Living well means more than just having a good health report. While we all want to be in top-notch physical health, wellness means that you feel at your best both inside and out. When you are living well, you feel good about being yourself. You feel strong, energetic, and ready to take on whatever comes your way, no matter your age. You have more drive, greater focus, sharper thinking, and are generally in a much better mood. Who wouldn’t want to feel more vibrant and alive?

While the summer is generally synonymous with rest, relaxation, just taking things easy, it’s also a time where your schedule ramps up with parties, gatherings, and fun in the sun. With that, you tend to adopt new habits like staying up late, sleeping in, eating more, drinking more, and not being as active as you usually are. Before you know it, you start to feel lazy, tired, and not at your best. But even though the summer months present a great opportunity to cut loose and kick back, we should remain as aware of our wellness needs as we do during the other three seasons of the year. Focusing on your wellness will help to uplift your physical and mental wellbeing.

Changes in schedules, hot weather, child care, and vacations are all barriers that keep us from sticking to our health and wellness progress. Try these five tips to make sure you’re setting aside time to be at your very best during the dog days of summer.

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated during the summer is vital. The heat of summer has most of us looking for ways to cool down and chill out. With so many plans, parties, and activities taking place during the season it's tempting to over consume refreshing cocktails and junk foods during all the summer gatherings and festivities. But as you look forward to those summer memories, it's also important to think about your water consumption. During high temperatures or extended periods of time outdoors, you need to drink lots of water. This will help your body produce sweat which keeps you cool. Relying too much on alcohol or fizzy sugary drinks can be just as bad as not drinking water at all. Dehydration leads to cramping, fatigue, stomachaches, headaches, and much more. If you do want to enjoy a refreshing change of pace from plain water, try opting for sparkling water with fruit flavors instead, or a cold bottle of Purpose Tea. Not only will you satisfy your need for a flavorful beverage, but you’ll also help keep yourself hydrated. In between cocktails (or other fun non-water drinks) drink a large glass of water or Purpose tea. You can carry the convenient bottle in your bags or totes to stay hydrated and keep you feeling cool throughout the day.

Boost your antioxidants intake

From blueberries to strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, there's a refreshing summer berry for everybody to enjoy. Incorporating more delicious summer foods like berries into your diet provides a nutritional powerhouse of benefits. Each is full of antioxidants, just what your skin needs to combat sun damage. Berries are also a great source of fiber, ideal for helping keep your cholesterol low, vitamin c, and are loaded with phytonutrients that can help ward off diseases such as heart disease and cancer. You should aim for at least a cup of your favorite berries each day. Perhaps the best thing about berries is that they can be paired with other fruits, grilled, added to salads, folded into pastry mixes, or sprinkled atop pancakes or waffles. So you can enjoy them in many fun ways, fresh or frozen.

Snack on seasonal produce

Summertime is a great time to focus on eating healthy because many fruits, vegetables, and other yummy healthy foods are in season, readily available, and make for great additions to summer food and drink recipes. Summer is also a great time for fresh seasonal produce. Berries, melons, corn, tomatoes, and peppers are all at their best during the warmer months. When you’re packing snacks for work or a day out, remember to pack refreshing, healthy options so you can skip snacking on junk foods like chips or candy. Simple treats like fresh fruit or nuts make easy snacks that help keep you full between meals. You can also keep a veggie tray in the fridge and munch on celery, carrots, and sliced bell peppers when you get hungry. Try dipping veggies in a healthy dip like hummus and avoid dips that are high in calories like ranch or blue cheese. Take advantage of the great food that Mother Nature has to offer and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. These foods are not only packed with nutrients but full of water to help provide you with even more hydration, which is vital in the hotter months.

Take care of your skin

Summertime means spending plenty of time outside, which brings lots of sunshine. Unfortunately, the harsh sun rays also bring sunburn, dry skin, and other seasonal-related skin issues. This requires us to protect our largest organ from the sun. Protecting yourself from harsh UV rays is not only important for avoiding the pain and redness of a burn but to prevent premature aging and to support your skin’s health, in general. Choose an effective sunscreen for the activities you will be participating in and make sure to use it. Additionally, moisturizer is important throughout the year and the type your skin is craving can vary widely based on different climates. Taking time to apply proper skin care throughout the day can be a mindfulness practice to fully be in the present moment of taking care of your body.

Take a break

Mental wellness is just as important as physical wellness. With a busier social calendar, family vacations, and returning to the workplace on a more traditional schedule, you may feel overwhelmed with the lack of control over your environment and schedule. Your body and mind both need time to unwind to recharge and remain healthy. Take time out to give yourself a "summer break". That means planning time where you can give yourself some much-needed rest, relaxation, and time to decompress. Self-care is important all year, but it’s crucial to take time for yourself during one of the busiest times of the year. Taking a well-deserved break also helps improve your heart health by lowering your heart rate, blood pressure, and stress levels. It also gives you time to refocus and realign your schedule so you have better control over your environment. During your "break", get outside! Exposure to sunlight increases levels of Vitamin D and serotonin, which are known to boost our mood! Even if it is just for a few minutes, take a walk around your neighborhood, a park, or just hang out in your backyard. Spending time outside is a great way to stay physically active while clearing your headspace, which will benefit your overall health. You can also take a trip to the beach, go camping, or take a weekend staycation at a local hotel to get away from everyday life and enjoy some downtime.

One of the best parts of the summer months is the chance to get out and do lots of different activities. Summer is all about relaxing and recharging! Whether you’re having a low-key summer, still busy working this summer, or you plan to spend the season connecting with friends and family, remember to set aside time for the things you love to do. Make an effort to get out and make new memories or take a moment to relax at home. This is your time to focus on the things that make you happy. The perfect time for you to live well and be well. For every moment of your summer, you can take time to sip refreshing purple tea from a bottle of Purpose Tea.