Embrace the Summer: How to Be Happier and Healthier with 180 Healthcare

Embrace the Summer: How to Be Happier and Healthier with 180 Healthcare

As summer approaches, the days grow longer, the sun shines brighter, and the world seems to come alive with possibilities. It’s a season that naturally lends itself to feelings of joy and well-being. But how can you make the most of this vibrant time of year to enhance your happiness and health? Here are some tips on how to be happier this summer, with a little help from 180 Healthcare.

1. Soak Up the Sun

One of the simplest ways to boost your mood is to spend time in the sunshine. Sunlight increases the production of serotonin, a hormone associated with mood enhancement. Just 15-20 minutes of sunlight a day can make a significant difference. Remember, while you’re out soaking up those rays, always protect your skin with a good sunscreen.

The Science Behind Sunlight and Happiness

Exposure to sunlight helps regulate the body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that influences sleep patterns. Better sleep can lead to improved mood and cognitive function, making you feel more alert and happy during the day. 

Sunlight also stimulates the production of vitamin D, which is crucial for bone health and immune function. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to depression, so getting adequate sunlight can have a profound impact on your mental health.

Practical Tips for Sun Exposure

Morning Sunshine: Try to get outside in the morning. Early sunlight is less intense, reducing the risk of sunburn, and it can help set your body’s internal clock for better sleep at night.

Breaks in the Sun: If you work indoors, take short breaks to step outside. Even a few minutes can lift your spirits.

Outdoor Activities: Plan outdoor activities like walking, gardening, or dining al fresco (in the open air) to naturally increase your sun exposure.

2. Get Moving Outdoors

Physical activity is a well-known mood booster. Exercise releases endorphins, which can help you feel happier and more relaxed. Summer is the perfect time to take your workouts outside. Whether it’s jogging in the park, cycling through the countryside, or practicing yoga on the beach, outdoor exercise can make your routine feel less like a chore and more like an adventure.

Benefits of Outdoor Exercise

Exercising outdoors offers unique benefits compared to indoor workouts. The natural environment can reduce feelings of tension, anger, and depression. Additionally, outdoor workouts can be more engaging and less monotonous due to the changing scenery and fresh air.

Ideas for Outdoor Workouts

Running and Walking: Explore local parks or trails. Changing your running route can keep things interesting and challenging.

Cycling: Take a bike ride through scenic areas. It’s a great way to cover more ground and enjoy different views.

Water Sports: Swimming, paddleboarding, fishing, or kayaking are excellent ways to get a full-body workout while staying cool.

Group Activities: Join a local sports league or outdoor fitness class to combine exercise with socializing.

Hiking and Rock Climbing: Hiking is a fantastic way to enjoy nature while getting a cardiovascular workout. Seek out local trails of varying difficulty levels to challenge yourself. Rock climbing, whether on natural rock formations or climbing walls, builds strength, endurance, and mental focus. Both activities offer a sense of adventure and achievement, contributing to a happier, healthier you.

3. Connect with Nature

Spending time in nature has been shown to reduce stress, improve mood, and increase overall happiness. So, when asking questions like, “how to be happier,” look to nature. Take advantage of the warm weather to explore local trails, have a picnic in the park, or simply sit under a tree with a good book. Nature’s beauty and tranquility can be incredibly rejuvenating.

The Psychological Impact of Nature

Nature therapy, also known as ecotherapy, emphasizes the healing benefits of spending time in natural settings. Studies have found that nature can lower cortisol levels (a stress hormone), enhance mood, and even improve cognitive function. Engaging with nature can provide a sense of awe and wonder, which contributes to a deeper sense of well-being.

Ways to Incorporate Nature into Your Routine

Regular Walks: Make a habit of taking daily walks in a nearby park or natural area.

Nature-Based Hobbies: Gardening, bird watching, camping, fishing, or stargazing can be fulfilling activities that connect you with nature.

Outdoor Retreats: Plan occasional trips to more secluded natural areas like mountains, forests, or beaches to immerse yourself fully in nature’s splendor.

4. Eat Fresh and Healthy

Summer brings a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Incorporating seasonal produce into your diet can improve your nutrition and energy levels, which in turn can enhance your mood. Wondering how to be happier? Eat more fruits and veggies this summer. Enjoying a colorful salad, a refreshing smoothie, or a juicy watermelon can be a delicious way to feel happier and healthier.

Nutritional Benefits of Seasonal Produce

Eating seasonally ensures that you consume fruits and vegetables at their peak freshness and nutritional value. Summer produce like berries, tomatoes, cucumbers, and leafy greens are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support overall health.

Creative Ways to Enjoy Summer Produce

Salads: Combine a variety of colorful vegetables and fruits to create refreshing salads. Add nuts, seeds, and lean proteins for a balanced meal.

Smoothies: Blend fresh fruits with yogurt, milk, or a plant-based alternative for a nutritious and tasty drink. You can even add protein powder to go along with your new summer workouts!

Grilled Veggies: Summer is perfect for grilling. Try grilling vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, and corn for a healthy side dish.

Fruit Desserts: Enjoy naturally sweet desserts by making fruit salads, popsicles, or lightly grilling fruits like peaches and pineapple.

5. Stay Hydrated

Proper hydration is crucial for maintaining your health and happiness. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and mood swings. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially when you’re spending time outdoors in the heat. Infusing your water with fresh fruits like lemons, limes, or berries can make it more enjoyable and refreshing.

Importance of Hydration

Water is essential for nearly every bodily function, including temperature regulation, joint lubrication, and nutrient transport. Even mild dehydration can impair mood, memory, and brain performance.

