It’s summer here in the US and for most students that means a time to relax, hang out with friends and just unwind. For some though, it’s a time for self-improvement. With all the sunny weather and free time at hand it’s a good idea to focus on yourself and create healthy habits for the summer before the rush of fall begins.
If you’ve decided to make this summer about establishing healthy habits that improve your mental health, fitness, eating habits and overall wellness, below are some of my tips to help you start those healthy habits this summer!
Everyone gets stressed out from time to time and during this summer, when things are a little slower, it’s a good time to practice how to manage your stress. If you feel stress approaching, take a few deep breaths to help you slow down your thoughts. Try to control your breathing by breathing in and out, slow and deep. Once you have your breath under control start mindfully thinking of positive thoughts and outcomes. It takes practice but each time you take a little break for yourself you’ll feel relaxed, peaceful and better than before. Now is also a good time to find an activity that you enjoy and that helps you relax like meditation, yoga, music, drawing or writing.
This summer is a great time to start eating healthy! Remember to eat every meal of the day, and don’t skip. Your meals this summer should be full of vegetables, fruit, whole grains and proteins like fish, chicken and beans. Become a master chef and practice cooking some healthy meals that you can prepare when you’re in school this fall. If you’re new at cooking find simple recipes that have a small ingredient list and watch cooking videos to help. By the end of this summer you’ll have healthy meals that will impress your friends!
If you are ever eating at your school’s dining hall or out with friends, try to keep in mind how big the food portions are and ensure you pick options that give you a well balanced meal. A good way to make sure you’re eating a healthy meal is the more colorful your plate is the more nutrients and vitamins are in your food!
This summer explore how you like to exercise. For some people, staying healthy can mean going to the gym and focusing on exercising different parts of their body on a cycle. Look online to find workouts that you can do at the gym or at home, and don’t be afraid to ask trainers that work at the gym for help. If you’re on campus this summer go explore your school’s gym. If you don’t have a gym membership keep in mind that some gyms give discounted rates to students.
You could also do a sport or activity to stay healthy this summer. Play soccer or volleyball with friends, like an on-campus intramural club, so you have friends to help motivate you to stay active. You could go for a swim or take long walks which are also fun ways to start your healthy habit!
It’s a hot summer, so drink more water! Drinking water is important to your body and health. Water helps your muscles stay energized, improves your mood by preventing headaches, and helps circulate nutrients and bacteria in and out of our body. This summer try challenging yourself to drink as much water throughout the day. Each day try to drink more water than the last. Eventually you’ll notice that your body will naturally need more water.
Even though you probably have amazing fun plans this summer that last all night, you shouldn’t skip out on a good night’s sleep. This summer try to sleep at least seven hours each night. You’ll not only be in a better mood but improve your heart, weight and mind. A good night’s rest can improve your memory. Sleeping more is a useful healthy habit to have right before school begins. You’ll perform better than your sleepy classmates!
Try a few of these healthy habits this summer so you’ll be ready to hit the books come fall. Remember that staying healthy takes time until it becomes a healthy habit. Fortunately you have all summer to practice your healthy habit.