After being under different forms of lockdown for the past year, those of us in the northern hemisphere are welcoming the sunshine of summer like never before. Whatever the weather has in store for you in the next few weeks, I encourage you to find a moment to prioritize your personal well-being as we right ourselves with the world again.

Today, health and well-being is a holistic 360° concept, and I’ve asked our Mindful team for their best advice on making this a summer of rejuvenation and relaxation.

Here are eight of their best suggestions for creating a happy, healthy you!

Boost Energy through Food

Increasing the proportion of fruit and vegetables, which are full of antioxidants and very good sources of vitamins A and C, in your diet is a great way to boost your energy. There’s such an abundance of great summer fruits, from berries and melons to stone fruits like apricots, cherries, peaches, plums and nectarines. And it surely wouldn’t be summer without vitamin-rich corn on the cob, peppers, tomatoes and zucchini—straight from your local growers’ market.

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is important all year round, but especially so during hot weather. Most people need two liters per day, and sometimes more in hot weather or with exercise. This can be fizzy or flat, and you can add mint leaves or squeeze some lemon or lime juice into your water to introduce more flavor.

Get Moving Outside

Spending time outdoors is a great way to get your body in motion, even with just a short walk each day. If it’s been a while since you’ve exercised, ease your way back into things or try exercising in intervals. Research shows that variable types of workouts produce faster results in less time than steady-paced workouts. If you’re trying an interval workout, speed up 10 to 60 seconds and then slow back down to your normal pace for one to two minutes to recover, then repeat.

Enjoy Sunshine Safely

Spending time in the sun can lift your mood almost instantly and provides much-needed vitamin D.
However, don’t forget to protect yourself from sunburn and heatstroke with a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses. When it’s really hot, consider avoiding the sun entirely at the hottest part of the day.

Get More Sleep

Sleep and medical experts say we should aim to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night, but according to a recent Gallup poll, 40 percent of us come up short. If you’re sleep deprived, try heading to bed a half hour earlier than your usual time. Streaming will be there tomorrow, we promise! Getting adequate sleep helps you to stay focused, solve problems effectively, boost your immune system and improve your memory. Restful sleep can also support your immune system, help you feel sharper at work and keep off unwanted pounds.

Take a Break from Devices

We’re all guilty of checking emails when we should be relaxing. Staring at your tablet or cell phone is just as disruptive to sound sleep as channel surfing or engaging on social media before bed. Instead of calming the mind, you’re revving it up with information and, possibly, more things to worry about. Try reading a book or listening to music instead.

Pause and Breathe

Researchers have found that mindfulness—the practice of being aware of your thoughts, physical sensations and surroundings—can help lower stress, improve sleep and even boost brain health. One way to do this is to focus on your breathing. Next time you’re stressed over that endless to-do list, pause and take a few deep breaths. Deep breathing calms your nervous system and helps you to feel more relaxed.

Connect with Others

Most of us associate self-care with “me-time” when we focus on ourselves and relax. But we often overlook the deeper self-care needs we have that connect us socially and with our community, and ultimately inspire us to feel more alive and refreshed. While each of us may define our innermost needs differently, explore ideas and plan a self-care activity that shows empathy for others and compassion for yourself. But in the current context, it’s more important than ever to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 and, even if you’re vaccinated, be sure to follow these basic guidelines to stay safe.

Ultimately, balance is key in boosting your personal well-being this summer. I wish you good health and happy moments as you experience all that summer has to offer.

What’s your top tip for boosting well-being?

 

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This article was adapted from an article shared on the personal LinkedIn account of John Wright, Senior Vice President Global head of food at Sodexo.

August 03, 2021

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