By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Anyone else riding the back to school emotional rollercoaster? This seasonal transition seems to always be highly charged, even if you are excited for, ahem, school to resume. Even the most excited parent may find themselves unexpectedly sobbing at the Target back to school flyer, especially if any of these scenarios are happening:
Spoiler…these are just some of the things that Jackie and I have going on in our lives - thank goodness we each have a kid with no major, emotionally charged milestones…this year. And, we know we aren’t alone! Granted, some of you might be like, nope…not me! As King George III from the popular, and hilarious, musical Hamilton would say, “Great, awesome”! Chances are, the time will come when this does hit home so you just might want to bookmark this blog, or you may know someone that is feeling all the feels right now and on an emotional rollercoaster, send this to them!
There are always times in our lives that we will feel these extra feels. We have a solution to ease this season for you…double down on the self-care! If you are a mom with a family, no matter the ages of your kids, you are busy. You wear multiple hats and have to get all those things done. We have a tendency to put our heads down and push through, and forget about stopping for a second to take care of ourselves.
Let me stop you right there, DreamChaser! As we like to point out, taking care of yourself is a daily must-do, not a have-to or get-to or when I have time-to. And, in times of high emotion or stress, a great solution is to double down, or do more, self-care, not less! To help you out, here is an approach we recommend when emotions are running on high:
1. Become Aware
As with most things, it all starts with awareness. You need to realize you are in a high emotional or stressed state so you can take the proper action to calm that chaos! How does this show up in your life? Are you tired or low energy? Are you quick to anger or snap at others? Do you feel scattered or unfocused? Are you teary? Take note of your signs so you know what to do to feel better!
2. Feel Those Feels
This is a big one…and often skipped over. Why do we avoid feelings, anyway?!? Seriously, we often avoid feeling those feelings at all costs. I challenge you to sit in them for as long as you need…avoiding or suppressing feelings has a tendency to make them compound or bubble up later. Feel them, then find a way to pull yourself up to deal with them.
3. Double Down Time!
Pull out your Calm the Chaos plan. (If you haven’t had the pleasure of doing this with us yet, stay tuned for the next opportunity to develop your personal Calm the Chaos plan. In the meantime, brainstorm a list of activities that help you feel at peace or centered such as exercising, meditating, reading a book, watching a movie, or having a coffee with a friend.) First, look at the things you have to get done…I’m talking the bare bones, not all the bonus extras you pack into your day to day. Look at the actual time they need to be done. Spread out these activities accordingly. You should have freed up some much-needed time to do something you WANT to do, not HAVE to do. Fill that time with something for YOU.
4. Repeat as Needed
Still feeling emotional or stressed? Pick another self-love activity. Repeat until you feel more like yourself.
Here’s the truth. If you have children, you will reach a point where you are like, “whoa, how do I already have a (kindergartener, senior in high school, college freshman)”. Putting off school shoes shopping to go for a walk or go to the pool with your kid will be a better use of your time and just might be the ticket to soothing that mama heart. Shine On!
By Jackie White
It’s August. All aboard The Crazy Train! It is the time of the year to cram in all the lasts of the summer like swimming, camping, roasting marshmallows, and picnicking. It’s also the time to get organized for the upcoming school year. What school supplies are needed…you think darn it where did I put that dang list? You wonder do the kid’s shoes still fit? Oh thank goodness they do, but just when you thought you could mark that off your list, you realize they have a hole in them! Now, who needs new underwear? Everyone! And oh my gosh, your son grew 8” and all of his pants are highwaters…the list goes on and It can become too much!
The question then becomes how do you do all this and stay sane? We got you! The following framework will help you ease the transition from summer to back to school.
1. Enjoy the Last Bit of Summer with your Kids: Grab the calendar and pencil in the last few events of the summer. When you are doing the event, make sure to stay mindful of it. Take pictures and participate in the memory you are sharing with your kids, it’s important!
2. Find Time for Yourself: It might seem impossible to squeak in some time just for you, but this too is important. Get up a little earlier, plan time with a friend, or hey, go all out and get a massage. Lord knows you're going to need one once the chaos of the school year ensues!
