Summer should be easy for taking breaks from school, work and other life-related activities. For some of us, it could be easier said than done, especially if you’re prone to mental health issues.
If you’re a student trying to make it through these last couple of months before summer break or a professional seeking a short break for vacation, here are some ways you can take care of your mental health this summer:
Make sure to spend some time outside.
When we get a break, we may want to spend time in the comforts of our air-conditioned homes and apartments watching our backlog of Netflix shows, playing video games, etc. Be sure to get outside during the summer months. The Vitamin D from the sun can go a long way to helping your mental health. Step away from screens and go outside for at least 20 minutes per day.
Exercise your heart out.
Engage in physical activities. Go the gym, take swimming lessons, go for a walk with a loved one, practice your favorite yoga positions — your possibilities are endless. Make sure to get in at least 30 to 45 minutes of physical activity per day. This increases your endorphins and helps you maintain a healthier level of mental capacities. Exercise is good for all ages and body types.
Keep your social life active.
When you’re feeling anxious and/or depressed, you may want to remain on the home front. Get out and be social. Of course, that is according to your comfort level. Meet a friend for lunch, schedule dinner with your significant other, run errands and engage in small-talk conversation with a cashier. Try to be as social as possible with those you care about and also get out in your community. It can significantly boost your mood and decrease anxiety and depression. If you’re struggling with your mental health, then seeking help from a licensed mental health professional near you or online can help you sort through any issues and find solutions.
Make some dietary changes.
Limit your fast foods, fats and processed foods intake. Drink more water and less coffee and alcohol. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, meats with Omega-3 fatty acids. Do your research. Having healthy food habits can greatly decrease your stress, anxiety and depression levels. So, at your next cookout, try to plan out some healthier options.
In today’s day and age, it is challenging to achieve our own work-life balance. We may want to get in a few more items from our to-do list or overly prepare for an event. Stress levels tend to increase. Understand your stressors and do what you can to make changes to how you react to them. Schedule some essential time for yourself doing a hobby you love. Get some extra sleep. Write to ease your mind. Do whatever you want to relax. And if you do on vacation, decrease your screen time and schedule some relaxation days.
These are just a few of the ways you can take care of your mental health this summer, and hopefully by now you’ve seen how important making this a priority is. This mindset is likely a primary reason a state like Missouri spent $636 million on mental health services recently. With that said, hopefully you can take some of these tips and allow them to ensure your summer is much more enjoyable.