There’s something about the energy of summer that just feels good, to some of us. It’s warmer, days are longer, we get to shed some layers and just be outside. But let’s be real, summer is also the season when we burn the candle at both ends; we’re still hustling to keep fit (sometimes even more so than usual), we’re still crushing it at work, we’re brunching on patios, we’re dancing on rooftops, and we’re “getting away” for weekends where we should be resting but most of us end up at more boozy brunches and dancing even later.
Summer is exhausting y’all, and that starts to take a toll on your mental health. Yeah, the vitamin D is great, but some of us still feel low because we’re ignoring self care. Here are 5 simple things you can do to boost your mental health and keep that candle burning bright.
You’re gonna workout anyway so you might as well do it outside, right?! Not only has getting outside been proven to improve mood and relieve stress, but it also has the potential to increase social interaction, especially in the summer when lots of people are heading outside for a run or HIIT workout. Just the thought of knowing there is green space nearby has been proven to improve life satisfaction. So, lace up and get going!
Like we said, everyone is looking for an excuse to get out of town in the summer, but if you just exhaust your body while doing it you’re not doing yourself any favors. Taking time off can have an incredible impact on your effectiveness in life. It recharges your batteries, offers new perspective, and leaves you ready to tackle tasks at work, but did you know that taking time to shut off electronics can actually regenerate neurons?! Basically, taking time to get away from it all (literally) will give you a new brain, so...
We’re obvi gonna mention this one. It’s seriously our fave thing to talk about for good reason - being hydrated makes you better able to regulate body temperature (especially when it’s hot AF outside), lubricate your joints, rid your body of toxins and keep your brain healthier. Studies have shown that people who drink water during cognitive tasks perform better, so a hydrated brain is a focused brain, and we could all use a little more focus in the summer when the heat and your gym crush got us like, “what am I even doing right now…?”
Some people find that they have more free time in the summer months, so why not take some of that leisure time to form a habit of meditation. A mindfulness practice can help relieve stress and clear your mind in order to see what’s really important. So, have a seat, close your eyes and just focus on your breath. Try it for 1 minute and see how you feel, then next time you can try it for 2 minutes and build from there.
We never said dancing was bad, just make time to rest too. Dancing improves heart health and gets our minds into our bodies fostering a deeper physiological connection. It can also help us be more social and reduce depression - some studies showed these effects can last up to 8 months after you last danced. Whether it’s a hip hop class at the gym or an outdoor festival, summer is full of excuses to get twerking and feel better!