The summer season is fully upon us. With that comes warmer weather, longer days and the activities we all know and love—i.e. barbecues, swimming, camping, etc.
But summer is also a great time to reset and reclaim your health! If you’re looking to do just that but don’t know where to start, here are some ways you can take advantage of the summer season and set yourself up for success all year long.
Part 2: Reconnect With Nature
If you consider our ancestral past, we evolved in the midst of nature—the hustle and bustle of cities and towns and the constant stimulation of a technologically powered world were non-existent. As a result, a simple environment, immersed in nature is what we are best adapted to and fostering a strong connection with the natural world is critical to creating an environment that supports optimal health—just as important as nutrition, sunlight, etc.
Unfortunately, the modern world is lived predominantly indoors, day-after-day, which only serves to sever the critical connection our body relies upon. In creating a distinct separation between ourselves and nature, we’ve collectively fostered an environment that instead feeds chronic stress, overstimulation, mental health challenges and systemic dysfunction. This has manifested in the widespread increase in anxiety, depression, hyperactivity, cognitive dysfunction, and can even negatively impact weight, blood pressure, blood glucose and other health biomarkers.
Summer is a great time to reconnect your environment and daily routine with nature. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to complicated at all—just taking a trip to a local park or preserve and spending some intentional time connecting with your surroundings is a great option. Of course, activities like hiking, fishing, kayaking all qualify and may be more engaging.
Here’s the key: to get the most out of the time you are spending in nature, it is imperative that you disconnect from the modern world completely—this means limiting technology use as much as possible (ideally eliminating it). By scrolling through social media or checking emails, you’ve disrupted your ability to fully connect with nature and inhibited the potential for fully harnessing the benefits.
If spending time in nature sounds like it’s outside of your comfort zone, then start small. Just 20 minutes, twice a week is a great place to begin—as long as it’s purposeful and consistent, you will derive enormous benefit. As you become more comfortable, build on it and gradually increase the frequency and amount of time you are spending fully immersed in the natural world.
The summer season is one of opportunity—the opportunity to grow, work towards better habits, strengthen your relationship with nature and reconnect with family and friends. Not to mention, the most purposeful practices you can work towards integrating this summer are 1.) generally free and 2.) enjoyable—i.e. trips to the beach, time spent in the sun, local food, etc. This year, reclaim your health and set yourself up for long-term wellness by taking advantage of all the summer has to offer!