A recent article in Psychology Today highlights the importance to “do nothing” this summer. Stress is still high in the US. According to recent studies, 84% of adults reported feeling at least one emotion associated with prolonged stress in the prior two weeks. The most common were feelings of anxiety (47%), sadness (44%), and anger (39%). We look forward to rest and relaxation, especially after last year when our minds were anything but relaxed. This year it is critical that we use the summer months intentionally to recover from the prolonged burnout created by the pandemic to ensure that we are returning to in-person activities as the healthiest versions of ourselves.
I propose that as we officially enter our summer that we strive for an intentional “do nothing” summer. That it is not that we have nothing to do but rather that we intentionally rest. Over the next 6 weeks, I will be writing about ways that we can intentionally rest and use our #SummerReset and #SummerRecovery using the 6 important areas of wellness: Physical, Social, Emotional, Financial, Intellectual, and Spiritual.
This week let’s start with Physical wellness and the importance of rest. Physical wellness is our connection to our body. It includes how we move our bodies, what we put into our bodies, and sleep. So how can we focus on rest for our Physical wellness?
- Focus on getting adequate sleep – If you do not currently have a set bedtime and wake time for every day, try it out for this week. Aim to go to sleep at the same time every night and to wake at the same time every day. If you struggle with falling asleep as some breathwork or mediation as you settle into bed. You want to aim for 7-9 hours of sleep every night to be fully rested.
- Take Naps When Needed – I love naps! My favorite summer napping place is in my hammock under the shade of the umbrella, I rock myself to sleep and wake up with renewed energy. Listen to your body and if you are struggling to keep your eyes open, give yourself the gift of a quick nap.
- Increase Your Water Intake – Feeling tired and worn out can be made worse by being dehydrated. Track your water intake and then aim to make a goal to increase it. Most adults need at least 64 ounces of water a day or more if you a currently experiencing the US heatwave.
- Gently Move Your Body – Take a break from heavy lifting and intense cardio exercise with yoga, a nature walk, or stretching. Yoga and stretching still provide strength but also help to increase your flexibility. Focusing on flexibility will help improve mobility, posture, muscle coordination, reduces the risk of injuries and muscle soreness.
- Add Colorful Foods to Your Plate – Take advantage of the summer availability of produce. Check out your local Farmers Market and try a new fruit or vegetable. Aim to have something green, purple, red, or orange on your plate for each meal.
Tune in next week, as I highlight the importance of rest for our social wellness. Not sure how to start? Schedule a complimentary 30-minute audit now!