No matter where you are, you can celebrate summer like the Swiss. You’ll need a positive attitude, a penchant for the good life, and persistence to make it possible. Taking our cues from the Swiss way of life, we explore how summertime in Switzerland can be your inspiration all year long.
In our book, Wake-Up Shake-Up Thrive, we emphasize five essential Dimensions of Well-Being: Physical, Emotional, Spiritual, Financial, and Intellectual health are all interconnected, and when we enjoy the summertime in Switzerland, the benefits are unrivaled!
The apex of summer is Swiss National Day on August 1st. We want to celebrate it- and all our summertime Swiss joy- with you. Let’s explore the connection between each dimension of well-being to achieve the same benefits – no matter where you live.
The Physical Dimension
What we eat, how we move, and how we recharge will influence the years in our life and the life in our years.
Savor every delicious bite
The Swiss prefer to have schedules for mealtimes and avoid grazing. Because there are set mealtimes, we eat slower and more mindfully. Summer, here and likely where you are, too, is the best time for berries. They’re rich in antioxidants (anti-age) and are thought to reduce the risk of certain diseases.
Hike, Walk and Track to Stay the Course!
44% of the Swiss are active hikers with access to 41,135 miles of walking trails – enough to hike around the world one and a half times if trails were laid end-to-end! Does hiking feel too ambitious? Go for a walk instead- it’s the most underrated form of exercise there is.
Tip 1: An activity tracker shows if you’re making strides over time. Aim for 70-80% of your heart rate to get the most benefit! Activity tracking holds you accountable, and you can try to “best” a previous day’s step count. And what better time to get in some outdoor activities than when the days are longest and most pleasant?
The Emotional Dimension
Our emotional health is an extension of our mental health and includes all the thoughts and feelings running through our heads at all times. Let’s look at how the Swiss seek emotional well-being through the following indulgences.
The Swiss love thermal baths to hydrate the skin, reduce inflammation, and balance skin bacteria, but the water also has a magical effect on your mental and emotional state.
Tip 2: Take advantage of the extra time off this summer to take a trip to a water-centric location or incorporate regular baths to take full advantage of the positive, restful effects of water on – and in – your body.
The Swiss are renowned for producing chocolate with the best available highest-quality ingredients. With several times more antioxidants than green tea or red wine, dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels, brain function, and how your body deals with insulin.
While chocolate has physical benefits, did you know that it also has positive emotional effects? Chocolate is rich in carbohydrates, which increase the rate at which tryptophan- an amino acid directly tied to restfulness- enters the brain. This increases the level of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates moods, creating an all-around more peaceful feeling.
Tip 3: Savor chocolate slowly and in small quantities, which is easier when it is high quality and high-priced! (And don’t forget, Swiss products are renowned for their quality and chocolate is no exception!)
The Spiritual Dimension
Find your spiritual connection to nature in everyday life. There is no better way to forget your day-to-day troubles than shaking up your surroundings. Science shows you feel more alive in nature. And there’s no better time than summer to immerse yourself in the beauty of Mother Nature.
The Swiss find spiritual wellness through celebrating events (hello, summer weddings!), as well as adventuring in the oxygen-rich nearby Alps.
Tip 4: Even if you don’t have the Alps nearby, you can still prioritize getting outdoors. Eat a meal in your back yard, work in the garden or visit a local park. Just remember to leave your cell phone at home!
The Intellectual Dimension
When was the last time you learned something completely new? Strived to be the best at something? There’s a phrase, “Keep time like a Swiss watch,” because the Swiss know all about diving into a subject until every nook and cranny of knowledge is explored. Today’s Swiss-made watches keep time to within a second in a century. It’s no wonder watch sales are 1.5% of the country’s GDP!
Tip 5: Be inspired by innovation and escape the summer heat inside a cool air-conditioned museum. In addition to showcasing inventions, many museums are architectural marvels in and of themselves.
The Financial Dimension
Although the cost of living is high relative to other countries, the Swiss manage to save 19% of their total income (whereas the EU average is 15%). The reason? To enjoy the freedom that financial clarity can bring to the table.
If you strive for financial wellness, your reward is a life with less worry where your resources (time and money) align with what is truly important to you. For example, if you value experiences and travel, you would track your spending and set aside money specifically for excursions and not waste it on frivolous purchases, right?
Like the other dimensions, financial well-being is more readily achieved when you know the full picture of your finances. You can only really understand it if you keep track of your spending and saving like the Swiss.
Tip 6: You won’t have to keep such a keen eye on your summer budget if you do as the Swiss do and hike to take advantage of the summer weather! Other than proper footwear, it is usually free to explore your local outdoors, and you can pack in fresh baked bread, cheese and sliced meats (like the Swiss) for an inexpensive day trip!
Your Swiss Summertime Challenge
How many of our Swiss-inspired suggestions can you take on this summer? This year? Bringing the ease and mindfulness of the Swiss lifestyle throughout your year will provide so many benefits to your health and well-being!
Did You Know?
In Switzerland, mountain scooters are a popular alternative to hiking. Find your inner child while cruising on a “trottis,” aka a scooter run. A “Trottinette” or “Trotti Bike” typically has two thin wheels while a “Monster” bike has knobby oversized tires.
Switzerland allows dogs to accompany you almost everywhere. However, different cantons (think towns) charge a tax depending on the size and weight of your dog. Dog owners are also responsible by law for making sure their dogs are able to exercise, have daily contact with humans, and get microchipped by a vet.
Switzerland has a chocolate and cheese train ride. Your ticket takes you from Montreux to Montbovon, with a bus transfer to Montbovon then back onto a train from Gruyères to Broc and back to Montreux. You’ll travel first class in 1915 Pullman cars with stops for chocolate and cheese included in your ticket price. The train runs every day in July and August but only on limited days other times of the year.
Need more inspiration? Our book, Wake Up, Shake Up Thrive! Has more tips to elevate every dimension of your well-being. Purchase your copy today and you’ll be on a pathway to the good life, or la belle vie, as we say in Switzerland!