Summertime brings about the opportunity for many exciting activities and refreshing changes. There are many steps that you and your family can take in order to improve your mental and physical well being during this time. But there are also some red flags that you should also be mindful of. We have broken down some highlights on how to improve your health while also maintaining a safe and healthy balance during this beautiful time of year!
The summer months are full of pleasant weather and more free time for most. We suggest allowing those factors to motivate you and your family to get outside and be active! Start simple and suggest an evening walk after dinner, or maybe have a picnic at the park accompanied by some kickball or tag. Ride bikes, hike or go swimming. Source your local community organizations to see what they are offering. Often times there will be public events available for free that you can participate in. All of these suggestions will give you the chance to exercise, bond with family and build new relationships.
It is just as important to use this time of year to take a break and give yourself a mental breather. Kids are out of school, daylight hours are plentiful and there is a little more breathing room. Make time for a vacation of some sort. Whether it is a trip with your family, a staycation to relax at home or just a couple of mental health days, it is important to spend time away from work and use the good weather to your advantage. When you focus time on yourself and bonding with family, you will see lasting benefits in your health and happiness.
Summer offers a unique opportunity to explore healthy eating. Many fruits and vegetables are in their peak season at this time and there are several outdoor markets with affordable deals. Take the opportunity to try new cooking techniques and nutritious alternatives. Go to a cooking class and learn something new, or grill out with friends.
Use this time of year as a kick off for a healthier diet in order to improve energy levels and develop beneficial habits.
Now that we have addressed some of the perks of summer, here are some things to be mindful of…
It can be difficult for some who have certain mental health disorders, such as ADHD or Depression, to adjust to the changes that come with the summer season. The lack of structure involved with the time off and breaks from school can be difficult to navigate and may heighten symptoms. Do your best to build structure around this free time by insuring that there are activities and time requirements for you or your loved ones every day. Set goals for what you’d like to accomplish every week and arrange activities with friends or family. By keeping some sort of routine you are able to alleviate some of the anxiety that comes with an abundance of down time.
For those taking medication, it is important to work with your doctor to insure that medication schedules are current. Summer schedules tend to shift activity levels drastically, which can affect the time and dosage of medication. Consult with your doctor on how to best adjust to those factors in order to maintain the same healthy balance.
Avoid unhealthy behaviors
With more time on your hands, you may find yourself spending more time on the couch watching TV or playing games on the computer. Without an early morning schedule, you may be staying up later than usual and developing a poor sleep pattern. Things like exercise and sufficient sleep are still very important in the summer months. Monitor the frequency of these unhealthy habits and address them as needed so that you are not backtracking over the summer.