Summer is HERE in the NEK! The heat is in full force, and we may be asking ourselves if this is what we were really missing? With the sudden heatwave, you may be feeling overwhelmed and wondering if this summer is going to be a success. Of course it is! However, scorchers aren’t always the norm for this solstice season and many people struggle to decide how to best approach summer with a wellness mindset, so we came up with our own acronym for summer success: S.U.M.M.E.R.

SUNSCREEN: It’s time to protect that skin already! The skin is everyone’s largest organ! It’s your first line of defense and it needs your help! We know too much about UV rays not to use the proven protection from SPF rated sunscreens to prevent skin damage skin cancer. Anytime we are outside, we really should be slathering on the sunscreen to all exposed areas, including the ears, hands, and feet! has all the research if you need to read it yourself!

UMBRELLA: There’s no shame in the umbrella game. Sit in the shade. Yes, at the restaurant, if they ask if you want the umbrella up, say yes! If there is a tree to sit under at a game, do it! Buy the beach chair with the hood! Shade is your friend! We need some sunlight but not ongoing direct sunlight and it’s repercussions. If you won’t get under the umbrella yourself, are you using sunscreen? Wearing a hat? Hydrating? Do you have quality sunglasses? Are you with kids? Elderly?

MOVE: The water, the mountains, backyards, and every street look awesome;  get out and move! Able bodied people should be celebrating their freedoms to swim, hike, bike, and play! For those who have more barriers, a sunny window or getting onto a porch can really make a difference for improving your mood and increasing your mental state! Move what you can and in ways you enjoy! We all need to move, so much so, we often forget that many states even have laws mandating recess and movement for kids. Do we mandate that for ourselves? We all need it! Make it a goal to play more this summer!

Mindfulness: Summer will turn into fall without you noticing if you aren’t mindful! How? Stress, anxiety, staying overly busy or working more than you should. Mindfulness is about being present in the now. In this moment. A fantastic self-care practice is to offer yourself as many mindful summer moments as possible! To do this, you only need to be present in that moment for as long as you can or would offer. This can be offering yourself one minute before you get out of the car each time you go somewhere or 15 minutes of your lunchbreak, to just be present. Present to the sights, sounds and all that is around you and within you in that moment. Mindfulness will not break through for you, you must create space for it. It can be as simple as taking a moment to breathe in and hum out (yes hum!) and just feel yourself in your space. Eating ice cream, notice everything about it, the textures, temperatures, and flavors! See a flower, smell it, touch the pedals if you can. Be present. It’s a gift to you!

REST: Americans just refuse to go to bed. It’s odd. Sleep is proven time and time again by all the scientific greats to be essential for our overall health and well-being, but we struggle to do it. In the summer, it can be harder to get a good night’s rest. How can you create the best sleeping environment for a healthy night’s rest? If you don’t want to or can’t invest in an air conditioner, can you get a fan to keep the air moving? Can you try to pull the shades during the day to keep the room cooler? If the birds are waking you up too early, maybe the fan will drown them out or perhaps you need earplugs. Whatever it is you need, it’s worth doing so to make sure you are getting your rest this summer! Waiting for fall to cool you down is too long to go without a good night’s sleep.

These may seem like simple tasks you’ve heard before, but are you doing them? No one likes to be told what to do. However, we sure love giving advice! The best advice we can always give is modeling! When others see you living your best life and taking care of yourself, there’s always someone who is inspired by that and learning! There’s always a mom who’s gaining a new tip from seeing it work for another mom or a coworker who’s inspired by seeing their coworker make a healthier choice. You could be that not only for someone else, but for yourself. Why not? Why not now? It’s time for SUMMER success!