Celebrating the 4th of July in the NEK is priceless! Communities come together town after town to don their red, white and blue pride and remember what unites us, this land, this country and our freedoms. However, with so much excitement, sun and running around, you can feel run down pretty quicky if you aren’t careful! We’ve thought about the typical NEK’er and how they celebrate the 4th from parade to fireworks, and here are our top four to keep you safe, happy, and healthy all day long!

  1. WATER: W. H. Auden said, “Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.” If you are heading out for a long day, bring water! You won’t want to lose your spot in the parade line or wait in the mini-mart line to buy that overpriced bottle of water when you can bring your own. Also, let’s be honest, nothing ruins a festive day like a dehydration headache or feeling lightheaded. It’s going to be hot, you may be sweaty, let’s just drink water already! Bring extra for those around you! ALSO  – be a fun and friendly neighbor by offering a bottle to a stranger, or maybe an elderly couple sitting beside you. What a great way to say, Happy 4th!
  2. FOOD: Errick McAdams says, “If you keep good food in your fridge, you will eat good food.” And, yes, this is a holiday! You should eat the fun things you don’t always eat, however, if you know you use holidays as a time to stock up on way more of items you know won’t be supporting your health and nutritional needs, don’t. If you bought enough chocolate bars for 200 smores and at the end of the weekend you still have 150, (yes, we are exaggerating just to make an example) you need to ask yourself, will consuming all this extra chocolate be ok for me? Will I end up just eating a chocolate bar every day because I have them in the fridge? And maybe you will and that’s ok! Because you don’t mind having chocolate every day and it’s not impacting your health poorly. But if your fridge and pantry is filled with chips, soda, alcohol, sweets and “holiday food,” is there room for the “good food?” Consider sending everyone home with some leftovers so you can make sure you still have room for the foods that make you feel good too!
  3. Say HI: Be Friendly on the 4th. Just do it! Say hi to all the people in town, the friends you haven’t seen or talked to since high school. Say hi to your neighbors who bother you. Say thank you to any Veterans you see. Say “good job,” if you are in the parade and see anyone who was in it. This starts a contagious and positive new start of community that we can enjoy far past the 4th. It’s also a chance to build relationships and start to invest in our community’s foundation. Holidays are surely a fun reason to gather, but sometimes we need these same people in different circumstances where it isn’t so easy to say hi, or to be tossed all together, let’s start it today! You will notice you feel GREAT all day if you are pleasantly welcoming and greeting those around you.
  4. Take a BREATH! The day is busy! If you are a parent or organizing things, you may need more than one breath! People staying in your home, you may need 100! Prioritize and normalize the “pause,” to be! Taking just a moment to breathe and feel yourself in the moment, to re-engage yourself in what is happening will change your whole day! Your whole mindset and maybe…even your life. Ask yourself in that breath, what do I need right now? What is the next best step? Not later, right now. It might just be to breathe and relax.

We believe that by following these tips, you can enhance your overall well-being on the 4th of July while still enjoying the festivities that come with this special day. We also fully recognize that it’s a privilege to have the freedom to do them, or pretty much whatever else we please. That’s what the 4th is all about right? Let’s honor that we can honor our country and ourselves. Let’s keep sticking to the 4th and sticking to the 4!