Taking care of your body and mind can play a big part in how happy you are.
Implementing a few new healthy habits will help you feel more positive and able to enjoy every single moment of the summer months.
1. Start your day the right way
While some of us are returning to work after a couple of months away from the office, many more have found that working from home has become their new normal. Either way, it is important to get in the right frame of mind before settling down to a morning of meetings or a full day of spreadsheets.
As we approach the longest day of the year, make the most of the lighter mornings. A run before work or half an hour of yoga in the garden sets the day up nicely and is the ‘me time’ you need to plan for the day ahead.
Still unsure of the benefits? Ask a Swede – Linnea Dunne’s book Good Mornings discusses why the Scandinavians embrace an early start.
She says: “A while ago, I realised that many of my friends and acquaintances have this one thing in common: they start their day with a conscious morning ritual. Some write, some meditate, others get on the yoga mat – but they all do it to feel better, to centre themselves in order to be better able to face the day ahead.”
2. Achieve eco enlightenment
An obvious way to feel good about yourself is to do something good for everyone else. Making a conscious effort to become more eco-friendly boosts more than just your green credentials.
Catherine O’Brien, who teaches sustainable happiness, believes that “happiness that contributes to individual, community or global wellbeing and does not exploit other people, the environment or future generations” is the ultimate personal goal.
Whether it’s starting a compost heap, eschewing single-use plastics, or leaving the car at home, any small change can make a big difference. Wondering where to start? Conserve Energy Future has 40 simple steps you can take.
3. Make a connection
Is your calendar looking a little empty? Remember all your big plans for 2020 that fell by the wayside – well there are still ways of keeping connected to your friends and family.
This spring take the opportunity to get creative in rearranging your social occasions – as long as you can follow the latest social distancing guidelines, of course.
It may mean you have to become a somewhat social animal, but with almost every wedding being bumped over to 2021, holidays on hold for the time being, live sports staying behind closed doors, and regular weekend haunts such as pubs, shopping centres and cinemas still closed for now, there is no excuse. All your friends will be in the same boat.
4. Enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of summer
The Japanese have an untranslatable word ‘shun’ that means food at the peak of the season, harvested and eaten when it’s fresh and flavoursome.
Here in the UK, most of the fruit and veg is at its very best in the spring and summer months – you’ll get better value for money, while the nutritional value can’t be overestimated.
And back on a green theme, buying seasonal produce also means supporting your local farmers and reducing the environmental costs of transporting food. Take a look at what earthly delights Eva’s Organics and Growing With Grace can deliver to your doorstep.
BUPA has some healthy summer food swaps that are simple and mouth-watering all the same.
5. Set yourself some achievable summer goals
Summer isn’t all about sitting back with your feet up and soaking up the sun – well it is, but you should have to earn it.
Wellbeing doesn’t just mean relaxing, it means creating a balance in your life that you are comfortable with. Setting yourself some tasks and targets – no matter how small – is a good way to justify to yourself that afternoon on a sunlounger or yet another trip to the beach.
Personal goals app Streaks is a to-do list on your smartphone that helps you form good habits and stick to your targets. You can track up to 12 tasks you want to complete each day, including running, reading a book or even quitting smoking, and the goal is to build a streak of consecutive days.