July is here and before you know it the dog days of summer will be here too. With kids out of school, it may seem like you’re struggling to find a minute to yourself to breathe. The summer is typically known as a time to kick back and relax, but perhaps you’re feeling the exact opposite of zen.
Looking out for your mental health in the summer is just as important as any other time of the year. Here are a few tips to help you harness that sunshine and use it to fuel your depleted mental energy!
5 Easy Tips to take care of your mental health this summer
- Excercise– Excercise is one of the best ways to boost those natural chemicals in your brain that elevate your mood. During the other months of the year, we’re often forced into the gym to get our sweat on and, let’s face it, the gym is NOT for everybody. Take advantage of the perfect evening weather with a post-dinner time walk around the block. Even that small amount of activity and fresh air can do wonders for a busy brain!
- Bonus tip: Leave your headphones at home! There are immense sensory benefits to allowing all your senses to enjoy the outdoors, including hearing! Fill your brain with chirping birds and save the tunes for a car ride.
- Use Your Vacation Time– There are tons of travel deals floating around in the summer months. Cash in some PTO and take a long weekend. Set an intention to use that time to indulge in a little self-care. Read a book, take a long lunch, meet up with friends. You’ll be surprised what investing in yourself can do for your mental health.
- Take a Social Media Break– Social media is really just a highlight reel. And sitting down and scrolling through other people’s amazing beach and vacation photos can really drag you down. But comparing yourself to other people all the time is incredibly unhealthy. Take a week, or if you’re adventurous enough, maybe a month, and just delete the apps from your phone. A little mindfulness goes a long way.
- Let in the Sunshine– Sunshine has tremendous impacts on your mental health. Beyond even just getting Vitamin D (which is important in moderation). Open up the shades, and let in the light. Allowing light into your home, office, and living areas can be a simple step to boost your mood.
- Keep it Cool– Getting a good night’s sleep is an easy way to set you up to be in your best head space. The optimal temperature for sleeping is between 60 and 67 degrees Farenheight. Your AC is already cranked in the summer months, so make sure it’s set especially cool during the evening when it might be tempting to sleep with the windows open.