How to Have a Summer Break Without Having a Summer Break

I have not had a proper summer break since I graduated high school at 18, but I still feel the energetics of a summer vacation pending. Which, isn’t too far fetched given how our bodies shift with the seasons. Just like in winter when we feel the need to stay in, rest up, and get cozy, the summer is a time for socialization, adventure, and lots and lots of Vitamin D.

So how can you still get that nostalgia of a summer vacation without a summer burnout? Below are a few ways to honor your body and still enjoy our favorite upcoming season:

Spend time in the sun, safely —

With the days longer, and the sun brighter, there’s no more excuses for spending all your time inside. As someone who works from home, I can often feel the day slipping away from me. With over 10% of our population experiencing a Vitamin D deficiency, it’s actually crucial for many of us to get out more and soak in that sunny brightness.

Without overdoing the stress on your skin, you can get your daily fix of natural Vitamin D in just 15 minutes by letting the sun shine down on your skin directly. Depending on your skin type you certainly don’t want to risk a potential burn so it’s important to pick a part of your body that you feel comfortable exposing. This could be your legs, arms, abdomen, or back. (And don’t forget the SPF! Just try to keep it from physically blocking the sun and making it so your skin can’t absorb the heat.)

Try taking a short walk during your lunch break or plan on having your dinner outside as the sun shines its last few hours of brightness. This practice alone will elevate your mood, help to naturally balance your internal Vitamin D level, and give you some serious summer vacay nostalgia.

Hydrate and eat right —

With all the summer outings come quite a few more cocktails than usual, so it’s important that we don’t pressure our bodies to overwork in the heat. A balance of hydration, cooling the body, and mindful rest can help you avoid an unnecessary midseason crash.

Pack your daily meals rich in seasonal summer foods. You can start with a visit to your local farmers market to discover all the water rich foods that are summer staples. Once you add in some local produce, you’re already serving yourself the highest grade of food to nourish your cells from daily environmental wear and tear. Just as more water is necessary the more you sweat, the same goes for your cells in needing cooling nourishment. Summer seasonal food staples naturally rich in water can help create the balance you are needing.

Learn to say no —

The feeling of constant socializing is nourishing to the soul but can often distract from getting that much needed rest and self-care. FOMO is real, but it’s equally as important to take care of yourself with some easy nights as well. Since most of us don’t get the luxury of taking three months off in a row anymore, we have to understand our limits and set some boundaries so we don’t crash in our work meetings. Sure, you can still enjoy yourself, but remember to honor your rest (as it is the most important whole body reset).

If you’re out with friends or enjoying a day at the beach, you may want to give yourself the evening to recover instead of pushing through into the night. Your circadian rhythms will thank you since each cell tends to have a different cycle that gets the break it needs to reset while your body is asleep. A lack of sleep or staying up too late can trick your body into thinking you’re already awake for the next day. If that occurs, our melanocytes may take it as a sign of too much distress and can actually stain the skin. (Hyper-pigmentation isn’t always just a sign of excess sun or heat!) Do yourself a favor and nourish your body with as much rest as it’s asking.

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I may not be able to take as many summer vacations as I did in the past but tapping into those nostalgic feelings of freedom from work and responsibility help inspire me to enjoy the benefits of this season regardless of my workload. I hope you enjoy these next few months before our days get shorter, colder, and more inward again. Let the nostalgia kick in, and hopefully with these steps, you’ll feel just as renewed as you used to when you were in school.

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