Northern life is hard
but summer makes it worthwhile
(when your a/c works)
You're welcome to groan. Since I'm better at health care than I am at poetry, here are some summer-related tips to keep your wellness goals in sight while enjoying all the wonderful activities of the season.
- In the north, we appreciate every season, because let's face it, what other choice do we have? One great thing we enjoy about summer is the sheer abundance of delicious, locally grown produce. In the Twin Cities, we are incredibly lucky and can dip our fingers in the bounty at farmers markets open most days of the week. To find a farmers market in your neck of the woods, check out the Minnesota Grown Directory.
- Whether you have fun in the sun or prefer to lay in the shade, protecting your skin from sunburn is important for everyone. When choosing a sunblock, check out the Environmental Working Groups Guide to Sunscreens. Some sunscreens, while blocking cell-damaging UV rays, contain harmful ingredients that are easily absorbed from your skin.
- Mosquitoes are making a slow entrance this year (thank goodness), but will soon be in full force (darn). Did you know that eucalyptus citridora essential oil is as effective as DEET at repelling mosquitoes? Isn't that great: a non-toxic, delicious smelling, plant-made oil actually works at keeping those creeps away?! This oil and others are blended together by Veriditas Botanicals into a Bug Repellent Concentrate available at the Wedge Co-op, Tao Natural Foods, and Mississippi Market Co-op. Dilute this blend with water in a spray bottle and safely douse your kids and yourself to enjoy the great outdoors in peace. And if one of those pesky chompers get through your line of defense, dab a drop of lavender, tea tree and/or peppermint essential oil on the bite for immediate relief.
- As the days get longer and longer, it's easy to put self-care on the back burner. When the sun shines everyday and you don't have to carry 10 extra pounds in the form of layers everywhere you go, you just feel better, right?! Resist the urge to shirk your wellness plan. Keep getting massage and acupuncture, keep going to your fitness classes, and for goodness sake, keep eating vegetables!
Jesse Haas is a co-founder of Wellness Minneapolis, Board Certified Holistic Health Coach, and a Certified Massage Therapist. She is also pursuing a MS in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine. Click here to learn more about Jesse.