10 Healthy Summer Ideas
1. Shut it Off for a Day
Sometimes the best medicine is time spent away from the chaos of everyday life. One of the most effective ways to escape today’s busy lifestyle is to return to simplicity…to nature. Take the day to walk through a park, a trail, a farm or set up a blanket in the middle of a field. Relax, breathe, and be present in the moment. Challenge yourself to turn off your phone for the day and cut yourself off from all forms of social media. Make today about you instead of the people on your newsfeed. Look up at the clouds, watch people walk by, and listen to the birds sing. You might find yourself squirming a bit, but at the end of the day, this experience can be quite restorative.
2. Go Hiking
Summer is the best time to get outdoors. Be physically active while simultaneously enjoying the earth’s natural beauty by trying out some new scenic hiking trails. Look up nearby places or plan a short trip to explore and take in some breathtaking views. Uphill hikes are perfect for jumpstarting your metabolism and toning your muscles. It’s the perfect activity to get moving while taking advantage of the great outdoors. Bring a friend or two. Friends can motivate and enhance safety. Plus, sharing captivating views with a pal can be even more special.
3. Listen to Positive Podcasts
If you’ve grown bored of your music playlists, try swapping your tunes for some inspiring podcasts to set yourself up to be your best self this summer. Now is the time to enhance your self-esteem and worth. Whether it’s in the morning as you get ready, in the car, or during your daily commute, give these a listen!
- Optimal Living Daily– If you don’t have a ton of time, but still wish to add some brightness to your day, this is the podcast for you. Each episode is roughly 10 minutes (anyone can set aside this amount of time!). Pick from hundreds of valuable topics, some of which include the secret to feeling positive about life, traveling outside of your comfort zone, building self-care habits, and achieving happiness.
- The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes– If you’re in need of a motivational boost, this podcast is for you. Listen to the inspirational stories of others who have overcome obstacles to achieve their greatest hopes and aspirations. Sometimes hearing these stories is all you need to propel you in the right direction. Engage your mind and soul while listening to elite athletes, well-known celebrities, and well-respected business minds share their insight on overcoming challenges to reach success.
- The Minimalists Podcast– In a world focused on having more and doing more all the time, you may take interest in understanding life from a minimalist perspective. By incorporating pieces of advice from a minimalist mentality into your everyday routine, you may start to experience some drastic improvements. Eliminating material things, people, and situations can clear away the things in your life that cause stress and provide distractions from living optimally. Learn to experience more happiness by living with less.
The art of meditation doesn’t necessarily look like the first image that might automatically come to mind. Perhaps, hundreds of monks in a sacred space filling the room with a chorus of ohmmms? The reality is, anyone can learn to meditate. You don’t need to be a certified expert to start this healthy habit. Taking a few moments to yourself to slow down and take notice of your inner thoughts is important. Relaxing and nurturing your mind is key to living a happier, healthier life, especially after a particularly hectic day. Meditation is a skill that takes practice but learning to become more self-aware and self-accepting can be hugely beneficial for your mental health in the long-run.
- Headspace– This app is perfect for beginners who want to learn the fundamentals of meditation and mindfulness. It comes with a variety of sessions that include step by step instructions on how to relax your mind and body. Sessions can be as quick as 5 minutes and provide an abundance of useful techniques for breathing, sleep, focused attention, and other mindfulness lessons. It’s an ideal app to have on your phone for that quick meditative fix no matter where you are or what you’re doing.
5. Try Something for the First Time with Someone
Relationship research has shown that trying new and exciting things with a partner or friend can increase relationship happiness and satisfaction. These are called self-expanding activities. When you engage in novel and fun activities and share this experience with someone else, it increases perceived closeness and ultimately may strengthen a relationship, whether it be between romantic partners or friends. So, go to the restaurant you’ve been wanting to try, play a new board game, or hike a scenic new route. Relationship satisfaction can have profound effects on not only your mental, but physiological health as well by preventing future disease and improving blood pressure.
6. Prepare a Picnic
Food, especially when shared with friends, can be synonymous with happiness. Swap out restaurant dining or easy to make microwave meals for dishes prepared at home. Cooking shouldn’t always be considered a chore. In fact, finding exciting new recipes to make can be easy, quick, and fun! Try out some of these irresistible, mouth-watering summer recipes straight from our website and invite friends to come along on an outdoor picnic to change up your regular mealtime scenery.
- Cranberry, Feta, and Walnut Salad
- Maple Roasted Root Veggies
- Sesame Soba Noodle Salad
- Lemon Chicken and Shrimp Kabobs
- Ham, Cream Cheese and Dill Pickle Roll-Ups
- Infused Water
- Banana Oat Muffins
7. Support Sustainable Fashion
Wardrobe feeling a little drab? Spice up your style this summer and shop with a purpose by checking out some sustainable brands. It’s possible to show your support for sustainability and ethical practices with the things you wear and accessorize with. Step outside of your comfort zone and be a fashion inspiration to others. Items from these companies are sure to spark conversation. Show that you care about the planet while serving some trendy new looks.
- Threads 4 Thought: men and women’s athletic wear
- Nobody’s Child: women’s clothing
- People Tree: women’s clothing and jewelry
- 4ocean: unisex bracelets made from recycled ocean glass/plastics
8. Start Your Own Garden
Growing your own food is not only delicious but can feel quite rewarding too. There’s nothing more satisfying than being able to start and maintain something as healthy and beneficial as your own fresh source of food. Try planting tomatoes, basil, peppers, mint, etc. to add extra flavor and spice to your homemade meals. These can be great for salads or as garnish to any main dish. If you don’t have the yard space to start an extensive garden, try growing your foods in a pot! Set your plant-filled pots outside or by a windowsill with plenty of access to sun light. In addition to the benefits of eating fresh foods, the simple act of keeping plants close by has benefits of its own. These include helping to reduce stress, increasing productivity, and boosting creativity. You really can’t go wrong with a little more green in your life!
9. Keep a Journal
Writing can be a great way to practice self-awareness and mindfulness. Rather than focusing on past frustrations or future obligations, bringing pen to paper can help you live in the present moment by forcing you to engage with your current thoughts. Practicing this kind of mindfulness has been linked to increased happiness. Journaling allows you to write out your goals and aspirations, which signals their importance to the brain, improving the chances of you achieving them. Writing can also be healing. Studies have revealed that expressive writing is an outlet for emotional release which can lower anxiety and stress. When in doubt, write it out.
10. Explore a New Town
Get your adventure on! Bored of your everyday routine? Take yourself and perhaps a friend somewhere new. Whether it be just a few blocks down your street or a longer drive away, do your research and plan out a time to explore. Not only will you spend the day getting your steps in, but you may just find some hidden gems…a new café, a bookstore, a park, a hidden waterfall. Challenge yourself to talk to people along the way. Follow through because if anything, the act of adventuring is sure to release endorphins that will leave you feeling happy for the rest of the day.