Self-Care in the Summer
Blue skies and sunny days aren’t usually synonymous with seasonal depression, but it’s actually more common than you might think. About 10% of people with seasonal affective disorder experience it in the summer months compared to dark and dreary winter. This can be caused by any number of things—from the truly oppressive heat to the idea that summer has to be relaxing. And for families with kids on summer break, the change in schedules can be stressful for both parents and their children. Below are a few tips for coping with stress in the summer.
- Set reasonable expectations. The movies make summer out to be one long vacation. But in reality, all the same day-to-day stressors still exist, regardless of the season. Don’t put too much emphasis on planning things you “should” be enjoying and try to be present instead.
- Get outside. Being outdoors is scientifically proven to be good for your health. That said, you don’t need to go on a 5-mile hike to enjoy some fresh air. Simply opening up some windows or firing up the grill can be an instant mood booster.
- Turn up the tunes. More and more studies have shown the positive impact that music has on your health. For families with different tastes, try creating a shared playlist with a variety of songs to enjoy.
- Switch up the hydration options. Dehydration is a quick way to be irritated. Stock the fridge with a variety of hydrating beverages, like flavored seltzer water, iced tea or homemade lemonade.
- Take a nap. Summer has a unique way of affecting how we get rest. Longer days and late nights can lead to an imbalance of melatonin, the hormone that helps you sleep. If you’re feeling in a funk, an afternoon nap might be just what you need to help recharge. Just make sure you’re taking care of your overall sleep hygiene.
- Talk to someone. Still not feeling your best? Talk therapy can help with stress and anxiety. Schedule a virtual visit with a mental health specialist from wherever you are using telehealth services by Teladoc®.