10 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health This Summer

10 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health This Summer

Health 5 min read
Switching to flip flops and sunglasses does not mean that every day will be sunny! Unlike school, our stresses don’t pause during the summer. So while you are protecting your skin with sunscreen from June to September, try some SPF for the brain with the following suggestions:

1. Journaling

A great way to protect your mental health this summer is to set a few minutes aside each day to journal! Journaling is a relaxing and creative way to put into words what is bothering you. They say the “pen is mightier than the sword” and writing our concerns down is a great first step in conquering our stress. Grab a cute summer-themed notepad and write away!

2. Unplug

Even if it's just for a few hours, take a break from your phone and other devices. Resisting the urge to check that notification ping is a great way to recharge your brain. This is especially true for those non-stop work notifications – studies have shown that separating your work hours and non-work hours can help you mentally recover from the work week and enjoy your personal time. It’s too nice outside now to gaze at that iPhone nonstop! Your body needs a break from constantly staring down at a screen

3. Try Something New

Try a new recipe, book, TV show, or hobby! Trying new things can give you a hit of dopamine, which is a chemical responsible for making you feel pleasure, satisfaction, and motivation. Break your regular cadence and do something new!  Maybe a new recipe for next weekend’s pool party? Mixing up your routine will boost your mood and is great for your mental health.

4. Share some Gratitude

Sharing appreciation is a great way to improve your mental health. Gratitude makes people focus on what they have, instead of what they lack. Try writing a thank you note, or calling a friend to tell them you appreciate them. Studies have shown that gratitude is directly linked to increased happiness! 

5. Exercise

Exercise is essential to your physical health, but it's just as important for your mental health! Exertion during exercise stimulates your body to create more mitochondria inside of your muscle cells. Mitochondria are known as the “powerhouses of the cell” because they are responsible for converting the food we eat into fuel for our bodies. Having more of it increases your body's energy supply and makes you feel more energized! Running on the beach anyone?

6. Eat Healthier Foods

Of course eating healthy is crucial in maintaining good physical health, but eating foods that are good for your body help to maintain a good mental health as well! Sugar and processed foods can lead to inflammation throughout the body and brain, which may contribute to mood disorders such as anxiety or depression. A healthy well balanced diet can help us think clearly and feel more alert.

7. Restrain Yourself from Alcohol

Although it may be fun to drink at parties from time to time, alcohol is actually a depressant drug that can increase stress and anxiety. Depressant substances are drugs that lower neurotransmission levels. They affect the central nervous system, slowing down messages between your brain and your body. Alcohol affects concentration and slows down your ability to respond to unexpected situations. A great alternative to alcohol is Baloo! Baloo’s functional ingredients like nootropics and adaptogens give you an extra mood boost and help manage your anxiety and stress levels.

8. Go to Bed Early

Did you know that the average adult aged 18-60 is recommended to sleep at least 7 hours a night? With everyone's busy schedule, it seems impossible to get this much sleep daily. However, going to bed a little earlier might just be the change you need to improve your mental health. Sleep is our brain's time to rest and recharge. When we get proper sleep, our brain can efficiently process all the information we need for the day, such as new memories and emotions. Have you ever noticed when you get too little sleep you tend to be more sensitive, easily irritated, or impulsive? There’s a biological reason for that, and it has to do with different areas of the brain called the amygdala and prefrontal cortex. The amygdala is in charge of our emotional response, and the prefrontal cortex is in charge of controlling our impulses. In order for each of these functions to work correctly, we need to get enough sleep! I know we have more daylight these summer days, and enjoy them, but go to bed a little earlier each night – it will make all the difference!

9. Soak Up the Sun

Summer is coming up, and that means lots of sunshine! Apply your favorite SPF and go enjoy some downtime in the sun! Studies have shown that people experience more mental health distress during seasons with little sun exposure. Sunshine has proven to increase serotonin and help with depression and anxiety. In addition, sunlight is crucial to increasing vitamin D in the body. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that helps the body absorb and maintain calcium and phosphorus, which your body needs to build bones. Vitamin D has also been proven to reduce cancer cell growth, help control infections, and reduce inflammation.

10. Smile

Summer is here! When you smile, your brain releases tiny molecules called neuropeptides. These neuropeptides include serotonin and dopamine, which help lower your stress levels. These hormones signal to your body that you are happy, and because of this your happiness increases! 


    Journaling for Mental Health
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    Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier
    Does Exercise Really Boost Energy Levels
    Eating Well for Mental Health
    Alcoholism and Psychiatric Disorders
    Sleep and Mental Health: Why Our Brains Need Sleep
    5 Ways the Sun Impacts Your Mental and Physical Health - Tri-City Medical Center
    Psychology to Grin about: The Benefits of Smiling and Laughter 

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