3. Stay Energized: Energy is everything and when you are dragging everything seems more difficult. Go to bed and sleep minimally for 8 hours. Get rid of the phone on the bedside table because electronics and sleep do not go together. Finally, get your body moving. It’s a great time to establish a fitness routine to support hectic lifestyles.
4. Get Ready for School: Do not drag your feet on this. Hit the stores early for what your kids need. Make sure you have thoroughly reviewed everything the kids will need: supplies, lunch boxes, lunch money, bus pass, lock for the locker, and don’t forget the athletic stuff like cleats or mouthguards.
5. Sports: Speaking of athletic stuff, there is a lot to manage here. Get signed up for the team, go to tryouts, and purchase any required equipment or uniform. Make sure to get the doctor to fill out the sports forms needed too.
6. Appointments/Sign-Ups: Set some time aside to sit down and make the calls for doctor and dentist/ortho appointments. Sign up for snacks for the team, scouts, tutoring, or any other extracurricular activities.
7. IEP/504 Plans: If you have a kid with special needs, please make sure to establish their individual learning plan or 504 plan. This will set expectations for the accommodations and support your kids will receive. You may have to push a bit to get these documents going, so start early.
8. Medicine/Allergy Plans: If your child has allergies or needs to take medicine at school. Make sure to complete all the necessary paperwork and submit it along with your child’s medicines before school starts.
9. Establish Schedules and Routines: Take the time now to plan out a schedule and routines to help alleviate the chaos back to school brings about. While you are at it, get those kids to bed earlier and please set a shower schedule! You definitely don’t want to be wrangling those stinky kids the night before school starts!
10. Stay On It! Once you get all the balls in the air, pat yourself on the back..but don’t drop the balls! LOL! Seriously though, give yourself a high five (don’t drop the balls!) and then prepare to manage all the pieces now, by being proactive and putting together reminders for you to continue to stay organized.
And there you have it! 10 top tips to stay off that crazy train called August! Stay tuned and look for more organization and time management tips to help you calm your chaos!
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Um…how is it August already?!? Whoa. Know what that means? We are entering the BTS (Back to School) zone. This might make you jump for joy as you are over all the kids fighting, whining, and a constant need to entertain the troops, or you might be lamenting that it's going too fast. (Or, you are like me and fluctuate between the two, depending on the current situation. The days are l-o-n-g sometimes…amirite?!?).
Either way, the time will pass, and the first day of school will seem to pop out of nowhere. Suddenly, the last days of summer are replaced with a frantic flurry of getting everything in place. And, good luck finding those elusive classic Crayola colored pencils on the classroom supplies list. Side note, have you noticed there is always 1 or 2 items on each list you can't find anywhere? What's the deal with that anyway? Sorry, I digress…
Man, I'm feeling stressed just talking about it! What if I said I had 3 things you can do right now to set you up for a stress-free back to school transition? That got your attention! In the name of protecting the summer vibes, let's do this!
#1 - Get Your Schedule On
Chances are your kids and you (yes, you!) are due for appointments. You know, all the routine things we forget about like dental, orthodontist, eye, annual physical, influenza and other vaccines, to name a few. Have a middle or high school athlete? Don't forget the sports physical that is required every 2 years! These are not only necessary routine health but also ones that book out weeks or months in advance. While you are at it, fill out any necessary paperwork or online registrations. This might not sound like a fun task…lol. But, a little focused time and attention here, I'm talking an hour or so, will save you so much time and stress later.
#2 - Gear Up
Back to school time comes with new gear…school supplies, backpacks, shoes, clothes and any fall sports needs like volleyball or cross country shoes. As you get closer to September, these items become as elusive as spotting a jaguar in the rainforest. Know what else? There are often really great deals to be had starting now. Whether you choose Amazon delivery or shopping in person, get your gear now!
