Dr. Ehrler’s Summertime Routine
TO be honest, it’s less of a routine and more of a flow
Summer, for me, is the ultimate time to relax. My business slows down (no one goes to the doctor in the summer!), my commitments lighten, and for one season per year I can truly just flow, or float through the 12 or so weeks. Each day is structured relatively loosely, intentionally so, so sporadic plans can develop, or, nothingness can fill the day, which to me, is such strong medicine.
With this flowy, roll-with-it mood that summer brings, below I share 5 components of my routine that only go into effect during the summer months:
Sleep, Sleep, Sleep
Although I try to make sleep a top priority year-round, with the busier seasons of my business and life sometimes that just isn’t possible. Therefore, in slower months such as summer, I really try to healthfully indulge my sleep experience. Meaning, my bedtime routine kicks in once the sun sets, and I am in bed asleep by 10pm at the latest. This allows me to wake up with the first sun rise feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. For those who are interested in learning more about the importance of sleep (things like how it stabilizes your mood, balances your hormones, and more) please check out the “Sleep” section of the Foundations of Health!
2. COld drinks, and lots of them
I am a broken record when it comes to singing the praises of adequate hydration. I know. But I really love exploring new concoctions and elixirs this time of year to keep my fluid intake not only interesting, but highly medicinal. Some of my favorites this time of year include the infused water recipes listed in the “Summer Nourishment” section, Topo Chico Grapefruit Mineral Water (to die for!), iced mushrooms lattes, and brewing my homemade Jun (an alternative to Kombucha) and bottling it with sweet summertime berries, ginger, and rose.
3. Intermittent Fasting
I’ve discussed intermittent fasting in the “Nutrition” section of the Foundations of Health, and I am rather indifferent towards the practice. For some it is incredible and works well with their system, for others it does not. Again, you have to figure out what works well for your bio-individuality and not follow trends. However, my body naturally practices a loose version of intermittent fasting during the summer months. We have dinner a little earlier, around 6:30pm or 7pm, and as the sun is setting the bedtime routine kicks in and food is no longer eaten. When I rise in the morning I do not feel hungry until around 10am the next day, so I’m getting about 15-16 hours of fasting time, naturally. This is not usually the case for me in the colder months, as a hot bowl of stew with an egg at breakfast is one of the keys to starting my days in Autumn and Winter.
4. Salt water plunges
The beach is the ultimate summertime magic. The UV rays (in moderation) are incredible for our health (due to kickstarting vitamin D synthesis and hormone regulation), the fresh air enlivens our spirits, and the “no worries” beach culture melts away our stress. But it’s the power of the ocean that delivers the ultimate medicine. Salt water is loaded with minerals that our bodies absorb when we swim in the ocean. Calcium, magnesium, potassium, and more penetrate our skin, deeply nourishing our bodies. Salt also acts as a powerful detoxifier, and the ocean is rich in negative ions which is fantastic for our mind, body, and spirit.
5. time to play
Checking things off my summer bucket list, playing with my son, doing nothing and everything all day… summer is all about playing. I make sure that if not daily, at least a couple times per week, I do something FUN! Hanging with friends, going on an adventure, laying under a tree and reading. Think about being a kid and summer vacation was all about how many fun things you could cram in before school started back up. It should be the same for adults too!