues, low self esteem or tend to have negative thoughts about yourself or your life then you may not be in the best head space to enjoy your summer. You could try positive affirmations. Repeating a few kind positive words to yourself on a daily basis can help change negative thought patterns, help you feel more positive and boost your confidence. You deserve to be happy and enjoy your life just as much as anyone else.
Eat like a Mediterranean
The Mediterranean diet is well-known to be one of the healthiest in the world and tends to include more fish rather than relying so heavily on meat. Maybe give this a try for yourself over the summer months if your food choices have not been the best recently. By eating fresh healthy food with lots of colourful fruit, veg and salad and reducing processed food you will doing your body a favour by giving it the best fuel. The added bonus is that it may help you shift a few pounds too! There are also plenty of vegan and vegetarian options. Olive oil is also an essential part of the diet and sometimes known as liquid gold and the best medicine for your body!
Drink plenty of water to keep your body healthy and avoid dehydration
Up to 60% of the human body is made up of water. It is surprising how much water we need to keep our body healthy. Around 2 litres (or roughly between 6-8 glasses) per day and probably a lot more in hot weather. Just plain water is better than fizzy drinks or fruit juice due to the amount of sugar they contain. Also avoid the temptation of taking your fluid in the form of alcohol as this will dehydrate you even more! If you are feeling sluggish and suffering from headaches try drinking more water as this may be the only thing you need. If you are dehydrated you can also feel more anxious.
Get a vitamin D boost in the sunshine!
A good dose of sunshine will do you the world of good and give your vitamin D levels a boost. Be sensible and avoid prolonged exposure, particular at this time of the year with August being one of the hottest months. To avoid burning migrate to the shade where you can still pick up the suns rays but more safely. Sunscreen is advised but choose wisely as so many contain chemicals, some of which can be harmful and even cause hormone disruption. Check out a health store for a more natural product.
Are you missing swimming in the sea this summer?
Swimming is a whole body exercise and has many health benefits but if you can't get to the sea then obviously the local pool is an option. I wouldn't suggest wild swimming but that is up to you..! Alternatively try a soak in a sea salt bath, known for its therapeutic and healing properties, sea salt contains magnesium, potassium, calcium, zinc and iron which are all needed by the body. A sea salt bath can also reduce stress and relieve sore/aching muscles or irritated skin.
Pamper your body with body brushing
Use a natural dry brush in long pressured strokes to exfoliate and massage your body. This ancient technique not only brushes away dead skin but also increases circulation and helps lymph node drainage. It also stimulates the nervous system which can make you feel invigorated after!
Try the power of meditation to connect back to You
Meditation allows you time and space to slow down and connect back to your inner-self and hear the wisdom of your true voice or spirit. It also helps to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Maybe you feel like you can't afford the time to meditate, I would say from personal experience you can't afford not to find the time! If you hate sitting with the silence of your own company then that is a good clue that things are not quite in balance and you need to re-establish your mind, body, spirit connection. Meditation takes practice so start with a few minutes and gradually build up to around 15-20 to really feel the benefit.
Yoga does more than give you a flexible summer body!
Yoga is well-known as as mind, body, spirit practice. Focusing on the breath and movement of yoga allows you quieten the mind and to connect back to yourself. It also activates your parasympathetic nervous system, restoring you to a calmer state and reducing feelings of stress and anxiety. If you are feeling a bit disconnected then this will help you plus you will become more toned in the process! Qi-gong and Tai chi are also good as the slow flowing movements allow you to be in the present moment with yourself.
Be a kinder person this summer and feel better
During the upheaval and upset caused by the coronavirus pandemic did you notice how there were more acts of kindness around in the world than usual? This definitely lifts the spirits and gives hope of a better future. Maybe cultivating a kinder nature won't solve your problems but you will feel so much better within yourself and who doesn't love a kind soul!
Find your true spirit in nature this summer
Allowing yourself to spend time outdoors in nature has many benefits for your health and wellbeing and it is so good for your spirit. Remember how you felt less constrained and more carefree outdoors as a kid? When you are surrounded by nature you can feel a connection with something greater than yourself. It is also helps to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety and boosts your mood. To be truly happy and healthy you need to re-establish your connection with nature.
Use this summer month to find your purpose
When you become aligned with your purpose in life your spirit becomes more free as you can truly be yourself. If you are unhappy with your life at the moment then use this month to look at the things you would love to do and ways in which you could achieve this. Take one small step at a time. Anything is possible when you try.
Nurture your friendships this summer
A true and honest friendship can really bring joy to your life as you feel appreciated and connected to another human being on the same wavelength, so make time to nurture your friendships this summer and hopefully you can share many more summers! If you are not fortunate enough to have good friends around then try joining a group of like minded individuals for company, this can be in person or online, and hopefully a friendship or two will come from that.
Summer is not over yet and planning to do something you enjoy will give you something positive to focus on and look forward. Maybe you can't go abroad to your favourite place this summer and this has caused you anxiety, upset and disappointment but all is not lost. There are still plenty of things you can do to take a break this summer even if its day trip to the beach, lake or park. Plus the negative ions found in these natural areas are known to enhance mood and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety!
These are just a few things you can do to nurture your mind, body and spirit for better health and wellbeing. Use these summer months to really check in and give yourself a well deserved well-being boost! The coronavirus pandemic may have taken some of the joy out of it but summer is not over yet so make it count!
Holistic Health and Wellness Coach
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Information provided for general educational purposes only and not intended to replace medical advice