Hoorah! Summer is upon us and there can be no denying that spirits are lifted as the sun rises each morning. This time of year is beautiful, and if you’re lucky enough to be going away somewhere, there is even more to look forward to. But even if you’re not jetting off anywhere, there are still plenty of reasons why this summer is about to be the best yet. Here is a very quick guide to making sure that you spend these summer weeks with a smile on your faces: introducing 5 ways to make your summer awesome!
First of all, it’s worth pointing out that summer is the one season where we naturally spend more time outside, (safely) soaking up the sun and seeking new places to breathe in the fresh air. And why not? We spend so much of our time forced indoors during bad weather, or behind a desk. When the fancy takes us, we’re going to enjoy getting out and about! So the first way to make your summer awesome?
Go for a picnic. And not just one. Go for lots. Picnic everyday, if you can. Eating alfresco helps to slow the pace a little, by removing you from the usual stresses and strains that can be associated to meal times. It also means that you are not distracted by the television, or worse, the laptop, while you eat. Being outside, focused on your food helps to promote mindful eating and is a great way to cut back on overeating too. Some perfect picnic foods include:
- Home made juices– pour into a bottle with some ice and take your juice of the day out with you.
- Sandwiches made from delicious cauliflower wraps instead of bread- recipe here.
- Cold lean meats such as chicken, or salmon.
- Fresh fruit- in abundance this time of the year.
- Vegetable sticks an hummus
- Beetroot, carrot and radish salad- recipe here.
Don’t forget the sunscreen and drink plenty of water!
Spend time near water. Lots of us naturally gravitate towards the sea during sunny weather, and there could be many reasons why. Mostly, water helps us to feel a little cooler when it’s hot, and sea breezes are wonderful for reducing high temperatures and bringing racing blood pressure down a notch or two. Try to get to the sea if you can, as studies have shown it can have a calming and soothing effect on the body- great for those with busy and often stressful lives. Of course, being by the sea (or a pool) has the added lure of swimming, which is wonderful exercise, and a superb way to reconnect with the body and mind. What more reason do you need?
Walk. More than you usually do. During the summer there is no need to rely on cars or public transport to get us around as much as we usually do. Summer means that we can slow the pace down a little, breath in the fresh air and get the legs moving. This in turn helps to aid weight loss, strengthen leg muscles and prompts you to clear the mind a little too. Take company, or walk alone. Listen to music or allow the sounds of nature surround you. It’s up to you- but your body will thank you at the end of it.
Say no to work for a while. Lots of people take annual leave in the summer, and just because you aren’t physically going away, it doesn’t mean you can’t take time off this year. Book time away from work, unplug the computer and tune out for a while. Use this precious time to read book, write a journal, or take up a new activity. That pedicure you’ve been promising yourself? Do it. That face mask you want to make? Make it. There is no reason why you cannot take a little time this summer to be YOU and enjoy it too.
Plant something. Summer is the perfect time to turn those fingers green, and helping something to grow is always rewarding. You may not fancy yourself as a gardener, but if you give it a go you might be surprised at just how relaxing and worthwhile it can be. Plus, with a little fore-thought you might end up growing something really useful! Why not have a go at:
- Salads such as lettuce, radish or onions. All are relatively easy to grow and delicious to eat.
- Broccoli- sow now for a wonderful harvest in Autumn
- Kale- perfect for adding to juices, or making a kale, apple and pancetta salad- recipe here.
- Carrots- super ingredients for juices, and great for dipping too.
- Coriander- a veritable feast for the skin. This herb is packed with free radical destroying anti-oxidants and vitamin C. Other powers include: anti-bacterial, antiseptic, anti-fungal, disinfectant, detoxifier and anti-inflammatory. Make a super face mask by combining half a cup of oatmeal with a quarter of a cup of milk, a quarter of a cup of chopped cucumber, and one handful of coriander. Place all in a blender for about a minute, or until smooth. Apply to face for 20 minutes, rinse then pat dry. Lovely!
So there you have it. 5 ways to make your summer awesome. Now get out there and do it!