These last couple of weeks, I have felt like a kid again, about to finish up school and getting ready for a gloriously long summer of wandering in forests, swimming in the sea, and hanging out with friends, “doing nothing” but really doing a whole lot of enjoying myself.
Well, in reality, it’s been 23 years since I was a student and actually had such a summer, but I’m not letting that impede my summer vibes! It’s been a really tough year. We’ve all felt it. So, call me naïve, but I’m going to challenge myself, and you, to really use this summer to rest, recover, and rejuvenate after this uniquely challenging year we have all had.
But seeing as I’m not actually a kid anymore (although I may act like one sometimes!), and it is too easy to get swept up in adult stress and responsibility, I have created a “to-do” list to help me prioritise and achieve these positive summer vibes.
20 ideas to rejuvenate yourself
- Make choices that liberate you. To me, this means choices that make my life easier, lighter, and more enjoyable.
- Create an intention for this summer. One thing that is very important to you. It can be some change to your diet, increased physical activity, more time for yourself, more time in the nature. Whatever will aid your rejuvenation best!
- Eat well. In summer, there are so many delicious, fresh fruits and vegetables in season.
- Be aware of the “dirty dozen foods” . These are 12 vegetables and fruits that are most contaminated with pesticide residues. Try the organic versions of these food instead.
Dirty dozen food:
– Kale/Collard/Mustard greens
– Bell and hot peppers
- Eat more food from a list of Clean Fifteen. Here are the items on the Clean 15:
– Sweet Corn
– Frozen sweet peas
- Eat a combination of different foods, including staple foods (e.g., cereals such as wheat, barley, maize or rice or root vegetables such as potato), legumes (e.g., lentils or beans), vegetables, fruit, and foods from animal sources (e.g., meat, fish, eggs, and milk).
- Get familiar with the hunger scale.The goal is to stay in the middle, or the green portion, of the scale. Start to eat at 3 – 4 and stop at 5 – 6. Avoid the ravenous 1 – 2 region, where we’re more likely to overeat.
8. Exercise outside. Take advantage of the summer weather and go for walks, hikes, or jogs. You’ll kill two birds with one stone by being more physically active and spending more time in nature at the same time.
9. Try new sports. And stick to the ones that give you joy.
10. Cut down on how much TV you watch.
11.Try to walk or bike everywhere you go.
12. Don’t take the car just because it seems more comfortable or convenient.
13. Adapt your sleep routine to the summer. Observe your body. Do you tend to wake up earlier than in the winter months?
14. Open windows in your bedroom (if you like a sound of birds, you’ll be delighted to wake up in the morning listening to birdsong).
15. Try to sleep 8 hours per night. Did you know that poor sleep can lead to weight gain? Good sleepers tend to eat fewer calories and have a stronger immune system. Sleep also affects emotions and social interactions.
16. If you don’t already, try doing a short meditation every day for at least a week to see how you feel. I like to meditate early in the morning or right before bed. Meditation calms our minds and helps to regulate emotion.
17. Hang out with friends. Spend joyful time with your loved ones.
18. Grab a book to read it outside.
19. Try to draw a bird. This might seem like a weird one, but my friend Kasia who claims to have no artistic talent recently drew an amazing eagle that I was so impressed with! Why not take on this challenge too and tap into your inner creativity?
20. Listen to your intuition. Rest when your body needs it, release your emotions, and enjoy the summer!