The sun has such a great effect on our lives and psyche. The days get longer and we somehow have that extra energy to enjoy longer evenings, to get outdoors and be more active.
Here are 5 great ways to utilize that lighter mood of summer bliss.
Ushapan; a traditional yogic practice and that is more than valid today! It's simply drinking water upon rising. It optimally should be room temperature but if you like the crisp cool water to drink, make sure to have your glass ready for you in the am. I love lemon in mine.
I keep mine on my bedside table and I drink it before I even get out of bed in the morning, but if you have to walk to the kitchen to get your glass out of the fridge, make sure that's one of the first things you get to.
This is one of the simplest but most effective ways for better hydration through the year and not just the summer months. This is because we sleep on average, 8hrs a night and through those hours we are not drinking water to rehydrate the cells that want to be bathed in moisture to work optimally.
Just imagine not drinking anything for 8 hrs during your day! Even though our metabolic rate slows down, our bodies, especially our digestive tracks and other metabolic processes are still working hard to keep us alive.
Our GI tracks have the least amount of food in it and it is the best way to gently wash our track out and have your large intestine be able to reabsorb water and minerals that is its main job in life. This sets us up for better bowel movements (detoxing) through the day, better energy from the cells up, and happy, healthy, glowing skin.
Every cell in you body will thank you for introducing this into your morning routine!!
Grow something; something, anything, from a small herb planter to a kitchen garden on the porch in tubs to a veggie garden out back. It doesn't matter the size but the intent on the connection to what you are taking care of. Reconnect with your food and have a more well rounded relationship with it. The closer the food is from being picked the more nutritious it is to eat. Vegetables can lose up 50% of their vitamin C only 24hrs after picking!
We might be aware of the effects of 'being in nature', we all want to hit the trails or the park on the weekend, or get out in the backyard in the evenings after being couped up in the office all day. We also might be aware of the 'volunteering syndrome', very close in ways to being in nature, it releases natural endorphins ( the feel good chemicals) in our brain. (1)
Funny enough, growing food has the potential of same reaction in our brains, we feel proud and productive helping a plant to grow and mature and we are close to nature whilst doing it. This is coupled with the added nutrients.
Grow some greens and get giddy! And yes, I mean kale!!
Eat more raw foods; Summertime is a natural time to lighten up what we eat. This is a natural transition in eating for the seasons, From autumn's soups and casseroles of winter, to more veggies and fruits of spring, we crave fresh foods. To summer, a hot season we crave for higher water content foods,cooling foods, fresh energetic foods to keep up with our summer schedules!
Raw foods is the answer! Raw food having higher enzyme content we will get the most of of our fruits and veggies if raw and fresh. Juices and salads are light and help cleanse the GI track of the build up of more processed cooked foods.
We naturally lean towards these cleansing, lighter foods and this is the time to embrace it! Maybe you can even eat something you grew yourself. You may not be a raw foodist year round but make sure your summer at least, is raw and wild!
Smart Sunning; exposing our skin in sunnier weather increases the production of vitamin D naturally. So important for healthy bone matrix formation, helps to regulate calcium to phosphorus concentrations in the body, supports muscle health, and possibly most important, it supports a healthy immune system. But is the sun safe? It can be if we take some precautionary measures before heading outside.
Knowing the best times to expose yourself. First thing in the morning and late in the evening the suns radiation is less that at mid day. Try to avoid mid day hours and either cover up or head for cover. Avoid direct exposure between 11 and 4 pm and limit your time out in direct sunlight.
Also be aware of all those potential chemicals your rubbing on your body in the name of protection. A lot of regular sunscreens have harsh chemicals (oxybenzone, oxtioxate, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene) in them, some even making it onto the EWGs possibly endocrine disruptors . When it comes to harmful chemicals and sunscreen, there is a myriad of alternatives with good UV protection and we can avoid this if we desire to.(2)
Look for products that give you protection but don't have the possibility of causing harm. I'm not going to list any companies here because there is more than a few to choose from. The easiest way to get a healthy product is to visit your local health food store or look on line. Ask at your local health food store what your options are.
Soak in the summer in a healthy and sunny way!!
Start a new active habit; easy as getting up 15 mins earlier than your normal alarm clock dictates and stretching into a new day.
Go for a walk on your lunch break, walk home or get off a few stops early and walk the rest of the way. Start with a simple walk around 1 block and expand from there.
Start a class, drop in yoga is often found in parks around the city, try it out see if you like it.
Check out what permaculture is all about. Volunteer, get involved.
New habits are always hard to start and maintain on the regular, start in summer when you have the energy and motivation to try new things, by fall it will already be a habit you can continue through the year!!
It really doesn't matter what the activity is, just start something new, discover something different, achieve more..
If you are looking for a more personalized healthy eating and lifestyle plan to to the season feel free to contact me at Wild Seed for a 15 min free phone consult to see how I can enrich your summer.