Take care of your mental health this Summer
The warm summer months can be a great chance for unwinding, taking vacations and catching sunshine, but for some, summer can actually end up causing more stress instead. Expectations of being care-free can put a lot of strain on those who are struggling with their mental health. And for parents, the added complexity of navigating the summer with kids out of school can add to the stress. Summer weather can also tire out our bodies easily, as extended periods in heat and sun can cause lethargy, lack of appetite, dehydration and sleeplessness, all of which can lead to more anxiety. In fact, a study by the American Physiological Society found that people are more likely to have higher levels of stress hormones in the summer than in winter. That’s why it is important to prioritize your summer mental health. Here are some tips and tricks to help you to do so:
Get outdoors, but be safe!
Summer with its warmer weather is without a doubt, the best time to go outdoors and catch some sunshine. Being outdoors and exposed to the sun increases your vitamin D and serotonin levels in our body, both of which are known to boost your mood, self esteem and mental health. Not to mention that physical activity or exercise itself brings about a ton of positive benefits to your physical and mental health. Be sure to use this opportunity to take long, nice walks or plan a beach trip! Be careful not to overdo it, though: listen to your body and go indoors if you start feeling too hot. Don’t forget to apply generous amounts of sunscreen!
Take a vacation
Vacations are always a great way to reset our mental health and practice self care. Simply by getting away from our day to day routine and being in a new setting can give us a breath of fresh air and allows us to come back feeling refreshed. Just don’t go overboard with the planning! Nothing can be more stressful and less fun than trying to plan and manage a packed vacation schedule. Remember, your vacation should be a time for you to relax, unwind and get away from life. On a related note, while we understand that travelling is exciting, please try to get enough sleep to stay healthy!
Allow time for yourself
We know that summer and vacations are a great opportunity to spend time with your family. Connecting with loved ones and making memorable experiences are truly a gift that summer months can offer. However, don’t forget to also leave time for yourself and your mental health! Summer can also be a great opportunity to take a time all to yourself, where you do not have to worry about work (put away your phone!) or family and just focus on yourself and your well-being.
Be prepared for it to end
The end of summer means a transition back to colder weather and returning to the realities and of every-day life; this can be jarring, especially this summer with more people traveling than before. Many of us at reflect have noticed this as we returned from our own travels as well. In order to maintain your mental health during this transition, we recommend that as you enjoy yourself this summer, take a moment to prepare yourself and set mental health goals for the next season.
If you are currently seeing a therapist, we recommend that you have a session scheduled on the calendar for when you return to help you deal with that transition.
If instead you have been thinking about getting a therapist, now is a great opportunity to start preemptively, before the busy Fall and Winter seasons kick in. As a reminder, reflect can quickly and easily find you a therapist that is a great fit for you. Simply click here to get started!
Regardless of how you’ve chosen to spend your summer months, we at reflect hope that you have had a restful and fun time!