#3 - Plan It Out
Ready for the game changer? Get a large, weekly calendar. This can be paper or, my new purchase, a dry erase one that came with a variety of colored markers. Give each person in your family a section; for example, my calendar is divided into 6 equal rows, 5 rows for each family member and 1 row for that evenings meal. Every week, write out each person's commitments. (I also have colors assigned to each family member.) This is taped on the backslash in my kitchen, opposite where the kids sit for breakfast and right above the silverware…so, in plain view for even the most oblivious teenager or, ahem, significant other. This calendar has a bonus feature. Not only will it help everyone know what is going on that week, it can also allow you, the parent, to help kids take on the responsibility of preparing for these activities. No matter the age, it's good for kids to take on packing their sports gear or snacks. Delegation, baby!
Just think how much less stressed you will be during the final week of summer having these big tasks checked off the list? Get to it so you can squeeze every last good time out this summer! Shine On!
By Jackie White
It’s so easy to assume someone acts a certain way because you can “logically” see that they are just a jerk or stupid or ignorant or uncaring… You put in the descriptor. We all do it. We all decide that we know why someone is behaving a certain way but the truth is most of the time we don’t know.
We don’t know what might be driving their behavior because we don’t know their story. We don’t know that they were bullied as a child and now face the world with fear and anger. We don’t know that their controlling behavior is a result of a traumatic past that left them completely under the control of someone else. We don’t know if they are fighting depression every day and to keep their mind from racing they need to compulsively sweep their sidewalk.
“Thinking is difficult, that’s why most people judge.” ~ Carl Jung
Maybe it is that thinking is difficult and we just slap a definition on another. Maybe it’s we assume that we know because we need to have a story about the person. We like to have definitions like “the busy body” or “the neighborhood jerk” or maybe it’s the “ego-inflated co-worker”. We’ve all done it. I’ve done it. I’m not proud of it. So, how about starting today we take a judgment detox?
Let’s begin with why do we judge others?
More often than not, the things we judge in others are a reflection of the things we cannot accept about ourselves. The yardstick we use for ourselves is the yardstick we use for the world. The way you measure yourself is how you measure others, and how you assume others measure you. Ugh, that’s harsh, but in many cases true.
According to research by psychology professor, Dustin Wood, “Your perceptions of others reveal so much about your own personality. Seeing others positively reveals your own positive traits and how satisfied you are with your own life, and how much others like you.
Starting a judgment detox requires us to take a hard look at ourselves and our habits. We have to step back and catch our thinking and reframe it. In the book “Judgment Detox” by Gabrielle Bernstein, she states the first step is to look at your judgment and bring awareness to it. It is important to bring awareness to it yet keep some compassion for ourselves. We all make mistakes and get into not-so-good habits, so give yourself a break and release the guilt or shame you might have. A prayer she offers is “I forgive this thought and I choose again”.
After awareness, it is important to realize that when you judge others, you are not defining them, you are defining yourself. When you frame your judgment in this light, you might feel some resistance, but it is important to examine why you are judging. We all have things we need to work on and this is an opportunity to get honest with ourselves and be compassionate with others.
“When you judge others, you do not define them, you define yourself.” ~ Earl Nightingale
Next up, interrupt your pattern of judging by bringing compassion towards the person and forgiveness for yourself. Choose another response, move on and do better next time.
To summarize, the steps for a judgment detox are as follows:
“You never know what someone is going through. Be kind. Always”
It really is all about catching our natural desire to want to define someone and instead ask ourselves what could this person be going through that I am unaware of? Could they be struggling or maybe they are doing the very best that they can right now? Let’s hope others have the same grace for us, right?
So just for today, and tomorrow and for always, choose kindness and compassion.
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Mmmmmmm…mojitos. Nothing says summer beverage like a refreshing mojito. Lime, simple syrup, soda or sparkling water, ice, mint. To rum or not, that's up to you, either way, mojitos are the ultimate in summer refreshment. Well, as long as that mint is muddled properly.
I'll be real. I've had my fair share of mojitos, enough to develop a discerning palette for a good one. The difference maker is properly muddled mint. Muddling mint and other herbs or fruits is a way to release their juices and oils by mashing them, which allows for a better flavor than a whole mint leaf or fruit piece. Muddling is an art, applying a gentle yet firm pressing motion that releases the flavor without destroying the leaves. It takes finesse, practice, patience and time. Frankly, it's an extra step that many mixologists skip, even though it elevates the final mojito product as well as the enjoyment of the sipper.
Why am I talking about mojitos and muddled mint on a blog dedicated to your best life journey? Well, first, it's fun…lol…and, we are all about infusing fun at SoulShine. But also, muddled mint is a fun and unique way to look at failure in your life. Huh? Let me explain.
Failure is not looked at favorably by most of us; in fact, failure is often something we try to avoid at all costs. And, when failure happens, we try to move on as quickly as possible. Why? Many reasons but one of the most common is that failure is uncomfortable. Failure can trigger a negative pathway fueled by self-doubt and negative self-talk.
One thing you can count on is that your Inspiration Catalysts are going to challenge beliefs like this. You see, failure has an undeserved bad reputation. Failing means you are going after something big, something worthwhile…I mean, if it wasn't new to you or hard, you would already know how to do it, right? Failure reveals lessons…perhaps uncovering a different path or different way to get the result you want. Failure builds resilience as you get back up and confidence in your abilities when you push through to success. But, it’s up to you to make the effort to see failure this way.
You see, failure is not the enemy…it is the ultimate best life teacher. Like mint in the mojito, you need to properly muddle it to release its benefits to the cocktail of your life. Left whole, failure tends to sour your experience, leading to the path of negativity. Rather, taking the time to pause and muddle the failure releases failures true form, one to make you better. What do I mean by muddling failure? Taking the time and extra step to gently, yet intentionally, press into the failure…really lean into it for a minute. Look for what it can teach you, then apply these nuggets as you move forward. That’s the extra step that releases the failure’s life enhancing powers, and it’s definitely worth the effort!
So, let’s raise a glass and toast - here’s to muddling failures…and, perhaps, a few mojitos as well! Shine On!
By Jackie White
Oh man, how can we love ourselves without abandon when beautifully photoshopped, pinteresty, insta-flawless bodies, faces, and lives are constantly shoved down our throats? It’s an overload of perfection and it sucks!
We all know rationally that no one looks like that in real life. We know that the shots are set up to create an image, we know that,, so why is it so hard to let it go?
This is why: because we don’t love ourselves enough. Listen, there is no award for being so hard on yourself. You are perfect just the way you are. Oh, you don’t believe me? I’ll take you to task on this one. Let’s look at the top three rotten things women pick themselves apart about and let me help slay these dragons for you with some straight talk.
Weight: Let’s begin with the biggest evil, weight. You might be thinking that you have to lose weight. Ya, so does almost 50% of the American population. So, take action and show your body some love by caring for it through healthy choices. Choose to eat properly, drink water, dump the soda, quit the sugar, and move your body. Change your focus on getting healthy and get off the damn scale! When you do the right things, you will return your precious body to the health it deserves.
The Love Yourself SOULution: Don’t complicate this. We like to complicate because then we have a great excuse to claim “nothing works” and then go back to eating chocolate bonbons. Instead, eat healthfully, eat proper portion sizes, drink water, and walk 150 - 300 minutes per week (Psst: that’s 21 - 43 minutes per day), You can do that, and oh yea, your life does depend on it, so there’s that.
Critical Inner Talk: You can’t stop thinking about that stupid thing you said at work the other day…guess what, everyone has said or done something stupid at work too. Get over it. You can’t change it, so move on. This situation is all about critical inner talk that fuels worry or anxiety about things you can’t control. That which you cannot control, you have to let go or you will pay a price of exhaustion and an unstable foundation because you have built your house on a pile of worry. You cannot do that.
The Love Yourself SOULution: Love yourself first and work to calm your mind and focus your thoughts on peaceful intentions. Start a practice of meditation to calm your mind and settle your body. Replace negative talk with positive words, always without fail. Choose to longer accept negative inner talk.
Low Confidence: There seems to be an epidemic of women who are not confident in themselves. Do you feel lost in making decisions for yourself? Do you feel you are not worthy of certain things in life? If so, you are suffering from this and you need to step up on your behalf. Hey, if you don’t, who will? Will it be difficult? Maybe, but you know what’s worse? Shortchanging your life because you are afraid to speak up for yourself. Living life in that manner will result in regret, don’t stand for it anymore! If you are battling the critical inner talk problem mentioned before, you are likely feeding the beast that is beating down your confidence. If you suffer from both, it calls for double the love for yourself.
