Full disclosure: I totally wrote this title in jest.
See, I don’t actually do resolutions—or at least certainly not the type that’s announced in fanfare at the beginning of each year, only to be generally abandoned by February.
Still, I feel like we often do something akin to resolutions when it comes to summer: we vow to slim down, to take all kinds of day trips, to only eat fresh and seasonal produce, to take our bike everywhere, etc.
In reality, we often end up busier than we’d imagined, the weather may or may not cooperate and, before we know it, the season’s over and we haven’t done all those things we said we’d do. And guess what? We probably feel rather bummed out about it!
This is probably why I’ve abandoned these goals altogether! Still, what about focusing on a few good habits during the next few months?
RESOLUTION #1: FOCUS ON HYDRATION
In this case, I’m specifically referring to H2O and the ingestion of it.
It’s obviously not breaking news that dehydration is very likely to occur during the summer months. But did you know that thirst is actually a pretty poor indicator of our hydration levels?
By the time we get thirsty, we are already dehydrated enough that our performance is likely to suffer. Add to that the fact that we lose even more fluids by sweating in warm temperatures, and it’s easy to understand why hydration is so important.
If you’re anything like me, summer may be the time where any occasion is enough to open a bottle of rosé (what?) As alcohol has natural diuretic properties, drinking enough water—again—becomes extremely important.
Just with a few tweaks—drinking a glass of water upon waking, before every meal, and every time we take a break from working, carrying a water bottle with us everywhere, etc.—we can increase our intake without it feeling like a chore!
RESOLUTION #2: MOVE EVERY DAY
Summer’s really the time where we have no excuse not to move! With so many active transportation options available to us, it’s time to step our movement up a notch. Whether it’s running errands on foot or on bicycle, or just incorporating a fun walk every single day, this is a commitment we can take on!
Of course, that doesn’t exclude more traditional workouts either! But summer is also the time where we can get creative with them. Why not take your workout to the park, the backyard or the beach? Possibilities are limitless!
And if it feels too hot? Work with it!
While we may be tempted to crash wherever we are and stop moving when the mercury rises above a certain point, movement will always end up making us feel better—as long as we’re strategic about it.
Lakes and pools are there to cool us off—even kids’ splashpads can offer nice refreshment, and air-conditioned gyms are still there during the warmer months!
Is there a time and a place for lazily lounging, be it by the waterfront or simply on our balcony? Absolutely! It is one of summer’s great joys, after all. But remember that a leisurely stroll always counts as movement too, and should never be underrated!
RESOLUTION #3: SPEND AS MUCH TIME AS I CAN OUTSIDE
This differs a little bit from the above.
Here in Montreal, while outside activity is possible throughout the year if you’re willing to adapt your habits, there’s still a large proportion of the year where hanging out outside (without body-warming activity) just isn’t enjoyable because it’s too damn cold!
Summer is the perfect opportunity to take the most activities possible outside! Reading, working (if you can), eating, etc., are all things that can be undertaken al fresco, to really make the most of the season.
I remember, as a child, spending entire days outside as soon as it was nice enough to do so. While I may not have quite the same amount of play in my days anymore, I still want to recapture a bit of that feeling.
Not that I want to promote nostalgia, but I think we should never grow out of that joy of just being outside!
So, what are you going to take outdoors today?
RESOLUTION #4: WASTE NO ENERGY WORRYING ABOUT THE BACK OF MY THIGHS
Or the texture of my belly, at that.
Listen, we have a finite amount of mental energy that’s available to us on a daily basis. Is it really worth spending some of it worrying about our perceived imperfections, or giving credit to others’ opinion of our body?
I think not.
I’ve spent too many a summer—and I know I’m not the only woman in this situation—being uncomfortably hot because I felt I had to cover up, that I wasn’t allowed to show my body. All it did in the end was bring about even more unease—both because of the heat and because I felt flawed, and unworthy.
This year, I’m reveling in all my imperfect glory instead! No more scrutinizing every angle of my body before I go out; no more chickening out of an outfit that may—on second thought—be a little revealing.
I’ve literally wasted too much time on this in my life. It’s enough.
At the end of the day, bodies are bodies. Why don’t we use ours to enjoy the season, rather than suffering from it?