The official start of summer is almost here. The days are growing warmer and the humidity is starting to rise. This is also a great time to take a moment for a little self-assessment. Taking some time to reevaluate your own self needs and find ways to reset all aspects of your life is a great way to usher in the lazy days of summer. It's not always pleasant to sit outside so when the heat reaches uncomfortable levels try taking it indoors. The bottom line is we might not be kids anymore with the benefits of a summer vacation. There is still no reason we can't enjoy our own summer fun by nourishing our minds, bodies and souls.
Eating healthier is a great way to reset for summer. Take advantage of the farmers markets popping up in every city. You can usually find them starting in June or July and going throughout the summer. These markets are more than just fruits and vegetables. Indulge in some fresh baked breads or locally made jams and honeys. I love to come up with dinner ideas on the spot depending on what's available. Try rethinking those heavy meals in exchange for vitamin dense smoothies, chilled soups and protein rich salads. Simple is my favorite way to approach summer food. When you clean up your diet and concentrate on eating fresh and mostly unprocessed foods you'd be surprised how quickly the body responds.
We all should exercise more, but when it gets to 100 degrees with 90 percent humidly exercising looses its luster. There is a time and a place for everything. If you want to workout vigorously I recommend an air conditioned gym or living room. If possible try to get out in the morning or after sunset and take a walk. Just 20-30 minutes a day can have an amazing impact on your health and mind. Find a few podcasts to listen to and use the time to relax and stay healthy. Just make sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout. I also highly recommend using a good quality sunscreen. I even put it on later in the day just so I reinforce the habit on a daily basis.
Take it outside and enjoy some shade. I've made a commitment to myself this summer to spend at least one meal outside when weather permits. For breakfast I'll walk to the park, grab a bench and enjoy a morning ice coffee and a good old fashioned newspaper. Even if I only spend 15 minutes sipping and reading it gives me a change of scenery right off the bat. If I opt for lunch I either make something or buy, find a nice tree and enjoy a little quiet outdoor time. It forces me to focus on my food and enjoy my own company.
Take it inside and spruce up your environment. Updating your home decor is a nice way to welcome in summer and treat yourself to something new. Think about adding a few new candles in fresh scents or buying a colorful bouquet of flowers once a week to bring the beauty of outside indoors. I love decorating my walls with vibrant photographs of flowers and images that invoke a sense of adventure. My own line of art tiles, wood plaques and magnets available at JBTwineDesigns were heavily inspired by the beauty of spring and summer. I wanted to create affordable and unique designs that can compliment various styles and tastes. As a special offer to Inspired By Tea readers use coupon code TEAINSPIRED20 for 20% off any order above $10. The shipping is always free.
Liven up your wardrobe with a few new pieces. Try adding some color or accessories that will take you into the summer season. A new pair of sandals or shorts can go a long way in making you feel exciting about the season. We only tend to wear these clothes for a few months so you don't need to buy the store, but treating yourself to a nice new shirt or even bathing suit will make you feel confident. It's about giving yourself permission to enjoy the days ahead and looking your best can go a long way in reinforcing that feeling.
Plan an afternoon to learn something new. Every major city and even smaller cities have some sort of museum or educational institution. If your lucky enough to have summer Fridays or can take a few hours a month to go and see something new I would highly recommend it. The benefits of stimulating the mind can create real change and inspire our creativity. Take advantage of the quieter weekdays when you can stroll through a museum without any crowds or distractions. As much as we need to eat healthier we also need to feed our minds.
Summer might not have the same meaning as it once did. The days of two months of vacation and sleeping until noon don't apply when you work and support a family. It's up to you to find that middle ground. We throw the word balance around, but so many of us have no idea what that means. A good place to start is by implementing things in your daily life that just make you feel better. It doesn't have to be expensive or time-consuming just different. Enjoying your coffee in the park or taking a walk after dinner are all the ways to enjoy the outdoors. Going to a museum by yourself or trying a new recipe are also ways to move us in the right direction. It's about creating a sense of adventure. It can go along way into helping us develop positive habits that will last longer then your childhood summer vacation.