Hooray, the warm summer weather is here. This is such a fantastic time of the year. The kids are outside playing, you’re getting reconnected with your neighbors, and you’re smiling more. Yes, the warm sunny summer weather does something to all of us, and we want you to get the most out of this special time of the year.
As you know, we’re all about balance here at AHCC. The best way to live life to the fullest is to do so with a balanced approach – your mental, physical, and immune health all thrive from balance. Eat the cake sometimes, but also remember to have a salad every now and then. Go for a long hike but also make sure to schedule some downtime. Have an action-packed vacation but give yourself a chance to unwind and recharge.
The tricky part about summer is that we all want to pack in as much as possible. This works for a while, and then all of a sudden, it’s August and you’re burnt out and feeling run down from too many activities. We want to make sure this doesn’t happen to you this summer. To help you out, we’ve put together some of the best ways we’ve found to have a happy and healthy summer.
Eat the Summer Bounty
Summer is the best time of the year to cook new recipes and to eat new-to-you foods. A visit to your local farmer’s market is the ideal place to start. Bring your reusable shopping bags and get ready to fill them up with bright and fresh vegetables, fruits, and locally raised meats. Don’t forget to look at other local ingredients like honey, spices, maple syrup, etc. Talk to the vendors, ask them questions about the best ways to cook their ingredients.
Take advantage of the long warm summer days and plan for a weekend potluck or barbecue. Gather your friends, family, neighbors and enjoy a leisurely meal, sharing favorite recipes and dishes. Not only will your food taste better when it’s shared with others, you’ll find yourself slowing down and enjoying the moment.
Be a Tourist in your City or Town
When was the last time you visited your local museum, art gallery, or top tourist spot? Well, make this the summer that you get out and explore your city. Act like a tourist and plan out a day of sightseeing, relaxing, and eating in your city or town. Or maybe you live in an area with some fascinating nearby small communities, plan a daytrip to get out and explore.
Thanks to the wide-range of online travel websites, it’s easy to learn about the must-sees, hidden gems, and hot spots near you. Visit the AHCC Research Facebook page and tell us how you plan to make the most of visiting your community.
Give Yourself a Free Day
Take a day off from work. Make sure this is a truly free day for yourself. Think about what you would do if you could do anything for one day. And then do it.
Stretch out in your hammock and read, nap, and listen to the birds. Take yourself out for a leisurely lunch (complete with dessert) and enjoy the benefits of eating alone. Go to a daytime yoga class and let your mind truly quiet and recharge. Put on your hiking boots and go on that day-long hike you’ve always wanted to experience.
In other words, do exactly what you want for an entire day. Give yourself the time and space to be yourself. The mental, physical, and immune health benefits of having the time to be free are huge. Your stress levels can drop, you can get the rest you need, and have a chance to recognize the good things in your life.
Take Part in Community Events
Every community, regardless of size has something going on during the summer. Maybe there’s a food truck rally at your local park or a family movie night at the beach or community fair with games.
Another fun idea is getting together with your neighbors and planning a street party. Schedule games for the kids, get out the barbecues, breakout the music, and enjoy being part your community. It’s amazing how the small things like a get together with neighbors or hanging out at a local spot can put a lift in your step and smile on your face.
Walk out the front door for the day and don’t bring your smartphone. When you sit down at your local coffee shop, don’t look at your tablet or smartwatch. On the weekend, keep the lid on your laptop closed.
Yes, we want you to take a mini-digital detox. Read the stack of books and magazines that are piling up. Go for a walk with your kids and give them your undivided attention. Meet up with friends for coffee and know you won’t be interrupted by text messages and Facebook notifications.
Sleep In, Take Naps, Go to Bed Early
We know – it’s the summer, you want to do everything possible. But think about how many times you’ve yawned today or how frequently you’ve poured yourself an extra cup of coffee. You’re tired. We’re tired.
Sleep in on the weekends. Give yourself a chance to have an afternoon nap or at the very least, relax in the backyard with big pitcher of iced tea and quiet. Rather than staying up late browsing the Internet or cramming in some extra work, go to bed early and get a good night of restful sleep.
Smile More and Feel Your Best
The cool thing about all of these suggestions is that they all support a healthy and strong immune system. Yes, eating healthy seasonal foods, getting out for some exercise while you explore your community, connecting with friends for a coffee and catch-up, ditching the digital devices, and getting more sleep – all support your immune system health.
It’s not hard to live a healthy, happy, and balanced life. The small things add up and give your body a chance to support a strong mental and physical body. Remember to take your AHCC to support immune system health and follow common sense when it comes to living a healthy balanced life.
We want you to get the most out of the summer. Follow your passions. Explore a new city. Go on a big adventure. Eat a big bowl of ice cream. Do what makes you happy and healthy and your immune system will be ready to help you when you need it.