Some of us have been waiting for it-this is the month for the longest daylight of the year, the 21st, a welcome antidote for the short, dark days of winter, when we go to work in the dark and it’s already dark before we leave. Cheer up. It’s six months before we have to deal with that again.
Now is that time when it seems we have a few hours left to do things even after the workday is done. More time to eat outside, sip summer beverages, watch the sunset over the mountains, and just play in what feels like a gift extension of the day.
If you’ve ever wanted to launch a get-healthier, self-care emphasis, this is one of the best times to follow through. Here is a starter list of some suggestions to consider:
- Head for the park. Walk there if you can to benefit your exercise routine. Take a frisbie, the kids, or just yourself. Breathe the fresh air and savor the time.
- Check out the summer free concerts. (Your tax dollars at work). Almost every city or county has at least a few. Same for some restaurants and bars. Nothing like Colorado evenings with great music and friends. (Also walk there if you can. Your heart will thank you).
- BBQs with friends. Good eats. Good socializing. You’ve worked hard. Now enjoy. Often, very good for your mental health.
- Go to the “beach.” I know, we don’t really have the beach here, but both Cherry Creek Reservoir and Chatfield at least help simulate a bit of that. If you buy a season pass, it’s less expensive than repeated individual admissions, and you and your family can enjoy the experience all you want for the rest of the year.
- Go to the pool. Swim. Great exercise, fun, and relaxation. Or take the kids to the waterpark. Just be careful of sun overexposure.
- Pump up your natural vitamin D. It comes from the sun, and helps a number of human systems function better. Of course the caution is to limit your exposure to just a few minutes a day. Don’t overdo. Moderation, moderation, moderation.
- Visit a farmers market. Farmers markets are cropping up all over right now. Lots of organically grown fruits and veggies for your health, and just a fun excursion for the family to browse.
- Getting out in nature – Camping, hiking, walking. Jefferson County has one of the largest open space park programs (extending well up into the foothills) of any place in the USA. It’s free. Take advantage of it. And, of course, we have lots and lots of mountains and trails, but you know that.
- Take Yourself Out to the Ball Game. Professional sports-from baseball to lacrosse to soccer and more. A great outing during the day or evenings.
We’ve all heard how much physical and mental health are connected. This time of year, we have fewer excuses not to practice what we always preach. Get your family together and make it three months of enjoyment.