We often think of health in terms of diet and exercise, but there is so much more that goes into our well-being than what we eat and how we treat our bodies. Our social, emotional, and spiritual health are just as important in regards to our overall wellness and should not be overlooked. After all, these components allow us to connect well with others, maintain positive relationships, cope with life’s challenges, and find purpose in our actions — all of which are essential to a full, healthy life.
And unlike sticking to a strict diet or workout regime, which can sometimes feel burdensome, there are countless fun and simple habits we can incorporate into our routines that strengthen our mindset and improve our overall attitudes and well-being.
Here are just 10 ideas to get started this summer. What items would you add?
1. Attend a concert.
Music has numerous health benefits and is a natural mood booster. Attending a summer concert is one of the best methods to take advantage of music’s benefits, and is sure to create fun memories for long to come.
2. Join a book club.
There are serious perks to reading, and reading as part of a book club provides the added bonuses of social connections and new perspectives. So grab a few girlfriends and commit to diving into some new reads together.
3. Start a garden.
Whether you have enough outdoor space for an entire rose garden or are limited to growing a few herbs in the kitchen, gardening connects us to nature and is a rewarding de-stressor. And who doesn’t like fresh tomatoes?
Besides being a great way to get involved and give back, volunteering helps us feel more connected to our communities and can help ward off loneliness and depression. Consider organizing a food drive, volunteering at a soup kitchen, donating blood, or finding other local charities to get involved with.
5. Take a digital detox.
We hear this one for a lot of reasons. Our phones in particular can be major time wasters, and can also divide our attention, interrupt our thoughts and disconnect us from the people around us. So even if it’s just for one afternoon, plan to unplug a bit this summer and make some memories no one else knows about.
6. Look up.
How often do you slow down enough to take in your surroundings? When walking outside, allow your eyes to wander and to notice the details around you. Pay attention to the things you normally ignore and marvel at the beauty found in the details.
7. Take a trip.
Traveling allows us to disconnect from our routines and be exposed to new people and cultures, which in turn can give us a deeper appreciation for our homes as well as insights into making them better. Choose a weekend, hit the road, and explore a new town.
8. Get a haircut.
It’s no secret that how we look on the outside can affect how we feel on the inside. And sometimes, all it takes is a simple trip to the salon for a haircut or mani-pedi to experience a major boost of self-esteem and feel like a brand-new woman.
9. Host a beach bonfire.
There’s something about being outdoors and sharing a conversation with friends around a fire that’s just plain good for the soul. Bring blankets, a guitar, and of course, all the ingredients for s’mores.
10. Walk barefoot.
Walking barefoot — whether on soil, sand, or grass — is believed to increase antioxidants, reduce inflammation, and even improve sleep. Plus, it just feels good. Who needs another excuse to let themselves feel the grass beneath their toes?