After a full week of summer—and school being out—I realized that I should set (and start acting on) my goals for summer wellness. I think the down time in summer offers us a great chance to map out a few attainable goals to keep health and well-being top of mind. This is also a great opportunity to practice your wellness champion skills on friends and family so that you’re ready to implement new ideas and solutions into the workplace for the fall. Here are a few goals I’m working on:
- Cherish the slow time. It always takes me about a week to realize that the slow pace of summer is the new normal. I find myself thinking constantly about what I need to be working on and what I should be preparing for in the coming months. And you know what? It’s time to put that all on pause, take a deep breath and embrace the slow periods at work or—even better—the time away from work. Everyone needs a break to reset and that means you too! Put your to-do list aside. It’ll be waiting for you once you’ve had some time to relax.
- Get outside. Whether you're sticking around town or going away for a vacation, get some fresh air and spend some time with Mother Nature. We are often confined indoors, whether it be an office, the classroom or a meeting room. These two months are the best months of the year for good weather and big blue skies. Spend at least 60 minutes outside and get active with your friends. Trying new activities and participating in familiar ones will help you put shape to your fall physical activity goals for your work team. Use your summer as an experiment to find out what kind of activities you enjoy. It’s all up for grabs: walking, biking, reading or spending time with friends. Speaking of friends...
- Socialize with others. So much of the year is spent going above and beyond the normal hours to make sure things are running smoothly at work. This July and August, I plan to reach out to friends, family and colleagues to arrange walks, lunch visits or—if I can swing it—weekend getaways. The long summer days mean there’s more time to be with others, so stay in touch with your colleagues and friends and take the time to appreciate their company.
- Seek out seasonal foods and try new recipes. Sharing your experiences with new foods and recipes is a fantastic way to stay connected to your community—whether it be work or home. This summer, I’m going to check out the local farmers markets and enjoy the wide variety of sweet treats and seasonal fruits and vegetables that are available to me, cooking new recipes that I can share with my colleagues the next time I see them.
The summer is a great time to find ways to prioritize your own wellness. Experimenting with wellness goals and ideas in the summer prepares you to tackle health and well-being on a bigger scale with your team when you’re back at work. So often I reach the last week of August and look back wondering where the summer’s slow time went. I have no doubt that will happen again this year but I hope I can make the most of the short two months by sticking to my four personal wellness goals and create healthy habits for year-long success. September is a full eight weeks away—it’s time to enjoy it all!