In a lot of ways, summer is a great escape from the unhealthy behaviors often brought on by the semester. I can’t wait to get away from the stress and the computer screen. I never realize just how much school with its exams and papers can stress me out. I get irritable and I have trouble relaxing. I’m more likely to lose sleep or spend hours online watching videos or surfing Facebook as I procrastinate. This summer I plan on cramming in as much running, reading, and de-stressing as I possibly can. On the other hand, summertime has its own host of problems that we may not face during the semester. Here are some basic tips on how to stay healthy and happy during the summer while still enjoying the break from the semester. That is, unless you’re doing summer session!
1. WEAR SUNSCREEN
You’ve heard it before. Too many people head out to the sun to get a nice tan and soak up some rays. Cancer may be the furthest thing from your mind when you’re in your 20’s and adhering to the status quo is your main concern. Think down the road. Worst case- cancer. Best case- damaged skin. Limit your time in the sun and when you must go out during peak hours, get out the sunscreen. Take sun exposure seriously. You’ve heard the advice, now commit to safety this summer!
2. LIMIT SCREEN TIME
It’s the summer, who wants to spend time in front of their computer or TV? The fact is, that time when you no longer have homework might go to surfing the web or wasting away in front of the tv. Read some studies. Those who spend more than two hours in front of a screen a day are at heightened risk of premature death. Scary! Limit screen time as much as you can. There’s just better ways to spend your free time!
3. GET OUTSIDE
Okay, this kind of contradicts my sunscreen/safe skin advice! I recommend staying out of the sun between 10 and 2, and layering on sunscreen when you go out during other hours. I don’t want you to hurt your skin, but I do want you to enjoy the outdoors and the nice weather! Go biking or hike a mountain. Golf, garden, or ride horses. Find an outdoor hobby if you don’t already have one, and enjoy it this summer!
4. LIMIT DRINKING
It’s summer, so it’s time to party! Not so fast. Letting loose and throwing back a few drinks can seem innocent enough, or even much needed. The two big problems: what it does to your body, and the risk of drunk driving. Really, read studies on what alcohol does to your liver. Hearing me lecture you about it might not do much, but a study will scare the itch to drink out of you! Montana is horrible when it comes to drinking and driving. It’s sick that even after horrible things happen, people still take the risk every weekend and drive after drinking. Plan to have a designated driver and take turns doing it. Nobody likes driving everyone around, but take responsibility and take a turn doing it once in awhile. You may hate driving your friends, but if you never drive, I’ll be your friends are tired of driving you around. Drink responsibly. If you must get hammered, just don’t drive.
5. TAKE A TRIP
Yes, seeing some new scenery is healthy! It’s good for the soul. Dirt poor? Go camping or take a mini or pretend vacation. Do something for yourself! Plan a trip and plan an event to do while you’re there. A race, a musical, or historical sightseeing are all great reasons to hit the road or buy a plane ticket. Breathe some new air and see some new faces. Get the second wind you need to confidently face whatever you have coming once summer is over.