With the introduction of warmer days, added hours of daylight, and sunshine, summer should be the best time of year. However, for some, summertime sadness is a very real thing. Summer offers a time to break from work, enjoy time away from the laptop and relax with family. Whether you are struggling with body confidence issues, mental health challenges brought upon by the last year, or anything of that nature, summer is a great time to wipe the slate clean. Read along for a few ways you can help boost your mental health and fully enjoy the long days of summer!
GET UP & MOVE
It seems simple but moving just feels good, especially in the sunshine. Whether your goal is to work toward a great summer bod or escape work for a few minutes a day, moving and exercising is a great break. In today’s work-from-home environment, sneaking in a little mid-day exercise is now easier than ever. Get up and take a brisk walk or run during your lunch break, set a goal to blast out 10 push-ups at the top of each hour, or do some light stretching to help your joints stay loose—whatever fits your fitness goals best.
Not only is exercising helpful physically, but also mentally. Including physical exercise during your day can help reduce anxiety by the serotonin released during activity, boost your mood, and increase cognitive function among other benefits.
Ever feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders? Nearly 2 in 3 adults experienced increased stress during the last year, so don’t feel alone if that’s the case. Talking to someone about how you’re feeling may be a challenge, so it could help to start by journaling how you feel on a daily basis. Over time, look for trends and pick out a few ways you can avoid certain situations that may stress you out. If you have a family member or close friend you trust, consider confiding in them about how you’re feeling.
If you aren’t comfortable talking to someone you know and realize these negative patterns are persisting, online counseling with a licensed professional may be just the outlet of support you’re looking for.
UNPLUG FOR A BIT
While technology is great in keeping us connected, did you know that adults spend on average 8.5 hours a day glued to a screen? There is also a positive correlation between the increased time spent latched to a screen and health issues such as heart disease and diabetes. Too much screen time can have other negative effects, from eye strain to insomnia, and even breaking down the ability to communicate effectively.
Taking time to unplug can help reduce stress, allow you to focus and enjoy the present and accomplish goals or tasks you normally get sidetracked and distracted to do. Start by setting aside some time either in the beginning, middle or end of your day to establish a routine that allows you to focus on yourself, distraction-free.
Summer days are long but the months tend to fly by. Between weekends that go too quick and a busy summer calendar filled with vacations, your summer can find a way to fly by. Taking the time to consciously prioritize your mental wellbeing can help your summer be purposeful, and that more enjoyable!