Summer is back, bringing with it longer, sunnier days, backyard barbeques and that delightful, carefree outlook that tends to reawaken during the warmer months. However, sometimes the busyness of summer activities, vacations and social gatherings can leave you feeling less than rejuvenated. To combat summertime fatigue and keep your glow all season long try adopting a few of these tried-and-true self-care habits.
Water Your Body
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. No seriously, if you only take away one of these tips, it should be this one. Dehydration is one of the common summer health issues, and some studies show that nearly 75% of Americans are functioning in a chronically dehydrated state. This can cause a whole range of issues that has the potential to affect everything from digestion and muscle function to sleep patterns and mental acuity. So, as the weather warms up and humidity reaches its peak, it’s more important than ever to ensure you’re drinking enough water. If you’re outside in the heat for long periods of time, such as the beach or poolside, and especially if you’re participating in rigorous activities (like a heated game of beach volleyball or ultimate Frisbee) make sure you’re drinking throughout the day to make up for water lost through perspiration. Additionally, for all you globetrotters out there: if you’re planning on travelling by air this summer it’s best to pass on the complimentary coffees and cocktails until you’re landside; stick to water or tea. Elevation changes can be particularly drying for your skin, including the delicate tissue around the lips and nostrils.
Revamp Your Workout Routine
Summertime is the best time of the year to get yourself out of an exercise rut. Longer days and warmer temps make for the perfect environment to take a break from the gym and use the outdoors as your fitness playground. Instead of logging 40 minutes on a treadmill, research some nearby trails and take a hike after work. Check out local meet up groups and join a sunrise yoga class or get creative at the park. With just a bit of online research you can create an exercise routine using the monkey bars, a park bench and a tree to get a killer workout and commune with nature at the same time.
While grocery stores and the ability to import allows for nearly year-round access to most of our favorite foods, there’s something to be said about eating as our ancestors did: with the seasons. Not only does this give your body variety, seasonal fruits and vegetables will likely be the most robust of your choices, meaning fresher taste and more nutritious. Typically summer means berries, black cherries, melons, arugula, beets and kale; however, regionally this may differ. Take advantage of your local farmer’s markets to shop fresh seasonal finds. This is an awesome opportunity to not only shop local and support your community, but a day at the farmer’s market is one of those summer activities that tends to feed both body and soul.
As the seasons change our skin has a habit of changing as well, usually in response to a shift in temperature, moisture or other elements. You may notice an increase in whiteheads during the summer months, which are caused by a combination of sebum (oil) and dead skin. Extra oil produced in response to hot weather, combined with skin that’s been overexposed to the sun creates the perfect conditions for a crop of these bad boys. For whitehead pimple treatment and prevention it’s important to stick to a routine of cleansing, exfoliating, and yes, moisturizing, even if it feels unnecessary with added humidity. Try switching to a lighter moisturizer to combat acne-prone complexions, but opt for one with SPF. Sun protection is more important than ever during the summer, and it’s beneficial to layer an SPF moisturizer with sunscreen before starting your day.
If you aren’t yet in the practice of meditating, now is as good a time as ever to cultivate a healthy brain space. Many confuse mediation with a spiritual practice, and while it can be combined or incorporated with religion or spirituality, meditation is centered on the ability to focus on the mind, and has an incredible range of benefits including better sleep, increased happiness and a stronger immune system. So, even if you don’t have a trip to Hawaii planned this summer, taking 10 or 15 minutes a day to focus your breathing and clear your mind is a good way to plan a mini vacation for yourself, every day. If you’re not sure how to start, there’s plenty of beginner’s guides online, or consider joining a local meditation class.