8 tricks to stay healthy this summer and have a blast - while taking care of yourself. That's it. It's July. Summer has officially started.
After the marathon of winter and the last minute spring sprint to burn that tightly-held Christmas excess, it's time for you to venture out into the wild open beaches, cities and mountains of the world for that eagerly-awaited holiday.
It's your chance to unwind, relax and recharge your batteries. Your opportunity to put your life on pause for a few days or weeks. To place your brain on hold. Your phone on silent. And your emails on out of office mode.
Often however this can come at the detriment of your health, as all your habits are thrown out of the window.
But summer holidays don't have to be synonymous with slobbing it. Your mind, body, heart and soul still need your love, your care and your daily attention.
Here's how to stay healthy this summer - while having the time of your life!
1. Listen to your body:
By tuning-in to how your body is feeling before and after certain foods, you'll learn to recognise what is good for you.
Your body is smart and communicates with you constantly. Notice the feelings and sensations in your body and learn to recognise the subtle differences.
Food that is nurturing to your individual needs will make you feel light, energised and satisfied. Find foods that allow you to feel that way, instead of those that make you bloated, tired or grumpy.
2. Be aware of your cravings:
Before you reach for that extra Mojito or that 3rd chocolate croissant, take a few moments to go inwards. Bring your focus to your centre, and take 5 deep and long breaths.
Then ask yourself whether you REALLY need it, or whether you're simply satisfying a habit or a craving. Allow the answer to emerge from within you: don't try and find the answer through usual thought.
Cravings often come from a deeper mental, emotional or spiritual need rather than a physical one. By bringing awareness to what is driving them, you'll learn to pinpoint what is a true desire and what is a habitual want, and make more aware and grounded choices.
3. Focus on what you really LOVE:
Where you place your focus will eventually determine what behaviours you choose (and therefore whether you stay healthy this summer or not).
For example, if your focus is on all the foods you CAN'T have it's very likely you'll feel miserable - and soon give in to your cravings for them.
Learn to focus on what your heart would really LOVE*: long-term health, happiness, and feelings of peace, lightness and relaxation. If you remind yourself of these on a regular basis, the choices that support this will become obvious.
* of course, you can also LOVE chocolate cake, cookies, good wine and lazy days - so it's all a question of balance really. And choice. And what time the Boulangerie opens.
Reinforcing the word and energy of choice is an extremely powerful way of communicating to yourself - via your subconscious mind - what you commit to.
Setting your intention before the start of your holiday, before each day or each meal helps remind you of your focus.
Keep asking yourself: "what do I choose?".
Maybe you choose to stop eating once you feel full. Maybe you choose to go for a 20 minute run this morning. Maybe you choose to go for a slice of that carrot cake.
Choose, and commit to your choice: when you favour the unhealthier-but-infinitely-tastier option, choose to enjoy it 100%!
5. Enjoy the outdoors:
Now that the weather is warmer, take the opportunity to connect with the elements and your environment.
The energy of nature is known for its soothing, relaxing and even healing properties: why not make some time to lie down in the grass and watch the clouds, or to enjoy a nice long stroll in the park?
Outdoor training can also be a fun and exciting way of exercising while getting some vitamin D (and a tan): find your nearest park, grab your trainers, and go lunge and squat your way to health and happiness.
6. Try new things:
When you're stuck in a foreign country with little access to your usual gym or sports facility, it can be easy to get a little disheartened - and to choose to spend a week in between the bed, beach and bar.
Rise to the challenge instead: try a yoga class, do some laps of the hotel pool, exercise on the beach, go dancing or join a group hike. Who knows, you may even discover a new love for something unexpected!
Having a week or two away from your normal routine is a good way to give your body a bit of a rest, and allows it to recover away from your usual movements and exercises.
7. Relax and sleep:
Life can sometimes feel like a blur of activity, and many of us give ourselves little time for downtime.
Research now shows that your body will switch on its natural healing abilities when its given the chance to unwind - instead of being under a constant barrage of stresses.
Take the time to relax, meditate and sleep during your holiday. Recharge your batteries. Nap when you feel like it. Have a long lie-in. And love every single second of it.
8. Learn to BE:
Our society has an addiction to busyness. We do, do, do, without ever slowing down. Until we burnout, get sick, overwhelmed, depressed or have a panic attack.
This summer, make the space to just be. Sit. Be still. Connect to that part of you that has nowhere to go, nothing to do. Watch the world go by. Observe the clouds. Notice what your body feels like. Smell/see/feel/taster the world around you and be in it. Fully.
Once you slow down you'll be able to notice your mind's patterns: maybe it brings you an endless list of to-dos. Maybe it focuses on every single negative outcome you could imagine. Maybe it tries to imagine what others are thinking of you.
Simply observe it, allow it, and then bring your awareness back to the world around you.
Making these small daily tricks to stay healthy this summer will bring you a strong sense of satisfaction, and you'll enjoy your holiday even more. With a bit of awareness, practice and effort, you'll develop the freedom that comes with making conscious choices - instead of the guilt and judgement that comes with giving in to your old subconscious habits.
Now it's your turn: choose one trick from the 8 listed above, then write a comment below with how you plan to implement it over the summer and during your holiday.
Love & Health,