Hey there! As the sun showers us with its warm embrace, summer gives us the perfect chance to prioritize self-care and well-being. As women, we often put ourselves and our self-care on the back burner, especially during the summer months when school is out, travel increases, and schedules have gone to the wayside. Taking care of ourselves means nurturing our physical, mental, and emotional health because they all impact your hormonal balance! So, in this blog post, I’m excited to share some summer self-care practices just for you! We’ll explore various techniques and methods to reduce stress, promote relaxation, and make the most of this vibrant time of the year. I’ll be mixing personal experiences, research, and external sources to support our points. Let’s dive in!
Stay Hydrated Picture this: sipping on a refreshing drink while soaking up the sun. Sounds perfect, right? Well, it’s not just about quenching your thirst. Staying hydrated in summer is essential for healthy skin, digestion, temperature regulation, and hormone balance. Did you know that our bodies are composed of about 60% water? So, it’s important to replenish and hydrate regularly. Experts recommend that women consume around 2.7 liters (91 ounces) of fluid daily, which includes water, herbal tea, and hydrating foods like fruits and vegetables. Proper hydration helps maintain the elasticity and vitality of your skin, supports efficient digestion, aids in regulating body temperature, and of course, impacts your endocrine system. Proper hydration is critical for your fluid balance and hormone regulation, cortisol regulation, proper thyroid production, and even estrogen balance. So, grab a water bottle, infuse it with some lemon, peppermint leaves, or cucumber for a flavorful twist, enjoy some herbal tea, and munch on hydrating foods to keep yourself refreshed and rejuvenated throughout the summer.
Protect Your Skin Ah, the joys of sunshine! The warmth on your skin can feel invigorating but don’t forget about protecting your skin from those harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Now with that said, I have found that there is a considerable controversy between Functional Heath providers and Dermatologists about healthy levels of sun. As I shared in a post last summer, Vitamin D, which we absorb from the sun, is critical for our health in multiple ways. Throughout our nation, there are millions of people who have suboptimal Vitamin D levels, in part, because of very little sun exposure.
Being out early in the am, before 10:00, is optimal for your DNA and absorption of Vitamin D at the same time.
Now, protecting your skin and even your DNA is important, and a healthy sunscreen can become your best friend, even on cloudy days when the sun’s rays can still reach your skin. Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30, and remember to reapply it every two hours, especially if you’re swimming or sweating. Be sure to choose a sunscreen that is FREE of the toxic endocrine-disrupting ingredients that are prevalent in most products. I recommend Skin Deep as a great resource to search for healthy sunscreen options.
Alongside sunscreen, it’s also a great idea to wear hats and lightweight, long-sleeved shirts to provide additional protection from the sun’s rays. These precautions can help shield your skin from sunburn, premature aging, and the risk of skin cancer. So, before you head outdoors, take a moment to generously apply that sunscreen, put on your favorite wide-brimmed hat, and slip into a comfortable, breezy shirt to keep your skin safe and healthy all summer long.
Prioritize Mental Well-being Summer is a time for unwinding, letting go of stress, and finding your inner zen. We all deserve moments of tranquility and relaxation amidst the hustle and bustle of life. Engaging in activities that bring you joy, peace, and a sense of calm can have a profound impact on your mental well-being. Whether it’s spending time in nature, practicing mindfulness, or exploring your creative side, find what resonates with you and make it a priority. When the beauty of nature surrounds you, it’s like a breath of fresh air for your soul. Research suggests that spending time outdoors can reduce stress levels, improve mood, and enhance overall well-being. So, go for a walk in the park, breathe in the fresh air, listen to the rustling leaves, and let the tranquility of nature wash away your worries. Personally, an early am brisk walk on the beach, with waves crashing and seagulls squawking, is super tank-filling for me!
Alternatively, if you prefer a quieter approach, delve into the practice of mindfulness. Set aside a few moments each day to focus on the present, observe your thoughts and emotions without judgment, and embrace a sense of mindfulness and gratitude. Engaging in creative pursuits, such as painting, writing, or crafting, can also be incredibly therapeutic and rejuvenating. It allows you to express yourself, tap into your imagination, and find solace in the process. So, pick up that paintbrush, write down your thoughts in a journal, or create something beautiful with your hands. Discover what brings you inner peace, and let your mental well-being flourish this summer.
Engage in Physical Activity Summer provides the perfect backdrop for staying active and embracing the great outdoors. Engaging in regular exercise not only helps maintain a healthy weight but also boosts mood, increases energy levels, reduces the risk of chronic diseases, and, you guessed it, also dramatically impacts our hormonal balance. The possibilities for physical activity during the summer are endless. Dive into a refreshing pool for a swim, lace up your hiking boots and explore scenic trails, or hop on your bike and feel the wind in your hair. By choosing activities you enjoy, you’ll be more motivated to stay active and make the most of the season. The best part is that you can soak up the sunshine and breathe in the fresh air while you’re at it.
Outdoor exercises not only provide physical benefits but also contribute to your mental well-being. The warm sun on your skin, the sound of birds chirping, and the beauty of nature around you can create a sense of peace and serenity. Plus, the endorphins released during exercise can enhance your mood and leave you feeling more energized. So, gather your friends or family, plan outdoor adventures, and relish in the joy of movement and exploration. Embrace the opportunity to connect with nature and nourish your body and soul.
Personally, again, a brisk walk on the beach, walking my little dog early am and later in the evening, kayaking, and playing pickleball. What are your favorite summer activities?
Nurture Relationships Summer is a season of connection, laughter, and creating beautiful memories with your loved ones. Take advantage of the longer days and warmer weather to strengthen your relationships and foster a sense of community. Plan picnics in the park, organize outdoor gatherings or simply take a leisurely stroll with your friends or family. Spending quality time together and engaging in meaningful conversations can deepen your connections and bring immense joy, not to mention reduce your cortisol levels, which has a direct effect on hormonal balance and your risk of hormone-related cancers!
Social interaction is essential for our emotional well-being, providing us with a sense of belonging and support. The laughter shared, the stories told, and the experiences cherished create a tapestry of beautiful memories that will last a lifetime. Whether it’s a beach day, a barbecue, or an evening under the stars, find opportunities to nurture your relationships and build a strong support system. The warmth of the sun, the backdrop of nature, and the presence of loved ones make these moments truly special. So, let the sunshine be the backdrop as you gather your loved ones and make unforgettable memories together.
Conclusion – So there you have it! Summer self-care tailored just for you, my friend. By prioritizing hydration, protecting your skin, nurturing your mental well-being, engaging in physical activity, and fostering relationships, you can create a fulfilling and rejuvenating summer experience. Remember, self-care is not a one-size-fits-all approach, so customize these practices to suit your individual needs and preferences. Embrace the sunshine, celebrate yourself, and let this summer be a season of self-care and flourishing well-being. May you bask in the warmth of the sun, find peace in the beauty of nature, create cherished memories that will last a lifetime, and balance your hormones, too!