As the weather gets hotter and the days get longer, you might think that your mental health and wellness would be in a good place, but that’s not necessarily the case; mental health doesn’t change with the weather (although it can improve a little) and it’s only down to taking care of yourself, no matter what time of year it is, that will help you.
Of course, there are some things that can be specifically problematic during the summer and also things that you can do in the summer to help yourself that you can’t necessarily do in the winter or other times of the year.
Read on to learn more about what we mean and how to prioritize mental health and wellness in summer.
Create A Comfortable Living Space
If you want to prioritize your mental health during the summer, you’ll need to create a comfortable living space. Ideally, you should make your home your sanctuary so that if things get too much – whether that’s the heat, your physical health, or being around too many crowds – you’ll always have somewhere to go where you can unwind and chill out.
When it comes to ‘chilling out,’ this can be done when you have air conditioning in your home. Install a wall mounted air conditioner without outdoor unit and you can create the ideal ambiance inside to ensure that you have a great place to go when you need to.
When the interior of your home is at the right temperature, your mood will improve (being too hot makes us irritable, and we might lash out without meaning to, for example), you’ll sleep better, and your overall stress levels will reduce.
Other ways to create a comfortable living space include changing your carpets to floor tiles, opening your windows, painting your home in light colors, using blackout curtains or blinds, and avoiding heat-generating appliances as much as possible.
During the winter months, it might not be possible to go outside all that much due to the weather. Although you can go outside when it’s cold, you may not enjoy it very much, and of course, you also need to think about whether it’s raining or even snowing.
In the summer, although there will certainly be some days when the weather isn’t so great, it will be sunny and warm most of the time, so you can take this opportunity to go outside a lot more often.
Installing an outdoor kitchen also provides an exceptional opportunity to fully experience the outdoors while enjoying the pleasures of cooking and dining. With an outdoor kitchen, you can immerse yourself in nature’s beauty and revel in the fresh air as you prepare delicious meals.
Connecting with nature and spending time outdoors has been shown to positively impact your mental health, reducing stress, improving your mood, and enhancing your overall wellbeing. Plus, you’ll get more vitamin D, which will also help you physically. This is why you should try to engage in activities like walking, hiking, swimming, or just relaxing in the park.
You do need to be careful, though. When the sun is hot, you could easily become dehydrated, so you’ll need to take plenty of water when leaving the house. You’ll also need to wear the right clothes; a hat and sunglasses are vital, and you should opt for lightweight, breathable material. Long sleeves and pants are best, even if you would prefer a T-shirt and shorts.
If you want to avoid the sun’s heat, go out early or later in the day and enjoy the sunny weather without worrying about getting too hot. You’ll still need sunscreen and the right clothes, though.
Prioritize Physical Activity
Physical activity is a big element of staying healthy, not just in terms of your body but also connected to your mental health. Summer provides the perfect setting to engage in various outdoor activities like the ones we mentioned above, as well as cycling, volleyball, yoga in the park, and so much more. Just taking more walks is better than doing nothing at all.
The more regular exercise you can fit into your routine, the better, and this should be something you try to do all year round. Getting into good habits during the summer, when it will feel easier to do so, means you can keep exercising and staying fit even when the winter comes. It can feel more difficult to motivate yourself to go outside or head to the gym when it’s cold and dark outside.
Motivation also becomes easier when you exercise more because you’ll release endorphins into your body. These make you feel great and even improve your self-confidence, reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. As you can see, exercising in summer can have some amazing benefits that will help you prioritize your mental health and wellness at this time of year.
Summer is an amazing season for many reasons, and one reason is that it brings an abundance of fresh and vibrant fruits and vegetables that are bursting with flavor and are great for your health. With this in mind, this is a great time to develop healthy eating habits, and start incorporating fruit and vegetables into your diet.
Eating healthy food not only fuels your body but also positively affects your mental health. This is why choosing colorful food like berries, watermelon, leafy greens, and tomatoes is important. The more color something has, the more likely it is to be filled with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These foods can promote better brain health, elevate mood, and increase energy levels, which is exactly what you need during the summer when the heat can cause you to be irritable and even slow down your cognitive functions.
Protect Your Skin
While the sun provides warmth and essential vitamin D, it’s crucial to prioritize sun safety to safeguard your mental wellbeing. Overexposure to the sun can lead to sunburns and long-term damage, which can negatively impact your physical and mental health.
Ideally, you should protect your skin by wearing sunscreen, seeking shade during peak hours, and wearing protective clothing like hats and sunglasses. Taking care of your skin will make you feel more confident, comfortable, and at ease during the summer months.