Summer Self Care

Summer Self Care

Summer Time

Last week marked the official beginning of summer for my northern hemisphere friends.

(If you’re in the southern hemisphere, take note of this fabulous information for later in the year. If you’re on the equator…you’re probably already an expert, but maybe could enjoy a few reminders!)

Summer is amazing and is most definitely my favorite time of the year. Sunshine, birds singing, iced tea, fresh produce, and all the outdoor activities. The warm weather is just so, so refreshing!

But with the change in seasons, we need to adjust how we do a few things in our day to day lives in order to best take care of ourselves.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll finish this post and then immediately head outside (or you’re already outside enjoying the sun!).

Hydrate

The days are a lot warmer now (this weekend it’s supposed to get to 100 degrees here!). I mean, a lot warmer.

Which means we sweat. And sweat is so, so good because it keeps us from overheating. Yay for having super smart bodies!

In order for our bodies to do their jobs, we need to give them plenty of water. I’m not talking about that soda, slushie, or venti iced latte. I’m talking about non sugary, non caffeinated liquids.

Not only does drinking water prevent the obvious (dehydration!), it also does countless other amazing things:

Our skin is healthier and less likely to be dull or break out

Our mood is more likely to be better (check out an article from LIVESTRONG here to learn more).

Also! Our organs are able to function more efficiently, thus preventing issues like constipation, cardiovascular issues, or kidney stones.

Sunscreen

I’m sure we all know the main benefits of sunscreen include preventing sunburns and preventing skin cancer.

But do you know how to buy sunscreen?

Look for sunscreen that is labeled “broad spectrum” because it protects from UVA and UVB rays

Don’t dish out extra money for a higher SPF (unless you need to). SPF 30 or SPF 50 is really the strongest most people may need to buy. According to the American Cancer Society, SPF 30 filters 97% of rays and SPF 50 filters 98% of rays. Read more about sunscreen from the ACS here!

Use good not horrible for the body and environment sunscreen.

There’s some research suggesting that sunscreen is closely related to the destruction of coral reefs. And (!!) the disturbance of our own hormones.

Here are some fast facts:

Oxybenzone seems to be the biggest culprit in harming our bodies and the ocean. Avoid this ingredient when shopping for sunscreen.

Aerosol sunscreen isn’t all that great. Most of the spray isn’t even hitting your skin (it’s hitting the environment!). Stick with a lotion.

There aren’t sunscreen brands that are *perfect* for all skins and environments. But many mineral sunscreen brands come close.

Find the best option for the environment, your body, and your wallet. And then actually use the sunscreen.

Scientific American has more info on the best types of sunscreen for the environment here.

Sleeping Habits

Are you one of those people who gets really weird sleep during the summer because you’ve got so many different early morning or late night activities?

I totally get it!

Summer brings with it late night bonfires and socializing and early morning yoga, kayaking, and traveling.

And sometimes, that means getting to bed late, waking up early, and/or cutting out some precious sleep time.

Getting regular sleep (at regular times) can help keep our mood stable and our gastro system regular. Plus: getting regular sleep in between awesome activities (like hiking!) will help sustain us as we continue to enjoy the summer weather.

Eat Well

Summer also comes with barbecues, fresh fruit, and other fresh garden produce.

Take advantage of the fresh fruits and veggies! Find a farmers market, grow your own produce, or maybe just take advantage of your grocery store’s great prices on fresh produce.

Interested in growing your own fruits or veggies? Check out my post about how gardening is a great self care tool here. 

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