With earlier mornings and longer sunny evenings, the warm days of summer give us a chance to rethink our daily routines and maximize the extra daylight we are blessed with. While we might feel like nesting and getting cozy when it’s dark and cold, summer encourages us to maximize our productivity, seize life’s many opportunities, and transform our wellness from the inside out. Below are some of the top wellness routines to try this month. We’ve organized the list from the start of your morning to the end of your day to inspire you as you review your current schedule and think of ways to be healthier, happier, and more energized.

Maximize Your Summer: Healthy Routines to Get More Out of a Long Summer Day

1. Establish Better Sleep Routines

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine notes that many people struggle with sleep problems, and sleep disorders like insomnia, during the darker winter months. That’s in part due to the way the lack of light affects our brain and our hormones, which in turn sabotages our efforts to get enough shut-eye.

Lack of sleep is one of the leading causes of a weaker immune system. One reason is that it’s when you’re asleep that your body produces cytokines. These special proteins in your immune system are important for ensuring your immune system responds appropriately to an infection, so lack of sleep immediately leads to a weaker immunity.

Summer is the perfect time to establish better sleep habits and replenish your energy levels after a period of fatigue. Here’s how:

  • Set a regular bedtime: It’s easy to lose track of time and hit the sack long after you planned. A regularly kept bedtime will train your body and mind to prepare for rest and relaxation.
  • Create a calming evening routine: Don’t go straight from stressful conversations or household chores to your bed. A transition time preps your nervous system for sleep. Example habits you could try include reading a book with some tea, having a warm bath, or dimming the lights and turning on calming music.
  • Turn off distractions and blue lights: An hour or two before your set bedtime, shut off the laptop. Put away your smartphone and gadgets. And eliminate any distractions that might trigger stress or anxious thoughts.

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2. Start Your Summer Morning Right

After a night of great sleep, reconfigure your morning to launch your day forward in a healthy, energized way. Many of us immediately check our work emails or chug some coffee, all of which immediately push our rested nervous system into a state of stress and anxiety. Instead:

  • Wake up and get hydrated with tea or water. You haven’t had anything to drink all night, so your body is already in a state of dehydration. Dehydration is linked with weakened immunity, impaired cognitive performance, and more.
  • Start the day with a gratitude practice, such as mindful reflection on your goals and successes. This grounds you for a busy day and ensures you launch into your morning in a positive, confident mood.
  • Review your to-do list and establish priorities before checking your email, reading your texts, and being inundated with more minor to-do items that could distract you from what’s truly important.

3. Take a Mid-Day Physical Activity Break

Any form of moderate exercise has been shown to re-energize you and fight fatigue, reduce stress, and improve cognitive performance and creativity. This makes the midday lunch break a prime time to go for a walk, hit the gym, or even do some office chair workouts. It’ll clear your mind and oxygenate your body, so you can return to your day revitalized. In contrast, many people turn to a mid-day coffee which might give you a boost, but also leads to adrenal fatigue and an afternoon “crash.”

4. Eat a Complex Carbohydrate-Rich Dinner

Studies have shown that meals that are high in protein or fat can disrupt your sleep, in part by making your body less sensitive to the brain chemical orexin. According to John Hopkins Medicine, orexin is fundamental for maintaining a proper biological sleep clock.

“High-protein foods…can also disrupt sleep because they take a long time to break down, which is a problem at bedtime since your digestion slows by up to 50 percent when you sleep,” warns the university. “Also avoid aged or processed cheeses, salami and pepperoni: They contain tyramine, which triggers the release of norepinephrine, which may stimulate the brain.”

Instead, the experts at John Hopkins recommend an evening supper that’s focused on complex carbohydrates. When we eat these foods, they help our brains to produce the sleep chemical known as serotonin.


  • https://aasm.org/aasm-sleep-problems-and-depression-are-common-signs-of-seasonal-affective-disorder/
  • https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/expert-answers/lack-of-sleep/faq-20057757
  • https://ssihi.uci.edu/tip/hydration-for-immune-system/
  • https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition/article/mild-dehydration-impairs-cognitive-performance-and-mood-of-men/3388AB36B8DF73E844C9AD19271A75BF
  • https://www.health.harvard.edu/exercise-and-fitness/does-exercise-really-boost-energy-levels
  • https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/better-sleep-3-simple-diet-tweaks