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9 Good Mental Health Habits You Can Start This Coming Summer

9 Good Mental Health Habits You Can Start This Coming Summer

Nowadays, many individuals can get easily caught up in their busy lives. That may also mean that they unknowingly put their mental health in the backseat. But now more than ever, it’s worth remembering that good mental health can affect every facet of one’s existence, from relationships to productivity and an overall sense of fulfillment—which makes it all the more important to prioritize.

As summer approaches, it may be the perfect time to do just that: bring your attention inward, cultivate healthy new habits, and make mental health your focus. Thanks to the longer days and warmer temperatures, this season offers an inviting new backdrop of possibilities when it comes to seeking routines that can uplift your spirit and rejuvenate your mind. 

To that end, here are some simple, achievable habits that you can practice this summer that will likely go a long way in improving your mental health:  

1) Have a Regular Exercise Routine

Aside from being beneficial for your physical health, exercise also plays a crucial role in supporting your mental well-being. Regular physical activity releases endorphins, which are neurotransmitters that promote feelings of happiness and fulfillment.

You could do laps in the pool, cycle through picturesque landscapes while the roads are clear and dry, or practice yoga in the serene settings of your local park. Either way, a summer-friendly workout routine that you can practice at least every week may bring you joy and vitality. Make sure to also wear the appropriate gear for your chosen form of exercise, like a comfy pair of leggings, a sports bra with ample support, or a swimsuit with your desired amount of coverage for a safe and pleasant workout routine. 

2) Spend Time Outdoors

There’s something inherently healing about immersing oneself in nature. Research has long purported that spending time outdoors can reduce stress, boost mood, and improve overall mental well-being. Now that the weather is perfect for it, consider trying new outdoor activities such as hiking along scenic trails, enjoying a leisurely picnic with a loved one in the park, or keeping a garden filled with vibrant blooms. These activities can help you take comfort in nature as a sanctuary and as a source of rejuvenation and renewal.

3) Practice Mindful Eating

You can also find new ways to enjoy the abundance of summer produce by practicing mindful eating, which many correlate to a boost in general physical health and well-being. Eat from a diet based around seasonal fruits and vegetables, and savor each bite with intention.

Summer is the perfect time to nourish your body with wholesome, nutritious meals that fuel your energy and support your overall wellness. With every meal you eat, pay extra attention to the colors, textures, and flavors of your food. This can allow you to cultivate a deeper connection to your body and promote a positive relationship with eating.

4) Prioritize Your Sleep

Quality sleep is essential for cognitive function and emotional regulation, as well as your immunity. You’ll want to prioritize good sleep and uphold it as a non-negotiable aspect of your summer routine. Do this by establishing a relaxing bedtime routine for yourself and ensuring your sleep environment is cool, dark, and conducive to rest. This way, you can always embrace the early morning light as an opportunity to awaken refreshed and rejuvenated, ready to take on the day ahead. 

5) Learn Something New

Summer is also an opportune time to engage your mind and learn something new. Whether it’s mastering a new recipe in the kitchen, strumming new chords on a guitar, or delving into a creative hobby for the first time, get into the joys of lifelong learning and see for yourself the mental stimulation it will bring.

Learning new skills will challenge your brain, promote neuroplasticity, and foster a sense of accomplishment and personal growth in you, among other things. Before the summer ends, step outside your comfort zone and embark on a continuous journey of discovery and self-improvement.

6) Make Time for Social Connections

Social connections are vital for mental health, as they provide you with the support, companionship, and sense of belonging needed for you to live a happy life. This summer, make time for meaningful interactions and choose to strengthen the relationships that bring joy and fulfillment to your life.

You and your loved ones could spend more time together when you’re on summer holiday, or simply when all of you have the time. Share some laughter around a bonfire, go on a sunset stroll with friends, or host a backyard barbecue. In all of these interactions, cherish the moments of connection that will nourish your soul and uplift your spirits all year round. 

7) Practice Mindfulness and Relaxation 

Amidst the hustle and bustle of summer activities, don’t forget to carve out moments for mindfulness and relaxation. Learn deep breathing exercises that you can practice amidst the rustle of leaves, or try indulging in a leisurely afternoon nap in a hammock outside instead of on the couch.

These little moments can cultivate moments of stillness and presence, which can do a lot to nurture your mental well-being. Mindfulness techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, and body scan exercises can also help reduce stress, improve focus, and promote a sense of calm and balance in you.

8) Take it Easy on Yourself

While the season may be an opportune one for newness and adventure, remember to extend kindness and compassion to yourself and to give yourself grace for things you can’t do at full speed yet. Be at peace with imperfection, try to shed your tendencies toward self-criticism, and see what new habits will help you take it easy and slow.

Consider treating yourself to a spa day, taking more than one leisurely nature walk a week, or simply permitting yourself to rest in your room for one day of the weekend. Practicing this habit should help you honor your needs and prioritize your well-being above all else. 

9) Seek Professional Support if Needed

If you find yourself struggling with your mental health, know that professional support is available to you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to mental health professionals for guidance, support, and resources to navigate life’s challenges and cultivate greater resilience within yourself.

Remember that asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness, and you deserve support and care on your journey to healing and wholeness. Your choice to get additional support for your mental health this summer may be something that will reward and strengthen you for the rest of the year.

Good mental health cannot be assumed on its own; practices like the ones listed above will help you see the value of nurturing your mental health by habit. Hopefully, this summer will be a season of renewal and growth for you, and the start of your journey towards sustained self-improvement.

Disclosure – this is a collaborative post.

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