Sunnier times are coming! Collectively, it can feel like our moods are improving coming into the sun rising earlier and the air warming. Just like any other time of the year, we need to prioritize ourselves. Self-care is important all year round, but in summertime there is specific ways we can take care of our health, mental and physical! For most individuals, there are significant mental health benefits associated with the summer season. However, there are still elements of summer that can feel daunting. This includes doubts surrounding our self-image, and confidence.
Carry on reading to learn about how to nourish our mental health, and self-esteem in summer! We have included a list of strategies to help improve our confidence and set us up for a great summer, full of great memories and healing.
We hear all the time, go outside for at least 30 minutes a day, and your overall mood will improve. But why is this? Here multiple reasons why the summertime makes us feel happier. These include:
Vitamin D à Vitamin D intake is essential for regulation of phosphorus absorption and calcium, healthy bones, teeth and can protect against conditions and diseases.
Activity Increases à As the sun rises earlier, and sets later, we are given the opportunity to get out and enjoy the temperature for longer. Walking, biking, swimming, running, going to the beach or an outdoor picnic – we can be much more active daily during the summertime. Ever felt that feeling after doing psychical activity outside? These activities are a natural mood-booster, and we love doing them, especially when the sun is shining on us.
More time spent with family & friends à Summer gives us the opportunity to see and spend more time with family and friends. Wherever you are in the world, summer means some sort of holiday! The more quality time spent with family & friends, the better our relationships, and in turn the better our mental well-being.
We tend to prioritize work-life balance more à Improvements in the weather means most people take their holidays during this time. Additionally, we tend to cut back on working overtime, past our finish time or on the weekends. Summer relaxes us and gives us a good reason for some rest and relaxation!
Don’t be misled with all the positives of summer. It can also be a difficult time of year for individuals.
Recently, we wrote about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) focusing on the effects of winter on our mental health (LINK BLOG). However, this disorder can affect anyone, at anytime of the year. In fact, it’s common to feel symptoms of depression starting in spring or summer months.
Firstly, summer demands a carefree body confidence. As the weather warms, we must think about wearing less clothing, and heading to the beach becomes the norm. The thought of showing our bodies, can invite inner voices of self-doubt and critical thoughts. It is hard to relax and enjoy the weather, when we are focused on how we look, causing a negative body image to grow.
Summer also brings a disruption to our routines. During the summertime, our eating can increase, and our sleep schedule can change. Falling out of routine can cause us to feel a sense of stress or anxiety, especially if we feel comfortable in our regular day to day activities.
Summer also means, it’s hot!
Hot weather usually causes people to feel tired, grumpy, and unmotivated. The increase in temperature can lead to dehydration, heat stroke, and other illnesses.
Get Outside! Is this one too obvious? Getting outside into a green space, enhances self-respect and boosts our endorphins. Go for a walk or join a group in an outdoorsy activity such as a gardening group, a running group or outdoor book club. 20 minutes of sunlight a day makes a drastic difference for not only our mental health, but our overall health. If you feel up to it, 30-45 minutes of physical activity outside will increase your endorphin activity drastically. It’s well-known exercising is good for mental health generally.
Self-Care! Warmer weather means you can take that time to yourself, and do fun, and rewarding activities. Take a calming walk soaking in the sun, read a book outside, lay in the park, go for a swim or simply, sit in front of your window. Make time for yourself.
Make plans with the people that make you feel good. Making plans get us out of the house, and it also allows us to feel good about ourselves. However, we must make sure we are spending our time with positive people. Seek people that fulfil you and inspire a glass-half-full mentality.
Our quick last tips for summer!
You deserve to “feel good” this summer.
Season come and go. Summer is no different! We will be back to school, work and routine in no time. Try to enjoy summer while it’s here. However, don’t be too hard on yourself. You deserve to feel comfortable through every season. If you are struggling, we are here to help.
Contact us at CBT Professionals, and we can help you take the time to enjoy the things you love.
Coomera – (07) 5551 0251
Nerang – (07) 5668 3490
Mount Gravatt – (07) 3102 1366
If you, or someone you know, require help, please reach out to organisations like Beyond Blue.
Additionally reach out to these organisations that may be able to help.
(Health Direct, 2020).
If this is an emergency, please contact 000 or visit your local emergency department.
CAMH You’ve heard of the winter blues but what about summer depression?
ScienceDaily Warm weather boosts mood, broadens the mind
PsychCentral Can Weather Affect Your Mood?