Healthy Living

The Ultimate Summer Wellness Guide: 14 Must-Try Tips for Your Healthiest Season Ever

Source: @waityouneedthis
Source: @waityouneedthis

So you’ve ditched the gym on a few occasions because it’s too nice outside not to spend the day at the beach, you’ve sipped on more mocktails than you should water, and meal planning is non-existent—and that’s all OK. A summer of wellness doesn’t mean you have to stick to your same healthy routines; it just means adjusting them based on what your body needs for the season. Having your healthiest summer ever also means having your best summer ever. We’re not here to tell you how to live it—consider this checklist a guide to elevate the season and embrace your everyday wellness habits. The goal? To feel your best now into fall. Here are 15 ways to have the healthiest (read: best!) summer yet.

1. Embrace the extra daylight with outdoor movement

If the sun is shining, you might as well be soaking it up. Plus, getting movement outdoors does your body good in more ways than one. You already know that regular physical activity can improve health and move the needle toward a longer life, but a 2022 study showed that racquet sports—namely tennis, badminton, and pickleball—come out on top for increasing lifespan. And you can’t go wrong with getting your steps in while giving your vitamin D levels and mood a leg up.

2. Protect your skin in other ways than just SPF lotion

SPF should be your best friend year-round but especially come summer when we’re outside more often. We’ve done the homework for you and rounded up the best ones for you to choose from). If you’re already incorporating sunscreen into your daily skincare routine, don’t forget to reapply every two hours, especially after swimming or working out. Looking to boost your sun protection even further? Try sun-protective swimwear or even driving gloves you can wear during your summer gel manis for extra protection. After all, UV rays are stronger than ever, and who are we to pass up healthy, glowing skin—summer or not?

3. Whip up recipes with summer produce

Because it doesn’t have to travel far and can grow until it has reached its peak ripeness, produce that’s in season is more flavorful, nutritious, and affordable, not to mention it leans into what your body is craving. This summer, choose fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, peaches, cherries, cucumbers, corn, beets, and radishes. Not sure where to start? Find out what is locally in season in your area using a resource like The Seasonal Food Guide. Then, hit up the local farmers’ market to support your local community and whip up some summer recipes.  

4. Take advantage of your PTO

Remember how summer break served as an important time to enjoy life, reset stress, and have fun when we were growing up? Even if we don’t have a summer break as adults, we can use this season to prioritize resetting, taking a break (even if it’s for a day or a weekend) and enjoying our lives. Mental health is just as important as physical health, and taking some time away from your busy day-to-day schedule is necessary for your overall well-being. Short on cash or saving up for a European month-long trip? Check out these destination dupes, the best West Coast hotspots for a budget-friendly weekend trip, and these money-saving hacks for every trip you take. And don’t underestimate taking day trips that you can escape to for a few hours and still be home in time to wind down with a good book. 

5. Lean into the “sexy water” trend

Drinking plain old water can get boring, but you know the story: It’s so important to stay hydrated, especially as the weather gets warmer and you’re more active. Take a cue from TikTok’s sexy water trend and add flavor and nutrients to plain water to boost your water intake. Consider it an easy habit-stack to stay hydrated and get in a variety of supplements, fruit, or veggies. Try adding supplements like colostrum, collagen, and electrolytes, or fruits and veggies like berries and cucumbers. 

6. Stretch at least once per day

Chances are you’re more active during the summer months, but most of us don’t remember to add more stretching the more we add movement. Stretching is essential for reducing your risk of injury, improving the effectiveness of your workouts, and helping with digestion. Try taking 10 minutes every day to stretch—whether it’s in between meetings or while you catch up with your latest Netflix obsession—and feel the difference it makes in your body.

Source: Spencer Wirkkala | Dupe

7. Be intentional about your alone time

While our social calendars usually get fuller come summertime, spending time alone and enjoying time getting to know you is essential for confidence and happiness. Wellness isn’t just about eating healthy foods or working out—it’s also about finding joy being with yourself. So prioritize “you time” and pursue passions, interests, and new adventures. Always wanted to take a painting class? Or maybe try your hand at pickleball? This summer, pick up a leisure activity—something you’ve always wanted to do but never got around to, and make sure to schedule in time to enjoy the relationship with yourself among your busy social calendar.

