We have officially entered the Dog Days of summer. Blistering hot days with no escape from the sun and sultry breezeless nights. It’s hard not to feel lethargic. Our routines go out the window, we stop exercising, and those hot humid nights make it difficult to sleep. When we’re working we have to pick up the slack for colleagues on vacay, it’s too hot to eat let alone cook, and our Facebook friends are driving us crazy with all their fun in the sun photos of the fam in Greece or Martha’s Vineyard or just about anywhere were we are not. To add to this, many of us feel uncomfortable in cutoffs and tanks and bikinis: the unofficial uniform of summer. So what’s a girl with the summer blues gotta do? We asked around our office and came up with our four best strategies for beating the Summer Blues. Watch out, summer, we are about to break you down!
1. Get enough sleep.
Long days wreak havoc with our sleep cycle. We’re exposed to more sunlight in summer which affects production of the sleep hormone melatonin, and once the temperature in our bedrooms rises above 75F many of us find it difficult to stay asleep. Because summer affects both the length and quality of our sleep it’s especially important to prioritize shut eye. Invest in some serious blackout curtains so your bedroom is as dark as possible and the first rays of dawn sunlight don’t bolt you awake with their brightness. Switch off the tech an hour before you go to sleep. Phone and tablet screens send our brains the completely wrong message at night: now ain’t the time to go to sleep! Instead sit back and chill to your favorite podcast. We love the New Yorker Fiction Podcast. World class short stories that take about forty minutes to listen to? Yeah, we’ll fall for that!
2. Banish the body image blues.
According to Physchology Today sixty percent of women and forty percent of men are unhappy with their bodies. We are bombarded with images of picture-perfect models from the moment we log on to check our email in the morning to when we’re chillin’ with Netflix last thing at night. We need to stop comparing ourselves to Photoshopped perfection and expand our notion of beauty instead. Load your Instagram feed with people who celebrate being themselves, in whatever size or shape they are. We are loving the breath of fresh air that is @bryonygordon. “My body is perfect to me because it is mine,” says Bryony, “it’s carried a baby, got me through two marathons. I won’t let anyone treat it with cruelty and disrespect.” And we worship at the altar of @MeganJayneCrabbe. “All bodies deserve to be treated with respect, because they hold human beings. That’s it. No exception.” #tellitmegan
When it’s hot outside it’s all too easy to put off exercising for another day. We don’t want to move from our office chair by the a/c vent, let alone drive to the gym or head outside for a run. It’s hard to stay motivated in summer, yet with a few simple tweaks we can keep fitness on our schedule through to fall. First, plan. Adding a workout to our calendar increases the likelihood we’ll do it as it raises our level of accountability. If we add workouts to our calendar just three days a week we create a routine. And following a routine is the number one secret to acing your fitness journey. You can also plan out your meals for the week with our weekly eats list pad! Next, let’s go easy on ourselves. Give yourself permission to spend less time in the gym this summer and more time outside.Take advantage of warm weather opportunities like swimming in the pool and chasing your kids along the beach. #funinthesun
4. Treat yourself.
We don’t all have the time or the finances to yacht around the Greek Isles or stay in an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora, but we can all take advantage of the sweet treats of summer. Ice cream sandwiches for you and the kids, a visit to your local nature preserve, a splash in a Minnidip Pool. Expectations can be high at this time of year—everyone is expected to have high profile fun—but by curating our own idea of summer we free ourselves from the bugaboo of comparing our summer to anyone else’s. So go pick strawberries, enjoy this summer’s must-read beach blockbuster in the bath, make a picnic out of boxed rosé and fried chicken, host a pool party in a pool hall, wear a burkini or a muumuu or the bare minimum required to keep you street legal. This is your summer. Plan it. Own it. Kill it!
What are your tips for beating the summer blues? Will we find you indoors or outdoors in the heat?