With Labor Day this coming weekend, we hope you’re going on a multi-day vacation or stay-cation to relax, rejuvenate, and spend time with loved ones. Taking some time off is good for the soul and can have some serious physical benefits. In fact, many Americans don’t use all their paid time off – a calamity! You deserve to take that time, and should do so.
When you finally do plan that vacation, it can be difficult to turn off your mind and truly relax. With so much to do prior and post-vaca, it’s hard to turn off the spinning wheels in your mind. It may take multiple days of worrying before you’re able to really chill – and then you only have a few days left!
How can you turn off the stress as soon as possible? Sounds difficult, but with a little practice, it doesn’t have to be. Being truly mindful about enjoying your vacation, and learning to let go of all the stressors that may remain at home, is possible with a bit of extra thought.
Firstly, in preparation for your vacation, get all the absolute most important priorities at work or home out of the way. Don’t save finishing a report or proposal for a casual vacation morning when you don’t have anything planned – if it doesn’t end up getting completed because something spontaneous comes up, you’ll become increasingly stressed.
If you can, make a promise to yourself to not check work emails, or if you have to, check them only every once in a while to ensure that fires aren’t burning. From there, trust in your coworkers to get the job done while you’re away. That’s partly what they’re there for!
Another helpful tip? Avoid social media. While it may be fun to post pictures of your trip, we advise waiting until you get home to do so. Plugging into your social accounts plugs you back into your life at home – a life you’re trying to temporarily take a break from. Logging in can remind you of tasks, people, and places demanding your attention when you get home – so ignore it for the time being.
While you’re away, try not to overdo it on the daily activity planning. If you’re constantly thinking about what’s going to happen next, you won’t actually pay attention to what you’re enjoying in the moment. Make a general plan for a few days, but allow yourself a couple days with zero activities planned to make room for spontaneity.
On that note, use this time to try something new! Studies show that the more lasting memories you make during a certain period, the longer it will seem to you. Wake up early, avoid television, and head off into the great unknown. You won’t regret it.
All in all, making your vacation feel longer than it is all comes down to enjoying the present moment. Be mindful of your enjoyment, relaxation, and ease throughout the vacation to lengthen, strengthen, and make the most of your time away from responsibility.
This time of year is an absolutely beautiful time to exercise outdoors. The sun’s out, there’s no snow on the ground, and the leaves have bloomed in all their fullest glory. The one problem? It can get hot.
When the temperature hits above the nineties, outdoor workouts can feel absolutely sweltering, and many people have a hard time enjoying these sweat sessions. That heat can make your legs feel just a little bit heavier, your heart pump a little bit faster, and your sweat drip a little more intensely. Unless you’re the type who loves hot workouts (like hot yoga, for instance), this weather simply isn’t ideal.
Luckily, there are a few ways to beat the heat while exercising outdoors that will help you enjoy the summer weather in all its glory.
- Start the session off right and lather on sunscreen. When it’s super hot out, chances are the sun is at its peak and the rays are coming down quite strong. Protect your whole body by applying sunscreen to all visible skin. Be sure to grab a sweat-proof sunscreen for effective ray blockage and safety.
- Wear the right clothing. Minimal clothing is best (while still feeling comfortable running outside, of course). Bare skin helps you dry off and cool off more quickly, making you feel less uncomfortable during and post-run. If you’re not as into working out in minimal garb, grab yourself some sweat-wicking tops and shorts to keep you as cool as possible. Loose fitting tops in moisture-wicking material work best.
- Cool down prior to your run. If your body temperature is significantly lower to start off, it will take longer to come up to super hot levels. Prior to your run or outdoor class, go into an air-conditioned space if you have one and take a few deep breaths to soak in the cool temperatures. Alternatively, drink lots of ice water, suck on an ice cube, or down some slush.
- Accept that your performance may change. As you’re exercising in the heat, you may notice that your pace isn’t as fast as you normally run, or you can’t perform as many push-ups as you typically can. In the heat, you’ll need to slow down your pace or shorten your time outdoors to stay safe and ensure that your body temperature doesn’t get too high. Ultimately, it’s most important to listen to your body’s signals – it knows best!
- After your exercise session, cool down with a cold shower to bring your body temperature back to normal. On particularly hot days, it may take longer for your body temperature to lower, which can even make it hard to sleep once you get into bed. Be sure to walk it out after a difficult, hot exercise session, stretch, and cool down with a cold bath or shower.
Exercising in the heat doesn’t have to be terrible. Learn to embrace the hot weather for the rest of the summer – if you live in a seasonal climate like we do, come winter, you’ll be begging for the heat to come back yet again!
Summer technically doesn’t end for another month or so, but we’re already feeling bittersweet about fall’s approach. We’ve spent the summer reveling in the deliciousness that comes along with sweet corn, juicy tomatoes, crisp greens, fresh watermelon radishes, hearty zucchini, and zesty snap peas – and we aren’t yet ready for that to end.
Of course, we can’t forget that fall gives us some amazing produce, too. Sweet corn is substituted by sweet butternut squash; juicy tomatoes find a partner in fall pears; the fresh, crisp properties of greens and radishes are easily translated to scrumptious apples. While it’s always sad to see summer go, we can’t help but be excited for the prospect of these delicious autumnal displays of hearty, mouth-watering flavor.
But for now – we want to make the most of the fresh produce we have at our fingertips during the end of August and early September. Raw eating is at its absolute best during these warm months, when you aren’t searching for steaming soups and roasted vegetables to keep you warm. Rather, summer is a great time to enjoy fruits and vegetables in their purest form: raw.
