Summertime opens a huge door of opportunity for personal transformation for both the mind and body.Summer is that special time of the year that includes radiant sunshine, various outdoor activities, tasty cookouts, exciting vacations – and a whole lot of fun in-between. It’s also a great time to improve one’s wellbeing.
Thanks to warmer weather and an abundance of sunshine, summer is a great time to get out and explore Mother Nature, to start up a new hobby, read a good book, enjoy long evening walks, swim at your local pool, take your family on a fun road trip, or start new “tiny” habits that’ll improve your own health and wellness. But with so many options, what should you prioritize first? Start with making a connection with these three components: Food, Friends/Family and Yourself. Here’s a few quick tips to help boost your wellbeing over the summer months…
Take Advantage of the Summer SeasonSummer offers you longer days with more sunshine, which is great for your brain health and overall mood. This is the exact opposite of what happens in the winter months where lack of sunshine can lead to SAD (seasonal affective disorder) or depression. Take advantage of the summer months by making time for walking, jogging, swimming, or doing other outdoor activities you love. Map out a short 15-minute daily routine that’s both fun and healthy for you to follow. Just don’t forget the SPF sunscreen!
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Eat Fresh. Stay Hydrated. Feel Amazing!There’s nothing better than eating fresh vegetables and fruit during the summer – including watermelon, cantaloupe, or strawberries – just to name a few. Not only can eating fresh veggies and fruit improve your gut microbiome (which is essential for optimal health), but they’ll also help you stay hydrated. Just be sure to also drink plenty of water to remain fully hydrated as well. Hydration will keep you energized, focused, and help prevent headaches, including painful migraines. Also, be sure to keep a simple food diary. Make connections with how you feel after eating certain meals or snacks. And don’t forget to avoid consuming excessive amounts of sodium, trans fats and junk foods.
Be More Social. Connect on a Deeper Level.Summer is a perfect time to reconnect on a deeper level with your friends, family, and even yourself. No matter if it’s throwing a backyard BBQ, going to a baseball game, or taking in a local arts festival or concert, staying socially connected will help improve your health and wellbeing. Being more social will naturally reduce your stress, increase your happiness, and keep you energized. Find the social outlet that fulfills you the most and make it your top priority.
Integrate Better Sleep Habits. Feel Your Best!Since summer consists of longer days of sunlight, you may find that good sleep becomes more problematic. During summer, you may eat dinner later than normal. You may toss and turn more at night. You may wake up earlier at daybreak. All of these kinds of disruptions can leave you sleep deprived and moody. So, what can you do? Stick to a consistent sleep schedule. Avoid caffeine later in the day. Stop watching TV or using your Smartphone at least an hour before bedtime. Try light stretching or taking a warm shower before you call it a night and see how it improves your sleep. As you can see, summertime is the perfect time to work in “tiny but mighty” habits that are directly related to the foundations of Functional Medicine. Be sure to take advantage of the longer days of sunshine and warmth, the opportunity to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, the chance to socially connect with others and yourself, and most of all – to enjoy more rest and relaxation. Read up on How to Boost Wellbeing This Summer With Connection To Food, Each Other & Self as originally published in Natural Awakenings magazine. Contact us here at Pucci Wellness if you’re looking for a more personalized way to integrate Functional Medicine into your own life to boost your health.
Dr. Douglas J. Pucci, Founder, Get Well Now, is a functional medicine pioneer and Bergen County’s Face of Functional Medicine. He was honored to receive both The Best Of 2020 Awards for Functional Medicine in Oradell, NJ, and entry into Trademark Publications’ 2020 Who’s Who Directory, Honors Edition.