Disclaimer before I start this post: you are beautiful, you are unique, you shine every day, you are loved, and you are magnificent. Read that sentence over and over again because it's true.
The purpose of this post is to share 5 quick tips to get "summer ready." The thing is, that means a different thing for every one. I in no way want people to think that they have to get thinner, or more toned, or change anything as summer approaches. It's just a time I use to evaluate a few goals of my own and use the summer sunshine and extra time to achieve them.
For me, getting summer ready includes getting rid of a tinyyyyyy bit of what I call 'winter fluff,' forcing myself to stay more hydrated, focus on eating whole foods that will energize my body, get in shape both mentally and physically, and set goals to relax and enjoy extra time outside and with my close friends.
Getting 'summer ready' can mean a lot of things to a lot of people, but I dedicate mine to physical and mental well-being that I think can resonate well with a variety of different people.
5 Quick Tips to Get "Summer Ready:"
1) Focus on Eating Whole Foods
This one is tricky for me. I'm usually pretty good at eating healthy, but I have an extreme weakness for all things bad for me. I basically think fried food comes from the Gods and during the winter time I'm more inclined to get take-out and cuddle up on my cozy couch with Netflix.
Because of this, and my adoration for a glass of red wine, I usually gain my 'winter fluff' that I talked about above. This fluff is about 3 pounds that just makes me feel a little inflated and rounded out. It's honestly not a huge deal and my clothes still fit wonderfully and I know I still look the exact same to every one else, but eating healthier to shed my winter warmth makes me feel more confident as a whole so aside from being a physical goal, it also turns into a mental health goal as well.
To make sure I'm eating better, whole foods I make it a point to go to the grocery store or farmer's market every Sunday to get fresh produce for the week. It makes me feel slimmer, more energetic, and I chose to eat locally grown so it helps local farmers as well!
2) DRINK YOUR WATER
This tip has been on countless blog posts of mine surrounding wellness. I cannot, let me repeat, cannot stress the benefits of drinking water enough.
It's good for your skin, good for your metabolism, good for your health in terms of fighting back illnesses, and it's just one of those things you need to be doing!
The old trick is to take your body weight, divide it in half, and drink that many ounces of water per day.
Plus I don't know where you live, but D.C. is legitimately a hot, humid swamp during the summer. I sweat just walking to my car in the morning (I know, gross). If I don't hydrate and over-hydrate I feel lethargic, dehydrated, and overall just blah. So it's even more important to hydrate in the summer.
3) Get in a Workout Routine
One thing that really kills me during the winter is dragging myself from my warm apartment and walking to the gym in the cold. Because of that my gym routine really struggles because I basically base it on the weather and if it's too cold or snowy or rainy to walk to the gym. In and of itself I know that motivation to go is something I should work on, but fortunately the summer months make it very easy to stick to my routine.
Not only will your body look and feel better (giving you that confidence to rock your sundresses and bathing suits) you'll feel better, more energized, and happier. The endorphins that come from working out really are a pick-me-up that'll have you feeling your very best you.
4) GET OUTSIDE
Thinking of my point about working out, the warm weather and sunshine makes it so much easier to add extra exercise to your routine. Now you can do activities such as hiking, boating, paddle-boarding, kayaking, and on-and-on. Things like this don't even click as workouts to me so I get the exercise without the hardship a traditional workout.
Also, that Vitamin D from the sunshine is so good for your mood. Make sure to put on your SPF, but a little bit of summer glow will also have you feeling quite beautiful in your skin.
5) Plan a Vacation or Stay-cation
The point of this is to do something for you! Maybe you have the leave time from work and a bit saved up to go on a nice vacation. Maybe you have the ability to take a long weekend and go somewhere driving distance away for a few days. Maybe all you have is a free Saturday and Sunday that you can spend exploring a new neighborhood in your town. ANYTHING, just do something for you, do something new.
This summer I am blessed to have quite a few vacations and stay-cations planned. I just got back from my big Europe trip, but I still want to make time to enjoy some summer free time as well. Disclaimer there, I feel beyond blessed to have the resources and health to take the trips I take and make the memories I make.
My first stay-cation comes Memorial Day weekend where I'll get to head to the Shenandoah Mountains to hike with my best friend and her fiancé for a day. Then the day after I've been invited to go to a wedding with a wonderful gentleman, so it will be quite the perfect weekend!
In July a group of 10 of us planned a long weekend trip to Smith Mountain Lake. It's about a 3-4 hour drive and we got a perfect lake house with a dock, lake/boat access, hot tub, and access to hiking trails. I honestly can't imagine a more perfect mid-summer getaway.
Then finally in August I will go on my annual Hilton Head beach week with all of the ladies in my family. We've gone every year for 9 years now and it's probably the best week of my year. We basically wakeup, walk the beach to watch the sunrise, lay in the pool in the morning, eat lunch, go to the beach in the afternoon, go to a fancy dinner, sleep, and repeat. Also, I'm sure you can imagine that we solve the problems of the world through all of the conversations we have. That usually marks the end of my summer and that's exactly how I love it.
I sincerely hope that these tips motivate you to get healthy mentally, physically, emotionally, or all of the above this summer. My goals to be summer-ready may be different or may be similar, but I think there's a helpful tip for everyone in here! Stay tuned for summer adventures whether here in DC or through travels and HAPPY SUMMER!