There’s something magical about summer that lifts spirits, boosts motivation levels, and generally makes everything seem happier. For many of us, it means spending more time outdoors, topping up our minds, bodies and souls with a good dose of nature, fresh air and sunshine.
Yet ‘summer dread’ can crop up too. If your countdown to June is spent fretting over the thought of having to bare more flesh or cope with the intensified social pressures (‘why does everybody else has an endless stream of invites to BBQs, picnics and parties, and I’m watching Big Bang Theory re-runs again?’), you’re not alone.
Four experts have given us their advice on how to feel refreshed, revived and ready for the sunny season ahead.
1. Clear out your house/room
Lucy Paltnoi, energy healer and guide says: “Each year, I clear the winter energy out of our home. I go through every room and decide what stays, goes or needs to be repaired, and store away blankets, jumpers, coats and boots, and take out lighter layers, T-shirts, cardigans and jackets.
“Cupboards are cleaned and tidied. It’s especially important to restore or replace broken items, dying flowers and plants, and to make sure things are generally in a good condition.
“These steps address chores on my to-do list, clear out stagnant vibes and allow the energy in our home to flow freely again. They demonstrate to the universe our appreciation for the environment around us, attracting more good things into our lives. I finish with some vases of fresh flowers or plants and light some candles, inviting new, sparkly energy into our home for the year ahead.”
2. Give your fridge a make over
Sioned Quirke, NHS and media dietician, says: ”I like to have a serious fridge clear out! I usually find several items that have been sitting there for a while that I won’t use again, or may have passed the recommended storage time – especially sauces and conserves.
“I give my fridge a good clean too and I find using antibacterial wipes so easy and quick – makes it less of a chore!”
3. Make small changes
Anna Magee, women’s health expert and editor, says: ”I’m a huge fan of small changes that I don’t really notice, so this time of year, I give the house a ‘skinny makeover’.
“The average person makes a staggering 200 food decisions a day, according to research by Cornell University, so I change a few things about the way we eat to subliminally increase my willpower. These include drinking out of tall glasses [proven to lead to drinking less], covering healthy leftovers in cling-film so I can see them, and Sunday’s chocolate cake remainders in foil so I can’t.
“Lastly, I put my running shoes by my bed and my kit on the radiator, so they’re within eye shot as soon as I wake up. I need to intercept that moment between opening my eyes and deciding that working-out is a bad idea, by being able to see my gym kit the moment I wake up! It also primes me to think about the goal I have set of being confident on the beach come August, and reminds me that my bikini body won’t make itself!”
4. Detox your mind and body
Sally Wisbey, Spatone nutritionist, says: ”Spring has to be my favourite season; lighter evenings, warmer weather, sunshine and flowers bursting into life. It’s also a great time to detox your mind, body and home and make some changes for the summer months ahead.
“Take a walk in the sunshine in the park or woods and admire the beauty around – daffodils blooming and birds singing. I also love nothing more than having flowers around my house, especially daffodils – they really do make you smile.
“Starting off the day with a glass of warm water with the juice of one lemon will help cleanse the liver and aid with detoxification. Too much dairy, gluten, sugar and processed foods can be inflammatory and hard to digest, leaving you sluggish and tired, so cut back on these.
“Introduce green juices into your life; bursting with nutrients, these will give you tonnes of energy, get your skin glowing and keep your brain smart. Juice an apple, handful of spinach and kale, stick of celery, half a cucumber, chunk of ginger and the juice of half a lemon.
“Finally – get up to date on admin! Once it’s done, you will feel satisfied knowing you no longer have an over-flowing ‘to-do’ list hanging over you.”