CWML's Summer Checklist
The months of summer mark a time of rest and relaxation, an opportunity to get away from the humdrum of daily life and focus on self care. However, slowing down and remembering to take time for yourself can be difficult. This summer, CWML wants to share our methods for summer self care with you:
1. Take time off: sleep is key. Know when to set aside work and responsibilities for a night of rest. According to applied sleep scientist Elie Gottlieb, Ph.D., exposure to long summer solstice days can disrupt the production of sleep-wake hormones like melatonin, and therefore, our circadian rhythms. “Social jetlag” is also common during the summer months, where Americans have been proven to sleep less in favor of social engagements. Try purchasing blackout curtains or establish a set bedtime on weekdays to ensure you are getting enough sleep (around 7-9 hours per CDC recommendation).
2. Go outdoors: Getting even 5-10 minutes of sun exposure can reduce inflammation, increase serotonin, strengthen bones, and even lower blood pressure. Whether it’s sunbathing or going on a run, try to be outside whenever you can to meet your Vitamin D requirements. Don’t forget your sunscreen!
3. Exercise Daily: Regular exercise helps keep stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline in check. At the same time, it boosts levels of endorphins that release “feel-good” neurotransmitters such as dopamine. Daily exercise is essential for both the mind and body, so make the effort to go for a swim, jog, bike ride, or walk!
4. Meditate: Here are a few links to CWML’s favorite summer meditation exercises. Reserve 10 to 15 minutes every morning to regulate your breathing and reset your mind.
5. Maintain a Healthy Diet: This summer we are focusing on putting in healthy and nutritious products in our bodies to feel an immediate spike in energy and wellbeing. Focus on eating complex carbohydrates (whole grains, vegetables, beans and peas) and organic proteins. Avoid refined foods (chips, crackers, and cookies) along with caffeine, sugar, and alcohol in your daily diet.
6. Daily Assessments: Before you begin your day, take time to evaluate the way you handle day to day situations. Stress responses only last 90 seconds. Next time you feel oncoming stress, for 90 seconds redirect your attention by naming facts that are positive and true in the present moment and see how it calms you down. Remember your support system and express gratitude for those around you. It is important to evaluate and reevaluate to reach your healthiest state of mind.
We at CWML encourage you to live your happiest and healthiest life this summer. Following these self-care tips are the first steps in the right direction.