Summer is in full swing! A happier and healthier self can certainly improve your recovery process, but a general sense of wellbeing is also worth having, in and of itself. Here are some summer hacks for a more enjoyable and healthier life—something we all want.
Do more, consume less
Yes, it’s less glamorous, but it’s true! Spend the money and time you have on experiences that make you happy, not stuff. Research indicates that this model for living makes us happier and healthier, and no wonder. Buying less stuff means worrying less about money, for example. This summer focus on how you’d like to feel and what you’d like to do, not what you’d like to buy, for more satisfaction.
Even if you don’t think of yourself as the outdoorsy type, get a little dirty this summer. Cultivating a few herbs, plants, or flowers, even inside in a window box if you’ve got no space, can improve your stress level. Try growing a small herb garden, or planting a few flower pots. Or, if you’re experiencing a really hot summer, a cactus or succulent garden might be ideal!
Getting your hands in the dirt and soil and the act of gardening gives you a mentally “grounding” experience, and allows you to unplug and recharge. That sense of being grounded allows you to get past stress, and take a breather when life is moving at a pace that’s just a bit much.
Feeling the heat? Get some fresh fruit and veggies into your life and cool off at the same time by making your own popsicles. Ice pops don’t have to be all sugar water to be refreshing and delicious! If you make them with a bumper crop of summer produce, you can squeeze in those servings of fruit and veggies while you’re treating yourself. (Not sweet enough? Add a little honey!)
Try pureeing strawberries, cooked beets, apple juice, and a splash of balsamic vinegar or lemon juice (really!) for a delicious option that’s filled with antioxidants, minerals, and flavonoids—not to mention ice-cold flavor. Blend pureed carrots, mango, and pineapple, and orange juice for a popsicle of frozen sunshine that’s filled with vitamin A and vitamin C. In the mood for something green? Blend spinach, kiwi, white grapes, celery, and cucumbers for a green chiller that’s tasty and great for you—or buy some Green Machine smoothie from the store and freeze it!
Of course no one wants a sunburn, and prevention is always best. Still, it’s hard to get through summer without getting a little too much sun here and there. Be ready with some awesome sunburn remedies at hand to feel more comfortable and happier when sunburn happens.
Freeze aloe vera gel in an ice cube tray so you can soothe red spots once they occur and help them heal faster. Add lavender essential oil to a spray bottle of water to cool and soothe sunburned skin. Or rub coconut oil on the affected area to help it heal.
We all know that staying hydrated all year long is really important, and when the weather heats up, it’s even more critical. But if you’re not much of a water drinker, it can get a little harder to stay motivated to drink all that water. Dress it up a little to keep it interesting!
You can infuse water with fresh ingredients overnight in a pitcher or jar to add flavor. Add cucumber, muddled berries, ginger, citrus, mint, or even pine needles for a haute cuisine twist and stay hydrated more easily.
Don’t scratch that itch
If mosquitos have been feasting on you and you’re feeling like crawling out of your skin, take heart. There are some great ways to stop that itching in its tracks so you can get back to enjoying your summer.
Plain white toothpaste (not the gel) can stop mosquito bites from itching. A nice soak in a bathtub with colloidal oatmeal can also help. If you don’t have any, just blend oatmeal in a blender until it’s powder, and add it to the stream of water as the tub fills. Calamine lotion is another great remedy that’s natural and harmless.
Forget beauty sleep—we all need sleep so our brains function optimally. The brain clears itself of waste products when we sleep, and only then. That’s why when you’re overtired you have trouble making decisions, solving problems, and simply functioning well all around. Good quality sleep—and enough of it—improves your mood, enables you to tackle challenges, and offers you a distinct emotional advantage.
Now that the snow is gone and it’s beautiful outside, choose one activity you can do outside and go with it. Whether it’s hiking, yard yoga, playing tag with the kids in a park, swimming, taking a nature walk, cycling, playing frisbee, or roller skating, get outside. You’ll be back at the gym and in the routine soon enough; don’t waste this seasonal outdoor beauty or the fun times you can have with family and friends.
Summer fun, for life
Take this summer as your chance for a more enjoyable and healthier life, no matter where you are with your recovery process. These summer hacks can have you feeling great, all without a big investment in time or money. How are you going to hack this summer and start feeling better?