8. Use affirmations to shift body-negative feelings 

Beach days should be something you look forward to and not something you dread or stress about. Swimsuit anxiety is real, and one way we can combat it is by embracing our bodies as they are. Every time you feel anxious about what your body looks like, change the narrative. Be prepared with a list of affirmations to turn to whenever you’re feeling less than confident. Think: “I am worthy of love in this body,” “I am beautiful,” or “I deserve to be happy in this body.” Tell yourself over and over again how much you love your body until you start to believe it.  

9. Do a tech detox

During colder months, you may be stuck inside with nothing else to do except binge Netflix or scroll on TikTok, but in summer, the options are endless. Take advantage of the freedom to get outside by doing a dopamine detox to experience satisfaction and joy beyond technology. You can “detox” as a daily habit, such as not checking your phone until an hour after waking, or you can sprinkle in longer detoxes throughout the season such as no phone, TV, or computer for a day or even a whole weekend. You’ll learn more about yourself, help lower your stress levels, and maybe even experience the joy of boredom (because doing nothing except sitting on a park bench people-watching in the middle of summer can feel so freaking good).

10. DIY lymphatic massage 

When you’re drinking more cocktails and feeling more bloated or swollen in the summer heat, give your body a hand in supporting its natural detoxification. Enter: lymphatic massages. Lymphatic drainage can help support the body’s natural detoxification process by manipulating the lymphatic muscles to encourage the flow of lymphatic fluid to be detoxed by lymph nodes. It can help support the immune system, rejuvenate cellular function, and minimize excessive fluid retention and bloat. Click here for everything you need to do it for yourself.

11. Add herbs and spices to smoothies

Smoothies are practically synonymous with summer. While they’re already nutrient-packed, adding herbs and spices to the refreshing beverage means even more tastiness and health perks. For example, throw in mint (think: a mint chip smoothie) for a punch in flavor and relief from cramping, bloating, or constipation. Then there’s the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich turmeric that is the star of this Sunshine Tropical Turmeric Smoothie, serving up an earthy flavor along with a boost in immunity and digestion. 

12. Take a 30-second cold shower 

Instead of taking the (cold) plunge (think: getting in an ice bath or whole-body cryotherapy chamber), all you need is 30-90 seconds in a cold shower to reap the benefits of cold therapy. We’re talking boosted mood, alertness, and energy; improved immunity; reduced muscle soreness; and brighter skin complexion and hair sheen. Bonus: It feels amazing to cool you down during the hottest days of the year. Start with short durations (10-30 seconds at the end of your shower) and gradually increase to a few minutes to reap the benefits.

13. Do a manifestation challenge to channel your highest self

Summer is an amazing time of the year to manifest: you’re feeling more motivated, have more energy, and may be inspired to do more outside of your comfort zone and regular routine (like wear that daring bathing suit, go on that solo trip, or have a summer fling). Take advantage of the energy and freshness of the season by tapping into your highest self with a manifestation challenge. Try the viral 30-Day Dr. Joe Dispenza Challenge if you want to manifest changes in your life, or actively work on tapping into celebrity energy to change your beliefs and become your best self.

14. Cycle sync your lifestyle 

Living your best life also means working with your body instead of against it (and living PMS-free!). While you may feel more like eating light smoothies and salads and getting sweaty in longer workouts through the season, don’t forget that if you have a reproductive cycle, your body has internal seasons too. Your body may have days–even during summer–where it craves warmer foods, lots of rest, and being alone (the menstrual phase and luteal phase are known as the inner winter and inner autumn). Always listen to your body first, and consider not scheduling that long beachfront jog, poolside barbecue, or smoothie run during the times of your cycle when they wouldn’t feel good for body. Your hormones change during each phase, and your needs, emotions, and energy levels flow accordingly, so how we treat our bodies should change too. Cycle syncing means adjusting your lifestyle, exercise, and diet around your cycle; click here to learn more.