“Then followed that beautiful season… Summer… Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.” - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
What do you imagine while thinking about the warm and relaxing summer months with ample sunshine and a chance to vacation? Happiness, we bet. For most people, summertime is associated with happiness and positive emotions. However, for others, summers can trigger mental health issues. For children, teenagers, and college students, it is all happy and free time, but at the same time, problems like anxiety can surface due to the lack of structure during the summer holidays.
Expectations of being carefree can put additional pressure on those already struggling with anxiety and depression. Many people can experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD) during warm and sunny months with weight loss, appetite loss, anxiety, irritability, and insomnia. We have compiled a list of nine small things you can do to lead a happier life this summer. Continue reading to find out more.
- Spend time outside to soak in the sun
Trust us with this one. It is never a good idea to spend the summers indoors. Go out in the sun and spend some time in the natural sunlight. Sunlight increases vitamin D and serotonin levels, boosting your overall mood. Plan activities that involve going out, picking a new outdoor hobby, or simply relaxing in a hammock for good 30 minutes. Spending time outdoors is a healthy self-care habit for the summer months.
- Slow down and take time to unwind during the holidays
Don’t we all use the summer holidays to do the pending tasks, house repairs, organize the closets, or do all the things we neglected due to the hectic work weekends. Sometimes taking a few days of total relaxation is all that you need. With all the workload, we tend to fall into the trap of believing that all the time has to be booked for one activity or the other. Most people here can relate to this; we all spend our vacation cleaning our house. But this summer, try to use the summer holidays to enjoy yourself. Allow yourself to do nothing at all if that's what you want. Take a break, and relax. It can be staying in your PJs, reading a book, watching your favourite movies, or taking some time off to have that long-awaited heart to heart with your friends. Make yourself a priority and allow yourself to take a break. You deserve it.
- Plan a getaway
As humans, we occasionally need to take some time off from our daily grind, and the summer holidays are the best way to do so. Plan a getaway. It doesn’t have to be your dream trip to Greece or Portugal; it can be a weekend getaway to the nearest towns or cities that you have wanted to visit for long. Saying goodbye to the daily routine and getting out of the town with a scenery change can be an amazing way to lift your mood instantly.
- Follow a healthy sleep schedule.
Summer is a beautiful time to remind yourself why sleep is one of life's greatest pleasures. It is a time when you can finally get to re-schedule your sleep routine and enjoy eight to ten hours of peaceful sleep. Make your bedroom a welcoming space by de-cluttering, getting your favorite sheets, comforter, and a little lavender mist sprayed on the pillows to help you sleep sound. Making sleep time special can be a way to promote your mental health, happiness and boost your mood.
- Connect to Mother nature as much as you can
Staying close to Mother Nature is an ideal way to find a connection to ourselves. Moreover, connecting to nature is beneficial for our health and happiness. It is a fact; the more connected we are to nature, the better we feel.
Summer is an excellent time to find this connection. Take out time to go for a mindful forest walk to focus on the wonders of nature, sleep outside on a starry night, relax or plan a picnic by the lake, watch the sunrise or listen to the rain. There can be numerous options to discover the connection with nature. It is better to make a list of all the things that bring you closer to nature and yourself this summer and what is more important is to make them happen.
- Stay physically active this summer.
We agree to the fact that everyone does not like physical activities. Not all are fond of exercising, yoga, or running, but it is a game-changer considering your physical and mental health. Exercise or physical activity increases endorphins, dopamine, and adrenaline: all of which are the chemicals associated with feeling happy, confident, and calm. These chemicals can lower stress, anxiety, and some physical pains.
Make summer this year a time to prioritize your health by staying physically active and getting the endorphins pumping. Doing so will benefit your physical health, elevate your mood, and reduce your feelings of anxiety and depression.
- Practice journaling
Journaling about your thoughts and feelings can alter how we think and increase self-awareness, clarity, and feelings of happiness, emotional well-being, and peace. This summer, pick a journal of your choice, like a gratitude journal, travel journal, health and hobby journal, etc. Choose anything that seems right for you, and take time each day to write it down in your journal.
- Plan out your meals
You must have heard the saying ‘’ you are what you eat’’. This is true in a lot of ways. Eating too much of processed and fast food will trigger stress, depression and will have adverse effects on the body in the long run. On the other hand one of the best choices you can make is opting for fresh fruits and vegetables and there’s no better time than summer to practice this.
Make use of the summer holidays by planning out your meals. This summer, take advantage of the all the fresh produce that includes fruits and vegetables brimming with nutrients. You have enough time to enjoy healthy and nutritious home cooked meals, fresh fruit juices and smoothies.
- Spend time with family and friends
Summer allows us the time off to be present for our family and friends. Having close relationships like those of family and friends and connecting to them provides love, meaning, and feelings of self-worth. Isn't that all we need to be happy?
Make this summer an opportunity to find meaningful connections with friends and family and strengthen our relationships. If you are a parent, summertime can be an excellent time to practice activities with your children, creating beautiful memories lasting a lifetime.