Summer Self-Care—Mind Your Mental Health

For good reason, there has been a lot of talk about staying healthy this summer. But sometimes, that focus turns to fear and causes strain on mental and emotional health as well. So be especially diligent with your total health as we navigate this truly unique—and yes, difficult—time for everyone. Give yourself permission to listen to your mind, just as you would your body, and find some easy and enjoyable ways that can help you stay healthy—mind, body and spirit—this summer.

Nourish the body and the mind will follow.

Nutrition is an overlooked, absolutely essential part of mental and physical health. A good diet can improve clarity, concentration, and attention span, where the wrong diet can lead to fatigue, poor decision-making, and even depression. Summer is a great time to get a variety of delicious foods that provide your body with the things it needs. The key word here is delicious. Relaxing and enjoying a good meal, especially with family and friends, can be a great break from the anxieties of the day, and even produce more of the feel-good chemicals in your brain. In short, taking the time to eat well works on a scientific level, keeping mind and body healthy, but also simply makes you a little happier. 

Sleep tight—get the rest you need.

Study after study show a direct correlation between good, adequate sleep and both physical and mental health. It helps control our weight, body chemistry and prevent all sorts of disease. It’s also  critical to our mental health, brain function, decision-making and overall enjoyment of life. There are lots of ways to sleep better, starting with—and you are not going to like this—shutting off those screens early. A regular sleep routine, not sleeping in, and getting more exercise are all part of healthy sleep patterns that are proven to be critical to mind and body.

Hydration is key.

Not only is hydration necessary for your body and brain to function optimally—and for your systems to prevent disease, inflammation, etc.—in summer it especially becomes a real safety issue. But there is an easy solution: drink water. Lots of water. Keep cold water around, and you will find it’s easy to get the recommended eight glasses a day in without even trying. 

Manage your stress and anxiety.

Summer brings with it beautiful weather. Get away from those screens and take a walk in nature. It has been studied and proven to help with stress management, anxiety and even depression. Enjoy these sunny days and get some exercise, which is as important for your mind and spirit as it is your body. And finally, do the things you enjoy that provide you some respite and relaxation. Meditation, reading, gardening, a hobby you enjoy—anything that gives you peace and joy can also improve your health. 

Posted in:  Health