I know I sound redundant but, our seasons just keep on giving, year after year after year! There is so much in each season to notice, be a part of and take advantage of. Look at each transition as a new beginning, an opportunity to take advantage of something different. Whether it be an opportunity to be outdoors more, or having access to more fresh fruits a vegetables, enjoying longer days, picnics in the sun.
Yes, summer is just around the corner, and there is so much to give. The summer weather, for the most part, brings out the best in people. The increased sun exposure boosts our vitamin D levels, and can even improve your mood, leading to better mental health. Spending time in the sun also helps your body produce more melatonin (sleep hormone) at night, allowing you to sleep better and overall feel better. There can be some stressors unique to summer, it is a good time for most peoples mental health. I can also be a good time to set habits and prepare for the coming months that are colder and less energizing.
Here are four good habits to start during the summer, GIVING you the opportunity to keep these habits year round.
~Set boundaries- You don't have to say yes to every opportunity you are presented with. Seek out the activities and plans that seem the best to you and take breaks when you need to.
~Set a sleep schedule- Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule can help ensure you get adequate sleep. One way of doing this is to sleep with the sun, don't stay up too long after it is dark outside. This can be easier during the summer with the longer days, but still a good habit to get into no matter what season or time of year it is.
~Engage in physical activity-Improving your physical health can have great benefits on your mental health. Set a standard for how active you are now so that yo will more likely find ways to stay active moving forward into the following seasons.
~Have fun!- Making an effort to intentionally improve your mental and physical health is so beneficial to your overall wellness, but don't let it get in the way of your fun. Setting rhythms are great, but you need to enjoy life too, find balance between responsibility and fun!!
GIVE yourself the time and effort you deserve to have the best summers ever, creating healthy happy habits that can stay with you from season to season, and with each change into the next season taking with you all those healthy habits. Each season is a season of giving, not just in what the season has to offer but in what you take the time to give yourself. Give yourself TIME, give yourself good seasonal nutritious food, give yourself balance, give yourself peace and give yourself forgiveness.
Bowl of Goodness- Summer is almost here!!
1/2 cup rice of choice
1/2 black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 avocado, cut into chunks
1/3 cup chopped cucumber, I used sliced Persian cucumbers
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
handful of pepitas
1 cup cubed shredded chicken, can be left over chicken or a roasted chicken
In a bowl for one serving, place all salad ingredients, starting with the rice first then the beans, chicken, cucumber, bell pepper, ending with the avocado and lastly the pipits. Drizzle the dressing over the top, and serve.
1 cup olive oil
1 bunch chopped cilantro
2 tbsp honey
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper to taste
Place all dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth