Each season comes with its own challenges, and as amazing as the summer sun can be, summer does come with its own set of challenges. It is no secret that summer tends to be accompanied by higher temperatures, more social outings, and the wondrous opportunity to spend time outside. All of these factors and more are bound to impact you in one way or another. Let’s dive into how we can best support our physical, mental, and digestive health this summer season!
How The Summer Season Can Impact Your Digestive Process
The temperature becomes much hotter in the summer months, and this rise in temperature can be detrimental to your digestive process. The heat makes your digestive system slow down and in turn cause issues such as nausea, bloating, and fatigue. The hot weather makes your body turn its focus to regulating your body’s temperature rather than its other responsibilities such as properly digesting food. As a result, many common digestive ailments such as irregular bowel movements, abdominal pain, and constipation can occur.
The hot weather also makes a person more inclined to sweat for prolonged periods of time. Sweating is your body’s way of cooling you off, but excessive sweating can also lead to dehydration. It is important to diligently drink water during the summer months to counteract the fluids you are losing from the sweating and hot weather.
Your body is also more sensitive to spicy foods in the summer. Spices such as black pepper, cumin, and cinnamon are all examples of substances that can further exacerbate digestive issues you might experience in the summer, because of their effect on your body temperature. The last thing you need in the summer is another substance that will raise your body temperature. Now more than ever, it is important to understand how your specific body reacts to different foods.
Due to the impact that the summer months can have on your digestion, it is vital that you work to take extra care of your digestive process during summer. Healthy habits such as taking a probiotic supplement, increasing your intake of gut health enzymes, and staying hydrated, can all work in your favor.
How to Take Care of Your Mental Health This Summer
While the increase of sun exposure in the summer will already do wonders to our mental health, it is still important to be intentional with your effort of maintaining your mental health. The summer opens a whole new world of opportunities.
- Make a summer playlist
Have you ever been driving in your car when a song comes on that makes you so excited for the summer months? Music has a great impact on one’s mood, and the summer time gives us a great opportunity to foster a unique playlist filled with music that boosts our mood and makes us want to dance outside. Whether you are an avid music lover or someone who is simply looking for a new hobby, making a summer playlist is a great option for you.
- Revamp your living areas
The places we spend most of our time in heavily impacts our mental health. Do you still have a winter feel to your home? Try sprucing up the areas in your life you spend time in to better align with the summer ahead. Summer usually is associated with bright colors and breezy items. Get creative, and experience how a change of scenery transforms your mood.
- Start a garden
Have you always wanted to start a garden, but the thought of spending time outdoors in the cold has always pushed you away? The weather in the summer makes it a great time to start your gardening journey. It will allow you the chance to become familiar with the different processes of gardening in the safety of the sunshine. Kale, cabbage, broccoli, and peas are all wonderful choices to plant in the summer.
- Get involved with your community
Feeling isolated and alone is not good for one’s mental health. However, in the summer, people are more inclined to spend time together doing all kinds of activities.
If you have spent the past winter and spring holed up in your home, summer can be a great chance to get involved and make new connections. Look into local community groups that have similar interests as you. Not only will you be building connections, but there is a chance you might find your new favorite hobby.
The Benefits of Spending Time Outdoors and Summer Outdoor Activities
While there is an appeal of comfort of spending time indoors, the outdoors can completely transform your mental health if you allow it to. Spending time outside can strengthen your immune system, improve your mood, and allow you to achieve a higher quality of sleep. In addition, most outdoor activities tend to involve physical activity. Physical activity helps both your physical and mental health. Here are some recommendations of outdoor activities to try out this summer.
- Hiking is a great way to get a breath of fresh air, get your blood pumping, and can even offer you wonderful views of mother nature. Look up close trails near you and start exploring!
- Pickleball is an outdoor activity that has taken the world by storm. It is a great way to get all of your family and friends involved in the fun!
- Bike riding is a great form of exercise, and can be more appealing than simply walking or going on a run. If you are looking to mix things up, dust off that old bike and get moving!
- Looking for a new way to experience lunch during the summer? Head out for a picnic at your neighborhood park. Eating outside can be a great way to limit your screen time, especially if you are someone who tends to watch tv while eating.
- Swimming is unique in that unless you have access to an indoor swimming pool, it can only be comfortably experienced during the summer. Cool off this season by jumping into your community pool and getting some laps in.