Summer is my favorite season. Every winter I struggle with seasonal depression and as much as I love the holidays the stress always takes a toll on my mental health.
I live in Florida so summer to me means lots of time reading books by the pool and swimming in the ocean. Even though I’m not in school this time of year always feels care-free to me.
I always try to use the summer to uplevel my mental health after struggling through winter. It’s the season where I feel like I really fill my cup and have huge breakthroughs in my personal development.
Here are some of the things I do in the summer to take my mental health to the next level.
Plan a Trip
I really love traveling in the summer and I think traveling is great for your mental health. Getting out of my routine always makes me feel really inspired and I come back with a ton of fresh ideas. However, I can’t always afford to take a dream vacation in the summer. When I can’t go on an extravagant getaway I like to plan weekend trips near where I live. Just getting out of the town I live in for a night offers me the same fresh perspective and excitement I get from taking longer trips.
If you have friends that live out of town plan a trip to go visit them. If the idea of taking a trip really excites you plan your dream vacation and make a budget to start saving. Pick out where you want to stay and what attractions you want to see and save them onto a Pinterest board. I love planning trips and often get inspired just from researching new places.
Do a Reading Challenge
I always use the summer to read a ton of books. Lately, I’ve been really into audiobooks which are perfect to listen to if you’re going on a road trip or traveling this summer. I paid for a subscription to Scribd and I love it because it lets you listen to UNLIMITED audiobooks. It’s basically like Netflix for books!
Make a list of books you want to read this summer and see how many you can get through. Reading books regularly has vastly improved my mental health and taught me so much about myself. If you’re feeling uninspired about your life I suggest challenging yourself to read as many books as you can. I’ve found that if I leave my phone inside and sit outside with a stack of books and my journal I get way more reading and reflecting done.
Start a Morning Routine
I love to really focus on personal development in the summer so this is when I like to focus on exercising, journaling and self-care. I’ve found that the best way to set myself up for a successful day is to start the morning off strong.
A morning routine helps me knock out a lot of tasks in the morning and it really sets the tone for my whole day. Ever since I read the book The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) I’ve been a lot more intentional about my morning routine. I use the first hour for doing personal development and things I enjoy. I’ve found this to be such a nice way to start the day and it is a ritual I really enjoy.
My Miracle Morning routine includes:
- Planning my day
- Pulling Tarot cards
- Intention setting
- 20 minutes of exercise
- 10 minutes of stretching
- Drinking a ton of water
The important thing to keep in mind when creating your morning routine is that you need to fill it with practices that make you feel good and that you actually enjoy doing. It shouldn’t feel like a chore or like something you have to force yourself to do every morning. Fill it with tasks that bring you joy and you will start to really look forward to it.
Ditch Your Phone
I don’t know what it is about the summer but it makes me want to be connected to my phone even less. When I feel like I need to detox from social media I delete all of the apps off my phone. If you just need to take a break during the day turn your phone off and shut it in a drawer.
I love being able to disconnect and I find that I get a lot more work done and am able to stay more focused when I don’t have my phone distracting me. When I go out with friends I often keep my phone turned off in my purse. This way I resist the urge to pull it out and look at it in between conversations and stay present in the moment.
I always make an effort to spend a lot of time in the water during the summer. I’m so fortunate to have lots of options for swimming where I live including pools, springs and the ocean. There’s something about swimming that is good for my soul.
I love to spend the afternoon laying in the sun (wear sunblock!) listening to music and swimming in the water. It feels so good to my soul. If you can’t go swimming try and find a way to spend the afternoon outside. Go for a walk or have a picnic. Make an effort to connect with the most peaceful and relaxed version of yourself. Spending the afternoon by the pool feels like a little vacation to me and I always find myself feeling refreshed afterward.
The summer is a great time to reconnect with old friends. When I was in college I got in the habit of reconnecting with all of my friends over the summer. I would tend to lose touch with people during the school year because I was so busy studying. When summer came around I made an effort to reconnect with my friends and family.
Now that I’m not in school I still keep the tradition alive and when summer starts I try to reconnect with anyone that I may have lost touch with. It’s so easy as we go through life to lose touch but I always think it’s beautiful when we can reconnect.
Start a Project
Starting new projects gives me something to be excited about and I find that it always improves my mental health. Whenever a new season starts I like to set new goals and start new projects. If you’ve never set 90-day goals the summer is the perfect time to try it. What would you like to achieve by the end of the summer? Having something to work towards always helps me stay productive and I find the more productive I am the better I feel overall.
The summer is a great time to start the book you want to write, get in shape or start a blog! I always have projects rolling around in the back of my mind and the summer is a great time to pick one to start.
Try Something New
Trying new things always improves my mental health. It helps me get out of my comfort zone and the rut I can easily get stuck in of just getting through the daily grind. If you signup for a class it can also be a great way to meet new people. Google classes in your area and signup for a music or dance class. I recently started going to a new yoga studio and it’s been really great. I’ve met some new people and it’s great just to have a new experience in a new environment. It’s easy as we go about our adult lives to just stay in our routine and never shake it up. Trying something new can keep life fresh and exciting. The summer is the perfect time to try something you’ve never done before and get yourself out of your comfort zone.
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