Summer is a wonderful season full of sunshine and light, a perfect season to devote yourself to some powerful self-care energy. That said, there are certain important factors you have to take in before you enjoy the season to the hilt.
Summer can quickly and easily cause dehydration. Try to drink eight glasses of water a day, with water breaks every twenty minutes while outside. Opt for snacks that retain water, such as watermelon, cucumber, grapes, and cantaloupe. Water also helps cool down body temperature in addition to hydrating, which is especially important as the temperature soars.
Beware of signs of dehydration, which include sluggishness, headache, and dizziness. If you feel these symptoms, make your way to a cool, shady location and slowly, steadily rehydrate yourself.
You should wear sunscreen of at least SPF 30 at all times. Even if you are just running errands or going for a “short walk,” ultraviolet exposure increases somewhere between four and 10 percent for every 1,000 feet above sea level.
Sun exposure has multiple risks, including cancer and prematurely aged skin. Sunburn in fact affects the body’s ability to stay cool and contributes to dehydration. Wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to fully protect yourself from the more malign influences of the sun.
Make sure to use a broad-spectrum screen with UVA/UVB protection and apply 30 minutes prior to sun exposure for best results. Continue to reapply according to the package instructions, especially taking into mind water contact, sweating, toweling, and SPF number. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends reapplying every two hours.
Also be careful if you are sitting in the shade of an umbrella—if any part of you is sticking out, such as part of a foot or leg, that part might burn while the rest of you is protected.
With sunny days and clear skies, summer is a perfect time to exercise. Jogging, swimming and bicycling are all popular and fun ways to keep your body moving during the summer season.
If it’s too hot to even imagine exercising, try getting up in the morning hours before the sun is at its peak. Alternatively, you could break up your day and do a series of shorter walks rather than one longer walk.
Exercise isn’t just about losing weight, it’s also about taking care of your brain. A good cardio session improves circulation in your brain and promotes balanced brain chemistry, while high-intensity aerobic exercise can release endorphins, which help boost your mood.
Regular exercise can also help regulate stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. By keeping cortisol and adrenaline levels in check, exercise can help your stress levels stay stable.
Sleep patterns can change during the summer due to the super-long days. Essentially, our tiredness is regulated by melatonin, which is a hormone our bodies release in the dark that tells our bodies it is time to sleep.
Due to extended hours of sunlight in the summer, the release of melatonin is delayed so our body doesn’t feel like sleeping until later, when it’s finally dark. This can delay our normal sleep pattern, the circadian rhythm.
Use summer to refresh and recharge for the rest of the year, and take time to focus on the things that make you happy. In what feels like no time, the sunniness and long days of summer will be little but a memory until the next time summer rolls around.