Summer is here, and winter seems like a million years ago. There’s a noticeable energy in the air and everything just seems more optimistic.
But summer is not without its challenges. For some, it represents a break in the routine we often depend on. Schools are out, for example. We’re all going away for holidays. And we’re spending more time doing things we’d not do ordinarily. It can sometimes impact our mental health. But it doesn’t have to lead to a wobble in our wellbeing. We’ve put together a handful of ways to keep good mental health this summer.
Embrace the change!
Make sure you use your holiday allowance. Don’t hoard it, thinking you might need it later in the year. Take time off! Give your brain and body a well-earned rest and relax. We mean really relax. Get off the grid, away from devices that ping and beep. The only thing that needs recharging is you!
At the risk of sounding like a yappy parent, try to ‘get out and enjoy the sunshine!’. Did you know that sunshine is thought to boost your levels of serotonin, which can improve your mood and help you feel calm and focussed? Spending up to 15 minutes in the sun a few times a week can also increase your vitamin-D levels, which is great for bone health. And, of course, getting out in the sun is perfect for exercising! A gentle jog, cycling, or paddleboarding down a river. Perfect!
Reach for a drink
We mean water, by the way. When the temperature rises, ensure you keep taking water onboard. Being hydrated helps your brain makes more of that miracle chemical serotonin – and something called dopamine, another ‘happy’ chemical. Not having enough water in your system will see levels drop. And that’s when the summer blues can set in.
A time for loved ones
Having the schools out means you can spend more time with your loved ones. They don’t have to be extravagant, expensive days away. Just make a sandwich, grab a blanket and have a picnic somewhere. Whether you’re talking, walking or just playing, being together does wonders for everyone’s happiness levels.