The Love Yourself SOULution: Begin a practice of gratitude by listing something you love about yourself daily and why you love that about yourself. Begin to change your physiology by walking and talking confidently even if you don’t feel like it. Put on some pump-you-up music to change your state. Feel how good it feels to walk with more confidence! When you practice being confident, you train yourself to choose confidence over shrinking back into silence.
Sometimes to love yourself, you have to love yourself with tough love. No one said any of this was easy and in case you didn’t get the memo, life isn’t supposed to be a walk in the park. What I can tell you is that the effort is all worth it because you will stop worrying about how you rank in this crazy world of unattainable perfection. Instead, you will be catching your totally imperfect reflection in the mirror and you will start strutting and singing “I’m too sexy for Milan, New York, and Japan”. Imagine that scene! I love it!
Make the time to love yourself today and every day. When you do, one day you will finally realize your worth and how much the world needs you just the way you are.
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Phew! Anyone else feeling the long weekend blues? Long weekends, especially holiday ones like July 4th and Memorial weekend, seem to fall in the category of a blessing and a curse. Anyone else find themselves looking forward to the bonus time but then packing it with a bit too much? You know, too much fun, too much food, too much sun…too much, too much, too much. No shame in that game…it seems to be the way of things!
Cue the superhero music….da ta da daaaaa!! Never fear, SoulShine is here to save the day! As we come off of the July 4th holiday weekend, here are 5 Tips to Get Back into the Swing of Life after a Holiday Weekend. Enjoy!
1. Let It Go
Chances are, you may have derailed several health goals over the weekend. Guess what? That’s okay! Leave the holiday in the past. What is done is done, start new today. Do yourself a favor and avoid the scale - there is a good chance it will be up but this is typically a false increase as a result of the extreme changes in your usual routine.
2. Restart Your Routine
Speaking of routines, get back at it! This is the best way to serve your body and get over the long weekend hangover, so to speak. Hydrate with water, get moving with your favorite exercise, eat your favorite light meals, and get your rest! This will get you feeling back to yourself, and your best, in no time!
3. Take a Deep Breath
Coming off the long weekend and shifting into work week mode can bring added stress. All of a sudden there are piles of laundry, empty refrigerators, perhaps a car that needs unpacking…and one less day to get it done! Stop, take a deep breath. Breathe in all the fun that was had and memories that were made. Breathe out the overwhelm you are creating. Take it one task at a time, start with the most important one. And, ask for help! There is nothing saying you have to take care of it all!
4. Mindset Reset
There’s an interesting struggle that has been created between the work week and the weekend. You know what I mean…all those memes about Monday blues, Friday or weekend vibes, basically that the work week is the nemesis and the weekend is the hero. It’s understandable…weekends tend to be fun and carefree while the work week is structured and task-filled. But, it doesn’t have to be this way! You get to choose your mindset. Instead of seeing your return to work as a bummer, choose to see it as the vehicle that allows you to enjoy the next long weekend. Find ways to bring joy and creativity into your work week by finding projects that fuel your passion and energize you.
5. Plan Ahead Next Time
As you get back into the post-holiday weekend swing of life, bring awareness to the situation. Chances are, there are some areas where you can help the transition into and out of a long weekend go more smoothly. Examples might be making a to-do list for your day back, putting an “out of the office” response to emails, or going to bed early so you can get started a little earlier your first day back. Take note so you can plan ahead next time, you know, like at the end of summer with Labor Day.
We hope these tips help you bust out of the long weekend, holiday blues, and start fresh and new this week. Save these tips for the next holiday, too! Putting these ideas into place will help even out the rollercoaster that can come with long, holiday weekends, resulting in you enjoying this time and memories to the fullest. Shine On!
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Nothing says summer like baseball…or is that just my life? As I learn more about baseball, I have come to realize how it not only mirrors life but also is a remarkable place of inspiration on how to live your best life.
