It might not feel like it if you’re in the grip of a late-season cold snap. However, summer will be here before you know it!
What can you do, now, to make the most of the coming warm season? Here are eight healthy tips to prepare for summer and adjust to a sunnier mindset.
1. Get Mindful
The world might need mindfulness now more than ever. Given current world events, even turning on the news can induce panic about an uncertain future.
However, there’s little the average person can do to impact world events. It’s far more useful – and mentally healthy – to focus on what you can control and learn to radically accept what you can’t.
You might also be one of many with lingering COVID-19 fears, especially if you have a health condition that leaves you at an elevated risk. Mindfulness helps you take your time as the world opens back up, thinking about what risks you are and aren’t willing to take before you find yourself trapped in an uncomfortable situation.
2. Change Up Your Skincare Routine
You might need to slather on a heavy-duty moisturizer during the winter months. Dry indoor air and harsh winds can leave you parched, even if you normally enjoy normal or even oily skin. However, continuing the same routine as the weather warms can leave you waking up with a fresh crop of pimples.
If you have oily skin, switch to a water-based moisturizer. If you tend to shine only in the T-zones, you might want to use something heavier on your cheeks and around your eyes.
Another option is to stick to a moisturizer that uses a breathable oil, such as argan, as a base. It’s a glorious choice if you battle both wrinkles and pimples. Although it creates a barrier against pollutants and drying winds, it also regulates the amount of sebum your skin produces, minimizing blemishes.
3. Dig Into New, Fresh Recipes
Spring means the return of fresh, organic produce. Celebrate with the flavors of the season. Asparagus, artichokes, carrots, and avocados are only a few of the items you’ll find at their freshest as the weather begins to warm.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are your best sources of antioxidants, something you should get more of as the weather warms. Why? These protect your body’s cells from free radicals, substances that scavenge electrons from your body’s cells, leading to damage or death.
Lighten up your life with this morel and asparagus salad with frisée and butter lettuce. It makes a lovely solo lunch or the perfect side for a salmon steak with dinner. You’ll need:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 dozen small, fresh morels, rinsed
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 pound asparagus, halved and cut into 2-inch segments
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 5 ounces frisée, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1 medium head of butter lettuce, torn
- 2 tablespoons chervil sprigs
- Salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a pan, add the stock and cook the morels for five minutes. Add the asparagus and cook for another two minutes. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until the sauce absorbs.
Whisk the lemon juice and olive oil in a small bowl with salt and pepper. Add the frisée, butter lettuce, and chervil, and then toss. Top with morels and asparagus or serve side by side if you’re preparing it as a main course.
4. Take Fitness Outdoors
Warm weather’s return means no more slogging away endless miles on the treadmill while you desperately search Netflix for another binge-worthy show to take your mind off your boredom.
Take advantage of the longer days to get out and explore some new neighborhood routes. If you need a bit more motivation to go the distance, consider joining a club. You’ll meet new friends with the same jogging habit.
If you have nature preserves near you, hiking is way more fun than your typical neighborhood stroll – although they also have their charms. You’ll get your heart rate pumping as you climb hills and work your hamstrings and glutes.
You’ll also strengthen your immunity against summer colds. Researchers investigated people who participated in forest bathing and found a higher number and activity of vital immune cells.
If you’re into gentler exercise, why not investigate your outdoor yoga class options? If it’s getting toasty where you live, you might find a paddleboard version that will challenge your balance in new ways.
5. Tackle Your Allergy Symptoms
Spring and summer bring allergies to many. Take action now to tackle those red eyes and runny noses.
Many over-the-counter medications do an effective job of taming symptoms, but some can leave you with unwanted side effects like drowsiness.
You can also look to folk remedies. While little scientific evidence exists to support consuming local honey to control your reaction to pollen, plenty of anecdotal reports suggest its efficacy. If nothing else, you get a healthy dose of various antioxidants and natural antimicrobial agents.
Another trick to slashing your misery? Wear a mask. Mandates might be lifting everywhere, but it’s still good practice. It cuts down on the number of airborne allergens you inhale while upping your chances of avoiding infection with COVID-19, especially if you’re also vaccinated.
6. Plan Your Next Getaway
Americans get miserably short-changed when it comes to vacation time. Many people have no paid leave at all and can’t miss a shift for fear of coming up short on rent. However, study after study shows that taking time away from work makes you more productive when you return to the office.
If at all possible, start planning your next getaway. If you can’t afford to take a week or two, can you afford a few hours on a Friday afternoon to start on a long weekend getaway? You can play tourist in your hometown or hit that nearby attraction two towns away.
7. Make Your Homestead More Sustainable
If your summer getaway plans consist of nothing but staycations, spend some time transforming your home. You want your decor to welcome you when you arrive home from work.
Take down heavy curtains and blinds to make the best use of natural light. Stick with gauzy curtains. Another option? One-way film. This material has the bonus of protecting your furniture and floors from the sun’s fade-inducing UV rays.
If you garden, why not save money on fertilizer by building a compost bin? Even folks who keep plants in containers on balconies can set up a small container with little effort. Organic plant material and coffee grounds belong inside. However, avoid including meat or animal waste, as these can contaminate the soil.
8. Update Your Bedroom for Better Sleep
Adequate rest is vital to your mood, immunity, and even weight control. Sleep deprivation throws off your leptin and ghrelin levels. These are two hormones responsible for telling you when to start and stop eating.
Start by removing electronic devices. The blue light their screens emit makes it challenging for you to fall under. Surround yourself with plenty of pillows.
Summer’s warmer temperatures can make sleeping difficult, as many people do best at around 65 degrees. If you don’t have central air conditioning, consider a window unit for the bedroom. If you don’t like the aesthetic, invest in a quality ceiling fan to keep a cool breeze on you all night long.
Healthy Tips to Prepare for Summer
The warm season brings with it renewed promise. Why not greet it as your healthiest self? You don’t have to go to extreme measures – merely tweak your routine. Follow these eight healthy tips to prepare for summer and get ready to enjoy the longer days.