Didn’t it feel like the winter was never going to end this year? It didn’t help that the news was an endless stream of grim tidings, with constant worry about energy bills and supermarket food shortages. Then there was the weather, with unexpected deep freezes and snowstorms arriving just as most people were getting ready to start pulling out their spring clothes. But it’s good news for everyone who has been craving the sunshine, because the summer is finally here, more, or less. Well, it’s still the UK, so it’s as summer as we ever get it!

Things always seem a lot more manageable in the summer. Longer days, better weather… it finally feels like you can start stepping out of your shell and making good on those promises to start taking better care of your bodies and minds. New Year’s Resolutions are all well and good, but if you really want to make changes, then the end of spring is where it’s at. It’s hardly fair but as we get older, the list of things we should be giving up or taking up gets longer and longer.

Eat Less Meat

Vegetarianism and veganism have been absolutely booming recently. People were giving up meat for a month in the same way that they give up alcohol for Dry January. That’s maybe not surprising given that meat has been commonly cited as one of the biggest factors behind our individual carbon footprints. It’s no secret that everyone needs to be doing their bit for the environment too. Going veggie (or vegan!) is a great way to start.

But it’s also a very good thing to do for your health. As much as many people would wish it weren’t the case, red meat has been linked to a laundry list of health issues. Those include some of the most serious out there like heart disease and high blood pressure. Even if you aren’t ready to give up meat completely, cutting down on the amount that you are eating will have a very positive impact.

Drink Less Alcohol

While we’re on the subject of dietary choices that can impact your health when was the last time you thought about your alcohol drinking? There’s always been a cliché about how much people in the UK like to drink, but the numbers back it up. Given the horrendous global events of the last few years, it’s hardly surprising to learn that there has been an increase in people who are dependent on alcohol. But even if you don’t think of yourself as having a drinking problem, it can be very easy for a habit to form. If you can’t remember the last time you had a night without a glass of wine or a beer, you might need to have a serious think about how this could be affecting your health.

There are so many good reasons to start cutting back. Booze has a lot of empty calories, so if you’re trying to lose weight for the summer this is a great place to start. It is also a depressant. So, if you have been having a drink to help with anxiety or stress, you might find that it is having the opposite effect to what you intended. It’s also expensive, and everyone is trying to watch their budgets at the moment. The good news for people wanting to quit or cut back is that there’s a much better range of alcohol-free beers, wines, and spirits on the market now, and a lot of them are actually tasty. Start by trying a day of no drinking a week and see how you get on.

Quit Smoking Cigarettes

When it comes to the most important that you should give up, cigarettes are not just up there. They’re at the top of the list. You’ll almost certainly know about cancer risks, but the sheer number of illnesses and conditions that smoking is connected to is staggering. Of course, if it was that easy to quit, you’d have done it already. It’s so easy to tell yourself that you’ll quit tomorrow, or next week. But you need to quit as soon as possible, there’s just no sugar-coating it. There are a lot of different options for people who are trying to quit, and many former smokers have decided to go with vaping.

Vape pens are widely available, and there are a lot of different flavours to choose from, including mint and fruit flavours and even tobacco. Disposable vapes are an option if you are not quite sure where to start, and it’s worth remembering that you don’t have to choose a vape fluid that contains nicotine if you are trying to quit that too. If you’re wondering “what is the best vaping starter kit?” head over to Grey Haze. They have blogs to help you figure out which vape pen is right for you, and they offer dispatch and delivery seven days a week.

Get Into An Exercise Routine

A lot of people will put being fitter and slimmer for summer on their list of goals for the year. In fact, a lot of people have it on their list in January, but the British winter has a way of keeping most of us going back to our comfort foods and cosy blankets until the start of summer.

If you want to get into an exercise routine that you can stick to, try not to take on too much too quickly. If you set your sights too high, you run the risk of discouraging yourself and not wanting to carry on. So, set yourself some achievable goals and think about what you actually have time in the day for. If you only have a half-hour slot before or after work, that’s fine! Keeping a routine is the important thing. And think about what kind of exercise you actually enjoy doing. Don’t punish yourself by putting yourself through a regimen that you hate.

Talk About How You Are Doing

Most people know that there’s more that you could be doing for your mental health. But a lot of people find that it can inch its way down the to-do list. Everyone has a different idea about what self-care means exactly. The fact is that all of the points listed above fall under that umbrella. But one of the best things that you can do for yourself is to simply talk about how you’re feeling.

We all get over-stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed. It’s hard not to when things are so crazy and difficult in the world. And when you’re feeling that way, there can be a little voice inside that tells you to just be quiet and get on with it. But bottled-up feelings have a nasty way of getting out there one way or another, and you can save yourself a lot of tough times if you just communicate. Talk to your partner if you need some extra help with the household responsibilities. Tell people you love if you need some extra support. And think about talking to your GP or a therapist if you are really finding it hard. There is always someone there to listen.