Summer is my absolute favorite season, without a doubt. This sun rises so early, and doesn’t set until almost 9. As a lover of light, this resonates with me on a cellular level. I always feel like I am stocking up on those golden rays all summer long to get me through the winter. Even though when you think of summer, you probably think of laid back days, lounging outside, going to BBQ’s, or heading to the beach. The thing is-summer can actually be a really busy time of year. According to Mother Nature, this season is literally BUZZING with life force. The plants are all at their peak, the long days welcome activity and draw us to be active outdoors, and our bodies typically have more energy to burn. It can be really easy to get burnt out (no pun intended) over the summer months, leaving you feeling depleted, crispy, or actually just sick. There are ways to ensure you feel your absolute best this summer, ALL summer long. Below are ten really simple things to check in on every once in awhile to help keep your immunity high, get your glow on (and keep it), and to keep yourself feeling like straight up GOLD:
1. Get in the SUN
I know, we have been led to be scared of the sun, but the thing is, in moderation, those rays are actually really good for you! You see, the sun’s rays provide us with a hearty dose of Vitamin D. Being out in the sun, and getting a healthy dose of sun is actually the most immediate and natural way to up your Vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is beneficial for supporting healthy bones, regulating calcium, and maintaining phosphorus in the blood. I even read once that getting some sunlight when you are pregnant can help the baby’s bones to develop nicely as well! Your body can stock up on Vitamin D as well, and these stores can last you through the fall. How do you get sun exposure in healthy doses? I don’t lay out directly in the sun right at noon, when the rays are super harsh, but later in the day, around 2 or 3, getting 20 minutes on your front, and then your back, as well as any other sun exposure (walks, runs, hikes, just being out and about) don’t hurt either.
2. Drink! Water that is.
You’ve heard me say this a billion times, being hydrated is one of the most beneficial things you can do to stay living a more healthy lifestyle. Especially in the summer, we sometimes don’t realize how much we are sweating, and hence becoming dehydrated. Keeping a cool water bottle you love, or glass jar around filled with ice, or maybe even some summer fruit that you are loving to flavor your water, will remind you to drink up during the day. To learn more about the benefits of water, read my (very first) blog post here.
3. Schedule down days
It can be really easy in the summer to suddenly have a really packed social schedule, running from work, to a night out, to weekend BBQs, to the vacations you had planned. Aside from vacation, plan a down day once a week, where you don’t have any plans, and you can just relax at home. Perhaps a down day for you would include going on a leisurely walk, taking a bath, laying in the sun, or reading that book you’ve been wanting to read, or my favorite, take a good ol’ nap. Stopping to rest during a season that lends itself to active energy allows your body to recoup so you don’t stress your immune system.
4. Eat in season foods
The foods that are provided to us during this time of year (thank you Mother Nature!) are in season for a reason. These foods provide us with the vitamins and minerals needed to keep our bodies in balance, hydrated, and cool during the summer months. Think: watermelon, greens, tomatoes, celery. Check out my blog post here that talks all about the in season summer foods!
5. Exercise early (or in a gym!)
Exercising in the heat of the day is not only a total bummer, but it’ll leave you feeling extra drained, probably with a headache, and dehydrated. I know, I used to run everyday during the summer after work right around 3. This time of year, it is MUCH easier to wake up early as the sun is rising around 5:30, so take advantage, and rise earlier to beat the heat. I also love exercising in the morning now because I find I have ten times more energy throughout the day, and I actually sleep better at night. Of course, if you have access to a gym, you can do that too!
6. Exfoliate your skin
Your skin can take a beating during the summer, between sun exposure, pools, beaches, AC, and fans, our skin can be anything but golden during the summer. My favorite way to exfoliate my skin is to dry brush before I hop into the shower. Every once in awhile I will whip up my Coconut Lavender Scrub as an extra boost. I find that when I remember to exfoliate my body and face, I break out less, my tan lasts longer, and my skin stays more hydrated. I also moisturize after every shower with either a lotion or coconut oil. Another quick little tip: after you hop out of the pool rinse off with fresh water. Chlorine in pools is rough on the skin, and can leave your skin very dry!
7. Keep up with your supplements and probiotics
Immunity first always! With being on the go a lot it can be easy to forgo the daily ritual of supplementing your body. Continuing to take a good quality supplement, and probiotics (or eat fermented foods for a dose of probiotics) will help keep your tummy happy when your potentially eating more BBQ food, or when you are on vacation. Keeping your vitamin levels up will ensure a healthy gut, body, and skin.
8. Get grounded-go barefoot
Ask anyone I know, I rarely wear shoes in the summer. There have been numerous studies that have shown that going barefoot and having your feet make contact with the Earth has a huge grounding effect on the body. It can center you, and relieve anxiety. One of my favorite summer rituals is to water my gardens barefoot, and also meditating barefoot in the grass. Take your shoes off more, and tune in, see if you notice a difference.
9. Open your windows, let yourself acclimate
When I was in school for Health Coaching, we had a speaker that was talking all about how we as humans are obsessed with adapting our environments, instead of letting our bodies adapt. I found this so interesting. I see houses where the windows stay closed all year round-heat in the winter, AC as soon as it gets warm out. The thing is, it’s so important to let fresh air into your space, but in addition to this, to let yourself become acclimated to the changing seasons a bit. We have a couple emergency AC units for those ridiculous August days that happen sometimes, but probably 95% of the time, we just keep our windows wide open. I find that the heat doesn’t bother me as much, and that I actually feel calmer. I love the sounds of summer, and the breezes. I also find that I am able to tolerate being outdoors when it is hot out without a problem. Our bodies are designed to sweat and change with the seasons, let this happen naturally without inhibiting it.
10. Take time to get away
That beach you’ve always wanted to visit? Do it. That town you can’t stop thinking of? What are you waiting for?! Treat yourself during these beautiful months to some time away. It gets you out of your routine, and shakes things up. Experiencing new things is good for our souls. And sometimes we need to physically take ourselves away from our everyday lives in order to fully tune out and tune in to ourselves.
I hope these tips help you stay happy, healthy, grounded, and feelin’ like gold this summer my friends. Enjoy this amazing season and everything is has to offer!