We’re just about halfway through summer, and chances are you’ve worn yourself out—even though you don’t dare show it. Secret’s safe, playgirls (and boys). But here are a few healthy ways to recoup and reenergize just in case.
Cut Back on the Booze, Hound
If you have even a smidge of a social life, you can find a shindig just about every weekend during the summer—whether it be at your BFF’s barbecue, hanging by the pool at a friend of a friend’s, or dancing the night away at your favorite club. And what’s a party without a few cocktails, right? The problem is that too much of a good thing will start to take its toll on your body—and fast. Not only will the alcohol and resulting hangover make you sluggish, but you’ll interrupt your normal sleep cycle, make poorer food choices, and likely skip the gym. If this scenario sounds familiar, it’s time to cut back on the booze or go cold turkey for a week (I did it for four months; it’s not that hard!)—and find more productive activities in which to engage that don’t involve inebriation.
Replace Go, Go, Go With No, No, No
Along with all those parties, there’s a million other things you probably enjoy during the summer—like exercising outside, taking the dog on adventures, hitting the beach and shopping summer sales—but every now and then, you need to slow down. Life doesn’t have to move a mile a minute from May to September just because it’s warm out. Believe it or not, it’s perfectly acceptable to tell your friends that you won’t be going out for the fourth night in a row. They’ll survive your absence (trust me) and you can enjoy time to yourself catching up on your DVR, reading your magazines, or whatever it is you like to do to unwind when you’re alone. Perv.
Stick to Clean Eating as Best You Can
Personally I find it much harder to eat clean in the summertime than I do the winter because I’m out and about more often. During the winter months, I’m generally nesting at home, and since I cook for myself, I’m able to make healthy choices on a regular basis. Fast-forward to summer, and my eating habits get a bit iffy with more junk food thrown into the mix.
Some of that junk is a result of those poor food choices I mentioned as a result of being hungover, but I also find it hard to resist the burgers, hot dogs and other cookout goodies that are readily available most weekends. Because who wants to eat a boring salad when there’s a bacon cheeseburger calling your name? At some point, however—like when your abs start to fade into one summer gut—you’ve got to put down that bag of potato chips and remind yourself that it’s easier (just not tastier) to get laid on a diet of lean protein and produce. What more motivation do you need?
Turn Off the Electronics and Catch More Zs
Studies show that our addiction to technology and electronic devices are negatively affecting our sleep patterns when we let it. If you’re feeling run down, overwhelmed or like you’re about to implode from social-media overload, turn off your devices for a while. One night won’t kill you, and you can use the disconnect to catch up on some much-needed rest without any pings, whistles or chirps interrupting your nappy time.
Sit Back, Relax and Listen to Soothing Music
This summer has produced a few hot bangers—tracks from The Weeknd, Demi Lovato, Fetty Wap and Silento are among my faves—but one can take only so much bass pounding their face. When the volume turn up too much, flip the switch and find a new, more demure Spotify station. Create a low-key playlist of smooth jazz; classical summer (look it up!); boutique hotel lounge; or the “Most Chilled Songs Ever,” which, based on the title, should mellow you right out.
Schedule a Massage or a Yoga Class
Now that you’ve successfully reduced your alcohol intake, cut the crap food and had a good night’s sleep, it’s time to purge your body of all those toxins you’ve been filling it with over the past several weeks. One perfect feel-good way to do that is with a massage or a yoga class that’ll help the mind and body come together as one. If you go to a halfway decent gym, yoga classes are likely offered, so check the schedule for a session. As for the massage, well, you can go about that however you’d like, though I’ll always recommend a happy ending.
Smiles for everybody—that’s my motto.
Mikey Rox is an award-winning journalist and LGBT lifestyle expert whose work has been published in more than 100 outlets across the world. He splits his time between homes in New York City and the Jersey Shore with his dog Jaxon. Connect with Mikey on Twitter @mikeyrox.