At the same time, summer produce is super versatile (which is why we love it). Thrown on the grill or into the oven on cooler days, local produce shines with flavorful delight.
To help make the most of all the summer season has to offer, we’ve found some delicious recipes to quench your warm-weather appetite. They span the markets of raw, cooked, and grilled, to help you enjoy all your favorite summer fruits and veggies in a wide variety of ways.
Of course, all these recipes aren’t just filled with flavor – they’re filled with vitamins and minerals that will make your heart (and the rest of your body!) sing with glee. Take advantage of these nutrients while they’re in-season, and give your body the nourishment it deserves.
Enjoy one of these recipes this Labor Day weekend and let us know how much you adore them! Hopefully you’ll be cooking these babies for many summers to come.
- No-Bake Sweet Pea Enchiladas from Love and Lemons
- Creamy Vegan Corn Chowder from Crazy Vegan Kitchen
- Green Goddess Quinoa Summer Salad from Pinch of Yum
- Summer Celebration Tart from My New Roots
- Grilled Peach and Halloumi Skewers with Basil Jalapeño Sauce from Naturally Ella
Autumn is an absolutely beautiful season. With the gorgeous changing leaves ablaze with color, the cooling temperatures, the light breeze, and the consistent sunshine, fall is a time when the world becomes a little bit happier.
We’d like to encourage you to embrace your carefree side this fall. While autumn means the beginning of the school year, perhaps moving to a new home, or prioritizing a bit of extra cleaning for the winter ahead, it doesn’t have to be a stressful time. By staying mindful of the beauty that surrounds you – and doing your best to make the most of it – you can find ways to truly enjoy fall in all its gorgeous glory.
This autumn, let the seasonal road take you where it wants to. Let spontaneous adventures guide your way through fall, never saying no to a date with a friend, casual exploratory walk in the park, or coffee with a stranger. You never know what these adventures might bring.
Enjoy the outdoor beauty that surrounds you with slow walks and cheery excursions. And while you’re at it, ensure that you stay comfortable and carefree in the best way by wearing a great pair of foot-loving flats.
Casual flats are the ultimate fall shoe for their wearability, durability, and the ability to slip them on at a moment’s notice. Earth shoes are some of our favorites. Known for their intensely comfortable footbed, arch support, straps to hold in your feet with ease, and eco-friendly mission, Earth flats are guaranteed to be one of your best companions this fall.
Find your perfect pair today – and let us know how much you adore them! Tag us in your best Instagram photos at @earthbrands.
You deserve to sit back and relax this weekend – particularly with your significant other. Studies show that spending quality time with loved ones can have some serious health benefits, including increased longevity and a lower stress. Not only that, laughing and smiling with your favorite people is seriously relaxing and can set a tone of happiness for the whole week through.
Tonight, spend some beautiful quality time with your significant other and cook a meal together. Creating a meal side by side is a great mechanism for bonding, an inexpensive way to enjoy each other’s company, and can seriously improve your cooking skills. It’s also a blast – not only do you get to cook together, but you get to eat your masterpiece together, too!
Of course, not all of us have the benefit of master chef skills at our disposal. Even if you aren’t the best cook in the world, we promise that cooking together will be a fun way to learn a few extra talents. Instead of trying to create a delicious meal from scratch, however, begin your journey with a recipe. Food bloggers from around the blogosphere have created a wide variety of recipes for you to choose from. Using the internet also allows you to search for recipes that take dietary preferences into account. Whether you and your significant other are vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or simply prefer to eat particular ingredients, chances are there are hundreds of food bloggers out there who have created and tested a recipe that’s perfect for you.
We’ve decided to jumpstart your search by putting together a few healthy, veggie-filled recipes to help you and your partner feel good. They’re all simple, perfect for two, and chock full of vitamins and nutrients to jumpstart your week of healthy eating down the right path. And of course, they’re absolutely delicious!
Try one of these recipes tonight and let us know how your cooking date goes.
Summer isn’t even close to over yet – we still have weeks before the official start of fall. But with school coming back in session in early September (only three weeks!), it’s time to take a look back at your goals for this summer.
How many fun activities did you cross off your list? Did you visit the beaches you wanted to get to? Did you see that play you were dying to watch, or take a trip to the local museum? No matter what was on your summer to-do list, we hope you were able to accomplish at least some (and perhaps the majority!) of your most enjoyable goals.
Still tapping away at those must-dos? Not to fret – there’s still time! Already crossed them all off your list? Add some more fun summertime activities! If you live in a seasonal climate like we do, now is the time to make the most of the warm weather before it departs. So what summer activities can you add to your list that you’ll regret not doing once the cold sets in?
- See a drive-in movie
- Catch fireflies in the backyard, then set them free
- Build a sandcastle
- Go berry picking
- Enjoy company around a campfire
- Make cocktails out of fresh summer fruits (watermelon, berries)
- Grill something new (peaches are delicious!)
- Have a picnic in your local park
- Grab a blanket and see an outdoor concert
- Pick your own bouquet
- Follow the food and take a last-minute road trip to a new restaurant
- Sit on the porch and turn your seashell collection into garland or other décor
- Plant an herb garden
- Do an outdoor volunteer project, like cleaning up a local park
- Train for a half marathon
- Rent a pontoon boat for a day
- Turn off the TV for a whole week/month
- Grill a cocktail
- Make ice cream from scratch
What activities are still hanging out on your summer bucket list? We’d love to hear your ideas!