Here are three simple ways to take care of your mind, body, and emotional state this summer.
Written By: Emma White Montalvo, Freelance Writer and Friend of McCann Family Chiropractic
Taking Care of Your Body: Sun Protection
It's summertime now, which means the Seattle sun finally makes its yearly appearance! You and your family can relax together by taking nature walks, playing your favorite sports in the backyard, and maybe even visit a lovely local beachfront such as Kayak Point, Jetty Island, or Golden Gardens. Fresh air and sunshine have such a special way to help us reset. Remember though, while you're taking deep breaths and sinking your toes in the grass, it's imperative you protect your skin from the sun! Why?
Protecting your skin from the harmful rays of the sun is important to your health! Too much sun exposure can lead to health issues ranging from painful sunburn to various skin cancers. According to the CDC, even just 15 minutes of sun exposure can lead to skin damage from Ultraviolet Radiation. The sun produces 3 different types of radiation, though only two reach Earth. These are known as UVA and UVB. UVA penetrates our skin deeply and is what is responsible for aging skin and loss of elasticity. UVB is what causes sunburn and most skin cancers.
One important factor to consider when choosing a sunscreen is the Sun Protection Factor (SPF). The higher the SPF rating, the more protection against harmful UVB rays. Sunscreen should typically be SPF 30 or higher. Reapply frequently, particularly if playing in the water or sweating.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has a great sunscreen guide that it produces each year. They rate sunscreens based on toxicity, and we recommend you stick with a sunscreen rated 1 or 2. Their sunscreen guide goes over the best, and worst, ingredients and has great tips for staying healthy in the summer months. You can read the 2020 report here: https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/
Our self-care suggestion to you: Plan wisely when playing in the sun. When choosing a sunscreen, pay attention to the SPF count AND look for a low rating from EWG.
Taking Care of Your Emotions: Step Back from Social Media
I'm going to let you in on a life-changing secret: Unplug yourself from social media and you'll inevitably unwind.
There is a constant barrage of useless information and toxic negativity on the internet. Social media, while when used carefully is a great way to communicate with loved ones, is more often-than-not an echo chamber of angry opinions, body shaming, "you're not good enough" messaging, and drama. All that distressing media messaging is subconsciously tearing us down and stressing us out with all the mixed signaling of what society tells us we should be and what to think. There have been conclusive scientific studies that have found social media usage is a cause of increased depression and feelings of loneliness.
Taking care of your Mind: Sleeping Well
The sun may be up more but that doesn't mean that you should sleep less! Catching enough uninterrupted sleep is critical to healthy brain function. Did you know that 1 in 3 adults in America get less sleep than needed? It takes 7-8 hours a night on average for an adult brain to fully be rested. Getting enough sleep is a simple act that has far-reaching health benefits. According to the CDC, through healthy sleep habits you lower your risk of physical diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular distress, stroke, and obesity.
On top of the physical benefits, there are plenty of mental health benefits too! Enough sleep can lessen the intensity of mental disorders such as anxiety and depression, balance your production of hormones, aid in emotional regulation, and maintain the efficiency of your brain's neurotransmitters. You will literally think more clearly (and faster!).
Our self-care suggestion to you: Make sleep a priority this summer! Changing your mindset about the importance of sleep is a simple way to integrate better (and longer) sleep into your schedule.
We hope these three suggestions help you as you take the time to do some self-care this summer! We look forward to seeing your bright (hopefully not sunburned) and smiling faces at the office during your next chiropractic adjustment with Dr. Matt! If you haven't yet scheduled an appointment, give us a call at: (360) 657-7183!
Dr. Matt McCann
Owner and Chiropractor at McCann Family Chiropractic. Walking this journey of life with you, on our path to wellness!
11605 State Avenue, Suite 111
Marysville, WA 98271
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