This post was written by Heinen’s partner, Halle Snavely.
Summer is a busy time of year for many people. Between the vacations, parties, outings with friends and being on-the-go nonstop, it’s easy for your self-care routine to fall by the wayside. Every so often, I like to check-in with myself to make sure my self-care routine is giving me what I need. Seasonal changes provide a good opportunity to do this as our daily activities tend to change as well. Your skincare routine, workouts, meditations and even meals could all be ripe for a revamp.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, living in tune with the seasons provides a lot of insight into how our bodies are impacted by our environment. Summer is a time of abundance, activity, growth, expansion and creativity. Each season corresponds with an element, and summer is defined by the fire element. Therefore, it’s important to avoid excessive heat and build in self-care practices that help cool down the body.
Here are a few ways to amp up your self-care routine this summer!
1.Eat Lots of Fresh Fruits and Veggies
Your body craves freshness during the summer. With a vast selection of locally grown food at Heinen’s, there is no better time of year to stock your fridge and your body with fresh fruits and veggies. Lighter foods that cool the body are especially important, such as fresh greens, mint, dill, cilantro, yogurt, cucumber, lemon, peach, summer squash, watermelon, fish and seafood.
Prioritizing in-season and local produce is also a good strategy as it is often more nutritious. Nutrient content is the highest when produce is harvested, but those nutrients start declining soon after. Local produce generally doesn’t travel as far to reach the consumer during the summer, so our bodies enjoy more nutrients when we eat locally and seasonally.
2. Get Your Vitamin D Naturally
Summer is a solar season, and there are so many benefits to spending time in the sun (but not too much). Vitamin D helps improve your mood, can strengthen your immune system and helps to build strong bones, as it is needed for calcium absorption. Aim to get about 20 minutes of sun and fresh air each day. Just remember to wear sunscreen and go swimming to keep cool!
3. Get Outside and Get Moving
While winter is a time for slowing down, summer is a time for movement. Getting out into nature is a great way to reduce stress and get some exercise. Go for a hike, go swimming or kayaking, play volleyball or ride your bike instead of driving. Just move. Sweating is also one way that the body releases heat.
Naturally, we sweat more in the summer. So, it’s especially important to stay hydrated and get enough electrolytes. Coconut water, watermelon and cucumbers are great natural options and all have a cooling effect on the body.
5. Sleep Cool
Cool temperatures promote better sleep, which helps rejuvenate your brain and body. Traditional Chinese Medicine also suggests waking up earlier, resting at midday and going to bed later.
6. Connect with Friends
Summer is a time to get together with friends. Whether it’s going out to dinner, heading to a festival or concert, making dinner at home or traveling on a vacation, make sure to have fun with those you love.
7. Get Your Creative Juices Flowing
Summer tends to spark our creative side as we break out of our usual routines by visiting new places, going to events or mingling with friends. With all the colorful stimulation nature provides, there are endless sources of inspiration. Whether you flex your creative muscles through writing, art, crafts with your kids, working with your hands or cooking, there are so many ways to be inspired and work your magic during the summer.