Summer. A word and season that is generally associated with carefree attitudes and relaxation. The increased exposure to sunlight alone does wonders for our mental health, such as “increasing the brain’s release in serotonin, which helps with boosting mood and happiness levels”. Include the warm weather and Covid-19 restrictions slowly easing up and more people than ever will probably be spending most time outdoors. While it’s good to take advantage of the new season, it’s still important to practice self-care. Here is how you can make the most out of summer, while still taking care of yourself.

Wear sunscreen. What might be common in knowledge is not always common in practice. Not only does wearing sunscreen help prevent sunburn, it can also reduce the risk of skin cancer. While you should technically be using it year-round, it’s incredibly important in the summer months.

Relax and Unwind. Now that things are opening back up, you may be tempted to fit everything you couldn’t do last summer into this one. While getting out might be fun at first, too much activity can lead to more stress and less energy. Remember to slow down, breathe deeply and focus on one thing at a time.

Be kind to yourself. This can apply during all seasons, but can ring especially true during the summer. When it gets warmer, most people tend to flock to one place: the beach. After a year in lockdown (and quarantine snacking), I’ve heard many people worry about weight gain heading into summer. It’s crucial to remember that this past year was tough. Due to many different reasons, emotions ran high and when emotions increase, sometimes so does snacking. Ignore social media that might say otherwise, but all bodies are beach bodies and all that matters if you are enjoying yourself (and wearing sunscreen).

Finally, it’s important to remember to get outside! As many of us continue to work from home, we are most likely staring at a screen for 7-8 hours each day. If you factor in the additional screen time, from watching TV or looking at our phones, it can be incredibly draining. Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of the warm weather, sunlight and take a break from those screens!

Staff Blogger: Mollie Clupper

Mollie Clupper works for MHA as a Communications and Support Specialist. Using her own experiences, she wants to help bring awareness and end the stigma surrounding mental health. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, drinking coffee, and spending time with her fur-niece.