Summer is here and the opportunities to care for your physical, mental, and emotional health are endless. Whether you’re looking to check in, refresh, or relax, these self-care tips are guaranteed to give your mood a boost this summer!
The sun is out and the weather is warm, giving you ample opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors, a nearby park, or your own backyard. Spending time outside moving your body or just relaxing are great ways to get fresh air in your lungs and vitamin D into your system. Especially if you live in a region where frigid winters and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) are common, time outside in the summer can bolster your immune system and mental health while lowering your stress levels. It’s also a great time to explore where you live, visit small businesses, find local hikes, or enjoy a day at the beach.
Give Your Home A Refresh
With the weather giving you access to outdoor spaces, now’s a great time to clean, declutter, and maintain your home inside as well. Small details add up to big results here, so you don’t have to worry about major projects and remodels unless they’re timely, affordable, and needed. Clearing cobwebs from corners and molding, washing pillows and bedding, and rearranging your furniture can make any space feel new again.
If you want to take things a step further, consider going through your belongings one room at a time to sort out any broken or donatable items. Removing things like expired food, old children’s toys, or clothes that no longer fit can leave you with extra storage or even more space to leave open and refreshed in your home.
If you’re a homeowner who finds yourself constantly stressed about maintaining appliances and avoiding a home emergency, look into appliance warranties that provide timely repair or replacement of items like your fridge and garage door opener. Also available for your home’s HVAC systems, these warranties can mean the difference between a broken air conditioner on a hot day and an efficient cooling system providing your family with fresh, clean air. This can contribute to your peace of mind all year long.
Check In With Yourself
Outside or in, spending some time alone with yourself this summer can do you a lot of good. Consider setting aside some quiet time to meditate, pray, journal, or rest. These moments alone can help you get in touch with how you’re really feeling and where your mental health is at, away from opinion and outside influence.
Perhaps the most important part of spending time alone is making sure you’re actually alone. This means removing any access you have to tech devices and finding a spot where you’ll remain uninterrupted. The more you practice this routine, the more comfortable you’re going to feel. Over time, these intentional moments can help you with goal-setting, communicating with others, and feeling more at ease.
Spend Time In Community With Others
This might seem contradictory to what we talked about in the last section, but it’s important that you balance your moments alone with time spent building relationships. Whether you’re with family or friends, or in a community of faith, healthy relationships with others carry a lot of benefits for your mental and emotional health.
This is a great opportunity for those who experience social anxiety to practice their grounding techniques and create a safe, communicative environment with others. If you’re looking to keep busy or get creative, consider checking out your local YMCA or community center for cooking classes, weekly bingo, or recreational sports leagues. Other great community activities include volunteering together, having a picnic, or doing a paint ‘n’ sip evening.
Clean Up What You Take In
Just like you have a home for your body, your body is your home. If you’re cleaning and decluttering your physical space, consider making some changes to what you put into your body as well. With resources more easily available to us during summer months, it’s the best time to evaluate things like your food intake, screen time, and media exposure.
We all know how easy it is to get lost in our phones these days. Between Tik Tok providing commitment-free bursts of entertainment and social media constantly jarring us with opinions, gossip, and unrealistic expectations, it’s important to log off and stay in touch with reality. It’s a simple truth; we can’t thrive off of knowing every minute detail of someone else’s life, especially if they’re a complete stranger. If you’re interested in cutting back, you’re not alone in the challenge it poses. Remember to start small, remove your phone or TV from one meal a day, commit to a device-free friend hangout, or – if you’re feeling brave – turn your phone off for an entire day of exciting activities.
Another great way to clean up what you take in is to embrace a cleaner diet. The food you eat has a significant impact on your mental health and could be a game changer in your energy and mental clarity. Local farmers' markets usually run for most of the summer and provide healthy, affordable produce options and meats for you to enjoy.
Whether you’re adventuring, decluttering, relaxing or starting a new hobby, there are plenty of ways to find balance and give your mental health a boost this summer. Don’t be afraid to make the most of it, and remember that caring for yourself means that you can be a better person for the important people in your life