Welcome to our official summer! It’s a busy time of year, and with the holidays, school and work vacations, and fun days in the sunshine, it can feel like every weekend is another wedding, graduation, or holiday celebration. With all this excitement, it’s important to remember to make yourself – meaning your health – a priority.
Get Enough Sleep
Fewer hours of darkness doesn’t mean you can thrive on less sleep. You may be able to survive on just six hours of good rest each night, but it won’t last long. Studies show that sleep helps your mental clarity, your memory, your creativity, your mood (depression rates increase as sleeping time decreases), and your physical health. Plan your days the best you can to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day – don’t hesitate to set an evening alarm for when it’s time to wind down – and make your bedroom a sleep oasis.
We’re about halfway through 2018, and for some of us, that means our fitness goals from January feel far away. Think creatively about the best way for you to exercise despite the heat and humidity. Maybe that means budgeting just $10 a month in a Planet Fitness membership to exercise in air conditioning. Perhaps you can rearrange your basement so you have a cooler space for exercising. In some cases, you may need to set your alarm earlier to exercise before the humidity makes your legs feel heavy. No matter what holiday is this weekend, making your fitness a priority will make you a better spouse, parent, sibling, and friend.
Hosting or attending celebrations can feel overwhelming and discouraging if you’re gluten free, dairy free, or working on your overall nutrition. Even though the solution will take a little planning, it will be worth the effort: if you’re hosting, plan a meal that meets your standards, and ask your guests to bring affordable, easy sides or drinks that fit within your nutrition needs; if you’re a guest, offer to bring a dish or drink to ease the host’s workload and to have food that you can eat, too.
Make It Simple
Regardless of the obstacles you face this summer, when it comes to celebrations, holidays, and vacations, simplicity is more important. If you eat a slice of cake and drink a glass of champagne at your best friend’s wedding, it’s okay. Focus on making a memory and enjoying the flavor instead of stressing about it. No matter how much you sleep, how much you exercise, or what you eat, stress and frustration will undo all of your work for a healthier life. Keep it simple, give thanks for the warm weather, and enjoy your summer!