We’re all about letting down our hair when summer comes to town, but we’re also about staying safe, healthy, and making it through the season as relaxed and refreshed as possible. Following a few simple rules will set you straight and free you up to go make lasting memories!
We need about 10 minutes of unprotected daily exposure to the sun to maximise vitamin D absorption. But that’s all, folks!
Protect your peepers
One word: sunglasses. Five words: don’t leave home without them. Keep a spare pair in the car, at your mum’s place, with your girlfriends, in the office – everywhere! Not only do they protect your precious eyes from harmful UV rays, they also turn you into a creature of instant glamour and mystery (results may vary).
Two out of three Australians will be diagnosed with a form of skin cancer before age 70. Monitor old and new moles, freckles or spots for anything out of the ordinary. Look for changes in shape, size, colour or other strange behaviour, and have your GP check your skin at least annually. Visit cancercouncil.com.au for the lowdown.
Break up your break
Don’t over-schedule yourself to the point where you have no downtime. Trying to fit it all in and not miss a thing can be tempting – especially in new, exciting locales – but feeling like you need a holiday to recover from your holiday sort of defeats the purpose of a break.
Party hard, but not so hard it hurts
Certain summer celebrations can lead to ‘alcohol amnesia’, a condition in which we are unable to remember (or care) how many margaritas have been consumed in a given period of time. Prone to happen in festive and carefree atmospheres, it’s a party hazard that often ends up in the ‘seemed-like- a-good-idea-at- the-time’ box.
To avoid negative consequences, remember to break up your tippling with lots of hydrating and alcohol-free drinks (ice-cold water with lemon is perfect). You’ll thank us later!
Put down the camera
Studies have shown people who obsessively document and photograph their every waking moment risk missing out on the enjoyment of the actual moment! So try to be a little more happy and less snap-happy.
Learn to log off
Consider a vacay from social media over the summer hols. Do you really need to Instagram that amazing sunset/crab dinner/bikini bod (what, no bikini bod?!) right now? Ditto live-tweeting, blogging, constantly updating your status or sharing your holiday snaps as-they-happen on Facebook. It can wait! In fact, waiting to share until you come home lets you fondly relive the experience and may help with re-entry to Earth.
Avoid a bellyache
Cold cuts, barbecue, salads and seafood all add up to yummy summer fare, but food that’s consumed outside its optimum temperature can lead to tummy trouble. Thank goodness for refrigerators, ice and eskies! Maximise food safety by watching for cross-contamination of raw and fresh foods during prep, and keep your counters, chopping boards and hands clean.
Handy hint: for a natural relief, ease minor bug bites and stings by placing a slice of raw tomato over the affected area!
Worship the sun from afar
You know that protecting your skin from the sun is one of the most important things you can do for your wellbeing and continued gorgeousness, but a gentle reminder never hurts. So, screen up, even in the shade. Slap it on your face and body, reapplying as needed, and don’t forget the backs of your hands and tops of your feet. Buy new sunscreen every season, as old stuff may not be as effective and manufacturers are always perfecting their formulas. While you’re at it, invest in a sun hat and maybe even a spray tan if you love that sun-kissed look.
Tick it off
While you’re living it up in the great outdoors, watch out for small critters that pack a big punch. Ticks like to hang out in body crevices so check behind ears, backs of knees, groins and scalps. Spray clothes with an insect repellent and wear long pants and sleeves where practical. If you spot a tick, carefully remove it with fine-pointed tweezers. Most tick bites are harmless, but if you notice a rash, swelling, fever, tenderness, increased weakness in limbs or partial facial paralysis, seek urgent medical care.