5 Habits That Put Fun Back Into Your Summer!

If your ‘get-up-and-go’ has got-up-and-gone, then Summer is exactly the right time to get it back!  Health, energy, vitality, optimism and fun is our birthright and summer-living is all about feeling light, energised and raring to get the most out of these preciously long days.

Image Credit: Clube de Escrita

Your life is not your ‘fate’.

How often do you run this pattern when you’re feeling crappy, anxious and tired-all-the-time: ”Oh, it’s just life” or ”This is my fate” or ”I have bad genes’‘ or ”Oh well, age comes to us all”?

This is wrong, wrong thinking!  You are the product of your daily habits – whether they’re in thought, word or deed.  We like our habits because they’re comfortable, predictable and we don’t have to think about them, they just kind of… just happen.  But our habits can either help or hinder our well-being and if they’re not servings us, we need to change them – pretty damn quick!

We don’t like change, because it can be difficult, uncomfortable and overwhelming. But by becoming conscious of destructive habits, we can slowly ‘crowding them out’ with healthful habits, can and will transform life as we know it!

Make change consciously

Becoming conscious of our destructive habits is a bit like being a self-detective; think about it this way: In a zoo, when a once healthy animal no longer thrives, do keepers blame the animal’s genes? Or fate? No, they look for clues in the environment: They assess the diet – is it right, can it be improved?  They check if the enclosure is too small, or lacks stimulation and make changes there.  They’re conscious that the animal may be lonely and may need company, so provide it.  And we humans are no different!

In the same way, if we become conscious about ourselves and our environment, it’s not a great leap to see that our health, happiness and well-being is the cumulative result of our environment + our lifestyle choices.  Then, we’re in a great place to take conscious action for change.

So, if you’re feeling like crappy sludge, try building these 5 Healthy Habits into your precious summer days and see what happens…

Healthy Habit #1: Stop dieting!

Just stop the clock!  Don’t ‘diet-label’ yourself:  ”Oh yeah, ‘I’m Paleo”; ”I’m a raw food/no food-ist”; ”I’m WAPF-y”; ”I do Slimming World”; I’m a ”Weight-Watcher”; ”I’m low carb/no carb”; ”I eat low fat/no fat/as-much-as-I-can-fat’‘.  Or even, our favourite diet-label: ‘Healthy‘ food?!  Hint: it’s comes in various shades of green!

If you’ve previously been a habitual ‘dieter’ (and you’re certainly NOT alone) – prone to ‘good’ and ‘bad’ days, binges, fasts and green juice and mono-diets – the sooner you leave all this behind you the better!

You don’t need me to tell you that you are not your diet!  Who doesn’t want to look and feel great over the Summer?  But know this: diets don’t work!

Here’s the thing: there’s no such thing as ‘healthy’ or ‘bad’ food because it’s the context that matters: who you are, where you are, what state your body is in and what else you’re eating. Labelling shoe-horns you into a way of eating which doesn’t make for a healthy habit – for you – and isn’t nourishing your body for optimum energy, vitality and health.

I say:  Just chill out this Summer and eat the food you love; get out of the supermarkets and into the country-side and source the best you can; as often as you can. Then eat delicious!

I say:  Get in tune with your body – remember it’s much wiser than you are – and start listening your body’s ‘bio-feedback’.  Get into your body’s conversations and discover what makes it – and not your mind – feel good and what makes it feel crap.  

I say: Reconnect with your intuition and you’ll soon find you’re feeling so good, by not eating what makes you feel crap, that you’re eagerly eating more of the good stuff!  Fall back in love with your food, listen to your body and just watch your energy improve and the weight fall away!

Health Habit #2: Start reading labels!

No, not for the protein, fats, carbs (%of which sugars) nonsense.  Be conscious of the sneaky-clever ‘health’ marketing banners on the front of the label and the zillion-in-small-print ingredients on the back.  And know this: what you don’t know about food manufacturing processes, additives and marketing will harm you. The food industry absolutely doesn’t have our health in mind and our bodies pay a hefty price for them to reap £benefits!

I say: Do yourself a big, big favour and start eating food that doesn’t require labels – foods that are are ‘whole’ that (as often as you can) you’ve cooked at home.  Then look into the mirror and notice the difference in your self esteem, you mood, your energy and your well-being.

Healthy Habit #3: Do fun stuff without alcohol!

OMG, yes you can actually do fun stuff without alcohol!  If social life is limited to going to the pub, then it’s high time to do something about it.  Habitually ‘self-medicating’ with alcohol destroys consciousness of mind, body and soul. There’s no happiness at the bottom of a glass!

So I say:  Find something you enjoy and do it with others.  Get outside and move your body!  Go for a long walk (no, not to the pub!).  Walking is probably the most underrated total health activity.  So make it a daily habit to walk.  Walk outside, Walk in nature in a beautiful park, by a stream, down a lane, through a forest or along beach.  Just walk.  Often.  Get your breath, blood and lymph circulating and shed toxins, relax your mind and body and restore your energy!

I say: Drink fresh juices or OJ for their restorative energy benefits.  Or, get creative and make and drink Kombucha – it is, seriously, to die for and you won’t even miss the alcohol!

But hey, I’m NOT saying: Don’t ever have a drink!  Just get wise to how alcohol really affects your body and you’ll get to have fun-in-the-sun, live more, live better… and say ‘bye-bye’ to the regular, energy-sapping hangovers!

Health Habit #4: Breathe like a baby!

We can live for days without eating, hours without drinking – but mere minutes without breathing! In most eastern and energy medicine, practising breath-work is considered to be of primary importance in restoring and maintaining health. Modern life presents us with unrelenting, daily stressors – emotions; poor sleep; environmental pollution; household toxins; and ingrained breathing habits – arising from conditions like sleep apnoea, mouth breathing, shallow chest breathing and over-breathing – leave us with chronic hyper/hypo-ventilation patterns that wreak havoc with the body.

I say:  Breathe from your belly – like a baby!  Practising breathing techniques every day, like Buteyko breathing, alternate nostril breathing and diaphragmatic  breathing restore the delicate oxygen and carbon dioxide balance to fuel your cells for optimum energy production. 

Healthy Habit #5: Sleep like a baby!

Without restorative sleep you’re dead-in-the-water energy-wise!  Managing your sleep environment and your stress is mission critical not only for maintaining health, but for healing.  What does restorative sleep look like?  It looks like this:

  • You sleep for 7-10 hours (depending on your age and other factors)
  • You do not wake in the night or if you do, you don’t remember and go straight back to sleep
  • You do not need the loo in the night
  • You sleep peacefully and don’t thrash around
  • You wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day!

I say:  If this is is you, cool!  If not, then make sleep your priority. Here’s how: Sleep and Stress Are Toxic Bedfellows.

And I say: Take advantage of the longer days to get back into a more natural circadian sleep rhythm – rising and retiring with the sun and not with those damned electronic devices!

No rocket science here.  Just five healthy habits to adopt this Summer that put energy back into your life!

 

Izabella Natrins

After 30 years in the health space, as qualified holistic nutrition and lifestyle health coach, digestive health practitioner & nutritional chef and a writer, a speaker, partner, a mum & grand-mum, I'm here to use my expertise and experience to help women shine at midlife and live the rest of their lives, the BEST of their lives in much better health. My Femergy@40 Nutrition and Lifestyle Health Coaching programmes empower, support and inspire busy, midlife women who are fighting fatigue, struggling with overwhelm, weight, sleep, energy and with niggling or with multiple diagnosed health issues. My book Once Upon a Cook - Food Wisdom, Better Living will make you want to change the way you eat, reclaim your kitchen and take back your health.

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