All it takes is a few hot and humid days for it to sink in that we’re in the heart of summer. And while we may focus on the signature summer rituals and activities, like visiting the beach or eating ice cream, it’s also important to think about our mental health and wellness and the unique considerations that summer can bring.
Here are a few things to keep in mind to promote our best mental health during the dog days of this season:
Just because the snow and ice are long gone, it doesn’t mean that stresses, challenges, and our regular moods take a summer break. Of course, beautiful weather, sunshine, and time outdoors can have a hugely positive impact on our feelings and moods, but we need to be careful about idealizing the season or coming down on ourselves if we don’t always feel 100%. Telling ourselves “It’s summer – I have to be blissful” will just make us feel worse. We’re human and will experience a range of feelings no matter the season.
Review Your Plans
It can be tempting to put off a long to-do list for the summer when we expect that things will slow down a bit. But overscheduling can quickly turn an expected quiet summer into a jam-packed calendar that can bring pressure and self-criticism. Absolutely, make the most of the season – just do so within your own reasonable limits. There are, after all, 9 more months of the year for that to-do list.
Balance Your Social Time
Summer can bring with it more opportunities for socializing. Get-togethers with friend and family and summer festivals can all be amazing, but they can also be exhausting and draining, especially if you’re one who needs and enjoys time to yourself.
Really pay attention to your energy levels and moods and recognize when you could use a day at home or a quiet evening to relax. It’s all about balance and making sure we have the right mix of activities that helps us feel our best.
Maintain Important Routines
One of the best parts of being a kid on summer vacation was staying up late and sleeping in. The regular routine went out the window, and the same can happen to us grown-ups in the summer. While variety is the spice of life and letting go of routine is fun, we also need to keep up with the things that feed our wellness all year round. Make the time to mediate, pray, get a massage, kick back with a book – whatever it takes to relax and recharge.
Wishing you a safe, happy, and healthy summer full of the things you enjoy most!