You might be surprised to know that Summer can be a really hard time to stay on track with your health and wellness goals. We’d assume it would be Winter, but the longer days, sunny weather, holidays and more social opportunities mean we find it harder to say no and to keep a balance. Although those goals set in January might seem a long time ago, mid-way through the year is a perfect time to reassess and plan for the run up to Christmas!
But I want to be clear before continuing, this article is certainly not about being ‘beach ready’ and all that rubbish we see in the media; it’s about focusing on being happy in body and mind. I want to focus you on four key things: what you eat, how much you move, how much you sleep, and how you relate to others.
What you eat during the summer months:
Summer is the perfect time to BBQ more but remember to combine it with plenty of salads and fresh produce. Make your plate look colourful, don’t eat too much and avoid a lot of white food! My best tip is to be PRESENT when you eat. A lot of us combine eating with watching the television, sending emails, texting, scrolling through insta, and therefore at the end of meal we have no idea what the food really tasted like, and we are not aware of feelings of fullness, bloating, dehydration etc. So, try and focus on one task at a time.
How much you move during summer:
What you do and how often and hard you exercise are determined by your goals, present fitness level and health, interest, and convenience. It is important to choose an activity you enjoy and that fits your lifestyle and tailor it to your fitness level. This will help you make exercise a habit. It’s also a good idea to choose more than one type of exercise to give your body a more complete workout and to avoid boredom.
Trying to achieve the governments recommendations of 10,000 steps a day is harder than you think, particularly if you sit at a desk all day. It requires us to actively try to move more. Ideas are: take a walking meeting instead of sitting at a desk; walk as you talk around the office on the phone; get away from desk at lunchtime and go for a walk; arrange to meet a friend for a walk and talk; or if you’re at home during the day, plan some time to get outside and walk somewhere.
How much you sleep this summer:
Sleep is vitally important for repair, regeneration and health. But so many of us have poor quality sleep.
The first and most important step you can take in overcoming insomnia is to develop healthy sleep habits. Creating a comfortable sleeping environment free from distractions (i.e., no television, large clocks, or laptops in the bedroom) is key in finding more consistent sleep. If you find yourself lying in bed wide awake for more than 20 minutes, get up, read a few pages of a book, drink warm milk, or meditate until you feel sleepy enough to get back into bed.
Mindfulness practice has been proven to help improve our sleep, practicing just 10 minutes daily before bed will calm your mind.
How you relate to others this summer:
Relationships aren’t static — they are living, dynamic aspects of our lives that require attention and care. In order to benefit from strong connections with others, you should take charge of your relationships and put in the time and energy you would any other aspect of your wellbeing.
Connect with your family, make time for them. Plan it in the diary, don’t just hope you will find some time in your busy diary one week. Connect with friends who make you smile and bring positivity into your life. Show compassion, learn to forgive, practice a random act of kindness and practice gratitude.
But also remember to balance alone time and social time; knowing when to give your time to others and when to take some time for yourself can be crucial in maintaining balanced, healthy relationships as well as emotional wellbeing.
Life is short, make the most of each day.
What one thing will you focus on straight away?
Having goals are great, but only if we take action. Which of these will you focus on initially – food, exercise, sleep or relationships? Let us know how you get on and if you’d like any more help or advice in reaching your goals this summer.
Have a great summer and remember to prioritise your health and wellness. If you’re facing any difficulties in getting to where you want to be, please do get in touch with the physio clinic as we’d love to help you.