Summer is a good time to think about your health and wellbeing.
It’s easy to think of summer in terms of what we see on social media – an often idealized snapshot of holidays, social activities and lovely weather. However, for a whole range of reasons, summer might not look like this.
The sudden end to school or college and the break in an established routine can be more difficult than you might think –these can provide a structure and motivation.
So, how to remain motivated and maintain your wellbeing over the summer break?
1. Get into a routine. Obviously, this doesn’t have to be like your school/college routine, but it may help to go to sleep and wake up the same time each day.
Young people’s body clocks are different to those of older adults (getting to sleep and waking up later), but remember, whether for work or study, you’ll most likely need to adjust to the usual routine in September.
Make a to do list or timetable for the day/week/month – this will give you goals and stop that drifting feeling.
2. Get outside. We spend most of our time inside – at work or in classrooms. Now is our chance to get outside. This has scientifically proven benefits.
Whether it’s just going for a walk, or doing an activity, being outside can boost your mood and your health.
3. Get exercising. The science is clear and even exercise-sceptics can be persuaded.
Exercise can benefit your mental wellbeing, physical fitness and confidence.
It encourages endorphins, which will improve your mood, lessen anxiety and make you sleep more naturally. There’s a vast range of activities out there – from dance to swimming, gym to tennis, running to mixed martial arts.
4. Get talking. Communication is great for lifting mood. It doesn’t have to be in person – it could be by zoom or phone. Think about getting in touch with friends and family.
5. Get relaxed. You don’t have to do yoga, or meditate, though these can both be really beneficial.
- You may have heard a lot about mindfulness – but what is it? Mindfulness works by making you focus on the present, rather than worrying about the past or future.
- Establish what they call good ‘sleep hygiene’- not drinking tea or coffee a few hours before bed, trying not to get to sleep too late, making sure you get enough sleep especially REM sleep)
Tip: Turn off your mobile phone /tablet/pc. Blue screen light is no help to relaxation or sleep.
- Some people enjoy journalling, and find this is a good way of expressing their thoughts. You can buy a journal especially, or use a notebook you already have.
- You could also try breathing exercises. These can focus your thoughts and help keep you calm.
https://www.calm.com/ – an app to help with relaxation
Ultimately, how you relax is up to you, but will pay dividends in the long run.