Summer is the time of year when we can have fun and lighten our load. The days are longer and we seem to have more time to relax and recharge. But where to start? To help you make the most of the longer days while staying safe and healthy, here are 10 wellness tips for summer.

1. Stay hydrated

When the weather gets hot, we need to drink plenty of liquids. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, even if you don’t feel thirty. If you’re not peeing throughout the day, you’re not drinking enough. You’re sweating it out instead. Drink water, fruit juice, unsweetened iced teas and coffee, and eat hydrating fruits like watermelon.

2.Embrace seasonal fruits and vegetables

During the summer months, opt for lighter, easy-to-prepare meals. You can find a list of the foods that are in season each month on my Instagram feed. Fruits and veggies provide vitamins and minerals to give you energy and fight off illnesses. Try hydrating fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, oranges, peaches, and zucchini.

3.Limit your sugar intake

Drink unsweetened iced tea with lemon and no sugar. Or have an iced coffee with unsweetened almond milk and without flavored syrups — not even artificially sweetened syrups. Drink decaf if you can. Learn to taste the real drinks without all the sweetness. Get your sugar intake from the fruits of summer.

4. Cut back on processed foods

This is good advice any time of year. Foods like deli meats, frozen pizzas, and fast food do not provide the kind of nutrition that you need to thrive. Instead of deli meats, try tuna or chicken salad. Frozen pizzas may be cheap and convenient, but they are one of the worst examples of ultra processed foods. Just eat real pizza. Or spread some sauce and cheese on a roll and make a pizza sandwich.

5. Stay in touch with friends and family.

Keep in touch with friends and family, and not just on social media — like wishing someone a happy birthday on Facebook. Really talk to them. Call them on the phone or get together in person. Have an iced latte and catch-up. It will do wonders for your stress levels.

6. Protect your skin

Too much sun can lead to sunburn, skin cancer, and premature aging. Find a good sunscreen that is appropriate for your skin type. I am very fair and I have to wear a high SPF. I need to reapply often when in the sun. Opt for a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.  Even if your skin is darker toned and you tan easily, you still need to wear a sunscreen. Wearing a hat also helps. If you need to be out during the peak heat hours of midday, try to stay in the shade and get inside when you can.

7. Avoid overheating

It can get blisteringly hot out there in the summer. Be mindful of how much time you spend in the heat. Be safe. Wear your sunscreen. Drink plenty of fluids. Limit your time in the sun. Overheating can cause sun stroke or organ damage.

8. Be food safe

In summer we often take food on picnics or eat in our backyards. Be sure to prepare and store food properly. It can spoil quickly in the heat. Bacteria in food can multiply rapidly, and lead to foodborne illnesses.

9. Manage stress

This is important any time of year. We don’t really think of summer as being a stressful time. But traveling and preparing for vacations can cause anxiety. Summer is a great time to let off some steam. Take advantage of time off and spend time with friends and enjoying fun social activities. Get some exercise by swimming or playing sports. Or do my favorite and practice meditation.

10. Get sufficient quality sleep

Studies have shown that sleeping in a cool room can help you sleep better. Air conditioning creates a comfortable atmosphere. If you don’t have A/C, there are some things you can do to help stay cool. Invest in a fan to circulate the air. Wear lightweight pajamas to help keep the body cooler. Add blackout shades to prevent your room from heating up during the day.

Make the most of the warm weather by following my 10 wellness tips for summer. Stay safe out there. Create lasting memories. Have a great summer season.