by Kayleigh Monahan, LMSW
Summertime is always a time we look forward to, especially as New Yorkers. Gone are the gray days of winter and the cold and we welcome in the bright sun and warmth. The summer months are a great time to utilize the outdoors to help increase your coping skills and overall mental health.
The National Council for Mental Well-being lists a few ideas on their website, I’ve pulled a few of my favorites to help you start with some ideas!
1) Relax outside for a change
While the appeal of the Air Conditioning and a comfortable seat inside can be great over the summer. As the sun begins to go down and the temperature outside cools you can take your book outside for a bit. The fresh air and change of scenery often help us to avoid getting stuck in a depressive mindset.
2) Take a long walk
There’s nothing like the cool breeze of a summer evening. Getting outside to read and lounge is great! But adding even the smallest bit of exercise to that can increase your endorphins and lower cortisol levels. Taking your friends or family or even your dog on a long walk around your neighborhood is a great way to get fresh air and also get some exercise in!
3) Start a Garden
Garden is a great way to meditate. It can allow you to do a physical activity where you can relax and shut your mind off for a bit. And at the end you get to see the results of all your hard work, whether you’ve planted flowers, fruits or vegetables. It’s always uplifting to see the results of our work in real time.
4) Make a Summer Playlist
Music can be a huge way to lift our moods. Many people connect with music and Summer Music is often the most uplifting and motivating of all. Making a playlist of your favorite summer jams can motivate you to get moving, whether it’s cleaning or exercising.
5) Find fun things going on in your community
Using your local newspaper or library website you should be able to find tons of both outdoor and indoor events happening over the summer in your community. This is a great way to get out of the house and go meet new people, or even reconnect with people you no longer talk to as much.
The full list of ways to enhance your mental health this summer can be found here.
I hope this list helps you get out of your comfort zone and helps you to enhance your mental health this summer!