Ways to Take Care of Our Mental Health During the Summer
By: Lily Ha, Contributing Writer
Edited by: Fauzia Haque, Editor; Eve Nevelos, Editor in Chief
Summer is a time of relaxation and enjoyment. Thus, it is a chance for you to have a break and take care of yourself. Here are some of the ways you can prioritize your mental health during the summer break.
Going Outside: Going outside and taking in the natural sunlight increases levels of vitamin D, which is known to boost your mood as it is a mood regulator. During the summer season, take a few moments to step outside to take care of your well being. Try a new hobby to do outside where you can spend at least half an hour in the sunshine. Spending time outdoors is also a big part in taking care of yourself. According to Harvard Health, it is scientifically proven that being outside and getting natural sunlight is good for your health, both mentally and physically. Spending time outside can cause an increase in your mood, making you more positive and ready to tackle the day.
Maintaining a healthy sleep schedule: Just because school is out for summer and your kids can stay up late and sleep in does not mean they should. Parents should always try to maintain a healthy and steady sleep schedule for themselves and their kids, regardless of their work and school schedules. The number of hours recommended for an average person is to obtain eight to ten hours of sleep. This is especially important because healthy sleep is a crucial part of our mental health. Consider exchanging blackout curtains for curtains that let in more light to keep teens waking up with the sun at healthy hours.
Staying active: During our summer break, it can be very easy to stay inside our house and do nothing, especially because of COVID. However, it is very important to continuously maintain our physical activity, and not being active can deteriorate our mental and physical health. Discovery Mood suggests that you should try to maintain just 20 to 30 minutes of exercise every day, and you will feel healthy and full of energy as a result.
Setting Goals: Setting goals is very important because it gives you something to reach toward. Make sure you reward yourself when you have reached your goal, because it’ll motivate you to do it all over again. It is also fun to set goals with your friends and family because you can work together on similar or same goals. Additionally, understand the priorities for the day and set boundaries for yourself. Setting goals can also help you in getting an idea of what to accomplish for the day. Consider creating an achievable bucket list of varied activities to complete before the end of the summer.
Focusing On Mindfulness and Relaxation: When you get stressed out or worried about certain things on your mind, try to breathe and focus on something that relaxes you. For more mindfulness exercises, try fifteen minutes of yoga or meditation, or write a gratitude list to calm you down.
Enjoying Your Break To The Fullest: When you have time off and don’t have anything important to stress about, you might start doing things that you don’t really enjoy doing. Try to prioritize activities you like to do before moving on to less important and fun tasks. Try a few baking recipes or read a new book if you are bored. Give yourself the full relaxation and break time that you deserve because you have earned it!
Remember that this summer break is a chance for you to do whatever thing you did not have the time to do during the past year, whether it was because of school, work, etc. Take the time to do some self care and catch up on the latest TV shows and movies. Have a great summer!
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