Tips for Staying Hydrated

Water Intake: Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water a day, more if you are active or spending time in the sun.

Infused Water: Add slices of lemon, cucumber, mint, or berries to your water for a refreshing twist.

Hydrating Foods: Include water-rich foods in your diet, such as watermelon, cucumbers, and oranges.

Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to signs of dehydration, such as dry mouth, headaches, or dark urine. Drink water regularly throughout the day, even if you don’t feel thirsty, to maintain optimal hydration levels.

6. Engage in Social Activities

Summer is a great time to connect with friends and family. Social interactions can significantly impact your happiness. Plan a barbecue, organize a beach day, or simply catch up over a cup of iced tea. Building strong social bonds can help you feel more connected and supported. 

Summer also offers several social holidays such as Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day, providing several opportunities to plan that perfect outdoor get together. 

The Role of Social Connections in Happiness

Humans are inherently social beings. Social interactions can boost feelings of belonging and reduce feelings of loneliness. Positive relationships contribute to a sense of purpose and overall happiness.

Ideas for Social Summer Activities

Outdoor Gatherings: Host barbecues, picnics, or garden parties to bring people together in a relaxed setting.

Community Events: Attend local festivals, farmers markets, or outdoor concerts to meet new people and enjoy communal activities.

Active Socializing: Participate in group sports, hiking clubs, or dance classes to combine physical activity with socializing.

7. Prioritize Mental Health

This may seem obvious when considering how to be happier, but taking care of your mental health is just as important as physical health. Practice mindfulness, journaling, or another type of affordable self care to keep your mind clear and focused. Sometimes, talking to a mental health professional can provide valuable insights and coping strategies.

The Benefits of Mindfulness and Gratitude

Mindfulness and gratitude practices can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. They encourage a focus on the present moment, helping to manage negative thoughts and emotions. Regular practice can improve emotional regulation and overall mental clarity.

Incorporating Mindfulness into Daily Life

Daily Practice: Set aside time each day for reflection and mindfulness exercises. Even 5-10 minutes can make a difference.

Mindful Activities: Engage in activities mindfully by paying full attention to the present moment, whether it’s eating, walking, or doing household chores.

Journaling: Writing about your thoughts and experiences can be a powerful tool for reflection and emotional processing.

How 180 Healthcare Can Help You Be Happier

At 180 Healthcare, we believe that true happiness comes from a combination of good health and well-being. Our healthcare subscription services are designed to support you in every aspect of your health journey. Here’s how we can help you achieve your happiest self:

Unlimited 24/7 Primary Care Doctors With No Copay & No Deductible

Having access to primary care doctors anytime, without the worry of copays or deductibles, means you can address health concerns promptly and maintain your well-being without financial stress. Regular check-ups and prompt medical attention can prevent health issues from escalating, allowing you to enjoy life with peace of mind.

Mental Health & Substance Counseling

Mental well-being is crucial for happiness. We offer up to $3,000 per year reimbursed for mental health services and substance counseling, allowing you to see any provider and receive the support you need. Effective mental health care can help you manage stress, anxiety, and depression, leading to a more balanced and happier life.

Discounted Labs & Imaging

Routine and preventive care often involve lab tests and imaging. With 180 Healthcare, you receive these services at a discounted rate, making it easier to stay on top of your health without breaking the bank. Early detection and prevention of health issues contribute to long-term well-being and peace of mind.

Discounted Dental, Vision, Chiropractic & Physical Therapy

Your overall health includes dental, vision, and musculoskeletal care. We provide discounts on these essential services, ensuring comprehensive care for your body from head to toe. Good dental health can enhance your confidence and overall happiness, while proper vision care ensures you can fully enjoy life’s experiences. Chiropractic and physical therapy support physical comfort and mobility, helping you stay active and pain-free.

24/7 Gym Access

Physical fitness is a key component of happiness. With 24/7 gym access, you can work out at your convenience, helping you stay active and energized. Regular exercise releases endorphins, the body’s natural mood lifters, which can significantly boost your happiness and reduce stress.

Through Our Partnership with Health Access Solutions

We’ve partnered with Health Access Solutions to offer even more comprehensive benefits, including:

In-Person Wellness Doctor Visits

Maintain continuity with your trusted healthcare provider with up to three reimbursed visits per year. This ensures you receive personalized, face-to-face care when you need it. Personalized care can lead to better health outcomes and a stronger patient-provider relationship, contributing to overall well-being.

Preventive Care

We cover preventive care services, including lab tests, mammograms, colonoscopies, and more, up to $4,500 per year. This proactive approach helps you catch potential health issues early, promoting long-term well-being and reducing anxiety about your health.

Nutritional Health

Receive up to $500 per year for nutritional counseling, meal planning, and weight loss support, providing you with the resources to make informed dietary choices that enhance your overall health. Proper nutrition fuels your body and mind, contributing to better energy levels and a positive outlook.

Tobacco Cessation

Quit smoking with up to $500 reimbursed for tobacco cessation programs. This support can significantly improve your health and quality of life. Quitting smoking leads to better lung health, improved circulation, and a lower risk of chronic diseases, which can greatly enhance your overall sense of well-being and happiness.

Conclusion: How to Be Happier

As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, take this opportunity to focus on how to be happier. By incorporating outdoor activities, healthy eating, social connections, and self-care into your routine, you can enhance your happiness and well-being. And with the support of 180 Healthcare, you have all the tools you need to be your healthiest, happiest self this summer. Embrace the season, enjoy the sunshine, and take steps towards a happier you today!