You see, baseball is a sport of failure. Think about it! Ted Williams is one of the best hitters of all time and has an untouchable lifetime batting average of 0.334. Know what this translates to? He struck out about 67% of the time…2 out of 3 times at bat, he failed! Here's another consideration, the Atlanta Braves record last season was 88 wins and 73 losses, and they won the World Series! One could say baseball is brutal but the reality is, failing that much makes you appreciate the big hits, home runs, and wins so much more.
The difference maker in baseball is how you manage this failure…does it get you down or do you bounce back up, better and stronger? The best players and teams have short term memory on these failures and get back at it with their next at bat. You take it one inning and at bat at a time, realizing you won't hit a grand slam every time. Like so many areas in life, mindset and attitude play an integral role in baseball. From striking out to having no control over the team that drafts you, focusing on your area of control is crucial to your success in baseball just like in life.
The successes you see in baseball show up just like in real life, too. The big sluggers, killer pitchers, and athletic outfield diving catches look effortless, totally making it look easy. What's the truth? The countless hours of practice, stacking hundreds or thousands of small victories, culminating in the big play you see on the field. Oh yeah! Don't forget all those failures as opportunities to learn, too!
Hmm…all of that sounds a bit like living life full out, doesn't it? To bring the point home, here are 10 Life Lessons from Baseball:
So many life lessons in one fun pastime! This summer, when you find yourself at the baseball field or see game highlights on the news, remember all these important life lessons. Take a moment and check in…are you swinging for the fences, even if you might fail? Or, holding back and playing small?
Be like the best baseball player. Have a short memory. Find blessings in the stressings. Play all out. And, swing for the fences.
By Jackie White
Welcome to Life’s Diner. Here life is served any way you like it. We are proud to offer an extensive menu to you. As well, our dining room creates just the right amount of ambiance and comfort you desire. Please come on in! No reservations are necessary!
What if life was like a diner? You would wake up daily and go to the diner choosing what you wanted to dine on for that day. You peruse the menu and see that they have appetizers that are simple pleasures such as wearing your favorite old sweatshirt or brewing a delicious cup of coffee in the morning. You see an appetizer sampler that includes those things plus, the ability to move your body and the opportunity to phone a friend so that you can enjoy their company. Doesn’t that sound appetizing?!
The entrees in Life’s Diner are plentiful and offer literally the world on a silver platter. The only thing you have to do is choose. What will you choose? There are terrific offerings like the popular Joy-Filled Days. These days are deliciously simple, yet satisfying and fulfilling. Since you are aware enough to order this, you will also be aware enough to make further choices that go with a Joy-Filled Day, like a side of smiling, laughing, and sampling all the things that look appetizing!
Also on the Menu of Life there are other choices like Mundane-Filled Days, Stress-Filled Days, and Scrambled Days of Indifference. Sadly, many people default to these options because they really aren’t deciding to have something different. The menu of life requires you to choose what you like and when you don’t, you get whatever the leftovers are from the day before when you didn’t choose something you desire. The leftovers tend to be bland, tasteless, and stale, yet people wake up each day, sit in front of the extensive menu of choices and never really choose the things that they desire.
Tip of the Day: Just Choose Something and Make it Something You Like!
Each day offers another chance for you to choose from the Menu of Life. You have a choice of ordering anything a la carte and making up your own special dish of the day too!
You have the ever-popular Plate of Possibilities that includes a plate of bottomless possibilities and opportunities! These choices are great fun and provide tons of happiness. Here a few popular plates to consider:
The Positive Perspective Plate: This dish allows you to see the day through a positive lens.
The Purpose Plate: This plate provides the most fulfillment, yet many never order this.
The Chef’s Surprise: this is otherwise known as a Side of Curiosity. This dish will light you up and provide lots of adventure!
We have only one side at the diner and it is offered gratis to everyone. It works like medicine for your soul and quite literally fills you up, so we recommend that you sample it daily:
The Dish of Gratitude: This most popular side is recommended to be served daily and will soothe a troubled tummy, and an envious ego. It will calm a broken heart and will reliably lift up your spirits. It is the tastiest of all morsels.
