Summer's upon us!
Students -(throw hands up, woooHOOO!!)- you finally have time to catch up with friends, backpack Europe, sleep before 3am, and go to the doctor for that neck and lower back pain from the last few weeks of studying and cramming for project deadlines.
Non-students, well, we don't have 3 months off from work. Phooey. January resolutions feel like a distant memory, and family vacations may disrupt routines in self-care, daily meditation, exercises, and food intake. If you're north of the equator, it feels too hot for your morning jog, or afternoon walks, and if living in a bicycle-town like Davis, it's too hot to bicycle at any time. Well, there goes the one exercise you've committed for wellness, right? Not really.
Summer offers unique opportunities for outdoor exercises when the weather is pleasant. The following are great ways to move your body for exercise.
- Are you near a river? Lake? Ocean? Try paddle boarding, canoeing, kayaking, surfing, sailing, swimming or just waddling in the water. Catch a sunset with a long walk on the beach. For some people, swimming in nature is a very different experience than swimming in the pool. One that they prefer.
- Visit your farmers market. Explore local, seasonal foods. Ask the farmer how they harvest the summer batches, or how to choose the sweetest peach, which variety of cherries are juiciest. Grab some fruits, cucumbers, cheese, bread, walnuts, and baguette while you're at the farmer's market. Take a picnic at the park with your purchases.
- Fly a kite.
- Mow the lawn (that's not my idea of fun, but you'll enjoy the results with your home).
- Half-way between land and water:
- A local swimming pool is a great way to move your body during the summer. Many people prefer the pool than nature's body of water.
Regardless where you are in relation to the equator, we're midpoint in the year, and it's a great time to reassess our wellbeing goals and find balance.
Summer well-being is not just physical fitness and aiming for a beach body…all bodies are beach bodies. Consider at least five aspects for your summer well-being:
- What are the foods you eat? Are they energizing or draining you?
- How much do you move your body? Sitting at your desk for 8 hours during the day or watching television on the couch in the evening are dangerous for your health. Notice opportunities to move your body. Take this short physical activity assessment to see where your strengths and weaknesses are.
- Nurture your relationships and catch up with loved ones. Learn to forgive, accept others, improve communication to build stronger bonds. Create rituals with others such as sharing walks during a lunch break.
- Be attentive to your mind, body and spirit.
- Do you recognize when you are feeling overwhelmed or distressed? Take this brief survey to see.
- Notice what causes you stress.
- Learn relaxation techniques, immerse in nature, take deep breaths, listen to music read for stress relief, meditate with the Tamarkoz method.
- Nourish your spirituality.
- Cultivate positive emotions.
- Respect your body, rest when you need it, treat yourself with kindness, keep hydrated and fuel yourself.
- University of Minnesota. Taking Charge of Your Health & Wellbeing. https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/summer-wellbeing.