Now, the desserts are really fantastic here at the diner and we encourage you to have dessert every day because here, the choices fill you up, but don’t contain calories! You cannot beat that!
The Joy of the Day: This dish features joyful opportunities
Smiles a la Mode: Served with or without ice cream, this dish is sure to please
Celebration Cake: This sweet dish offers celebrations of things great and small
Note: Now there is one thing we serve on this menu but we don’t encourage you to order it and that is Humble Pie. It only is served when you have earned it. We have noticed that when you order the side of gratitude it counteracts any possibility of you having to eat the Humble Pie, so may we suggest again to try The Dish of Gratitude?
Again, we want to welcome you to the Diner of Life. Please belly up to the bar and order all the choices your heart desires. Make good choices and your bill will always be free. Make bad choices or no choices and you will pay, somehow, someway. May we suggest making good choices?
Bon Appetit and Shine On!
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Ah…summer. Warm weather, sunshine, longer days…there’s nothing quite like it! I love to soak up all the summer vibes, and rays of sunshine, too. There are some things to keep in mind as you shift into this season to keep yourself the healthiest possible so you can do all the things! Here are your 7 Top Tips for Your Healthiest Summer Ever…enjoy!
1. Exercise Outdoors
With the weather nicer, try a new view by taking your exercise outside…or try something new! Here's some movement inspiration: yoga in the park, a scenic walk, hit the bike trails, try a sport like tennis or pickleball, or go swimming. To avoid the heat, get your move on in the morning before it warms up!
2. Freshen Up the Food
Summer is a great time to ditch processed food and boost your nutrition with fresh options. Scope out the Farmer's Markets or pop-up food stands for the latest in-season options. Or, try a CSA (community supported agriculture) share. Check your insurance benefits - CSA farms often give discounts as part of work wellness programs!
3. Up the Hydration
Hydration takes on even more importance with warmer temperatures! Try to limit coffee and soda to decrease dehydration. Jazz up that water with fruits or fruit juice…whatever it takes to drink up! A good water goal is half your bodyweight in ounces. Depending on your activity level and the temperature, you might need more to stay hydrated in summer!
4. Protect from Summer Elements
What’s one way to ruin your summer day? Forgetting the sunscreen or bug spray to start! Ouch! Make sure to lather up with an SPF of 30, even on overcast days. Grab some sunglasses to shield your eyes. Spray up with bug spray to protect from mosquitoes and gnats (and grab the DEET if you are hiking where ticks are!). This is definitely an area where a little prevention pays off in spades instead of dealing with sunburn and peeling skin!
5. Stay Cool
This is an important one! When the temperatures rise, be careful not to overdo it…heat stroke is no joke! Heat stroke is actually life threatening with heat exhaustion, or mild overheating of the body, being the first step. Here are the common signs of heat exhaustion:
If you or someone you are with are experiencing these symptoms, here are some measures to take:
If symptoms persist or worsen, emergency medical attention is necessary. Advanced heat stroke or heat exhaustion progresses to confusion, altered mental status, slurred speech, loss of consciousness, hot/dry skin, seizures, and very high body temperature (possibly over 104 degrees). This is a medical emergency and requires immediate medical intervention.
6. Don't Forget Your ZZZ's
Long summer days can lead to losing track of time and abandoning the bedtime routine. While it might be tempting to pack in extra fun, making sure you get enough sleep and sticking to a bedtime is important for peak energy. Well, at least on most days😉
7. Rest, Relax, & Recharge
Summer is a great time to take time to unplug from life and recharge your spirit! Unplug from social media, string up a hammock, and read all day. Have a lazy day at the beach. Plan a staycation and explore all the secret finds in your area…or plan a summer vacation. Take time to rest, relax, and recharge this summer!
Hope these tips help to make this the best summer yet, full of adventures and memories to last a lifetime! Shine On!
Jackie White has been writing about life and its ups and downs for many years. With a degree in Industrial Psychology and a life-long student of personal development she is intrigued by how each individual chooses to live their life. Jackie feels strongly that truly living your best life is imperative to attaining peace and fulfillment. SoulShine was borne of her desire to inspire and teach others to live their best life. This is her mission and her dream.