Summer is a season most of us look forward to. It’s a time for vacations, barbecues and endless outdoor activities in the sun. But for some people who struggle with depression or anxiety, summer can cause a lot of stress. The increased social activities, a more flexible work schedule, the expectation of enjoying the season and other social stress can put a lot of pressure on people with anxiety. If you are starting to feel the burden, here are five tips to improve your mood this summer.
Spend Some Time Exercising
Exercising is a great way for people to elevate their mood when they feel down. A good workout can help keep you calm and pump up your endorphins, which produce a feeling of happiness. Therefore, take a run outside and soak in the sun, go hiking in a local park or ride your bike on a trail. Use these activities as an excuse to spend time alone and away from the hustle and bustle, but don’t be afraid to invite a friend along if you are looking for company.
If you are looking for some inspiration, check out our post, Cheap Ways to Get Fit this Summer.
Set a Challenging but Achievable Goal
Think of something you’ve wanted to do, and challenge yourself to complete it this summer. Step out of your comfort zone and try a new adventure: train for a 5K, take up a new outdoor hobby like learning how to garden, record a podcast about your favorite passions or sign up for that yoga. It can be as big or small of a goal that you want, but just try to stick with it! After all, there is nothing like the feeling of accomplishment.
Plan an Escape
Sometimes you just need to escape or have a change of scenery to really unwind and alleviate your anxious thoughts. Take the time away as a way to change your environment and remove yourself from stressors affecting your mood. Book a trip by yourself, with a loved one or friend. Visit a nearby town you’ve never been to. It doesn’t need to be a big trip. A quick visit to a neighboring town can be all the change needed to improve your mood and help with anxiety.
If you are hoping to get a way but are concerned about the costs, read out 8 Tips to Keep Your Summer Travel Costs Low.
Calm Your Mind with Meditation
Meditation is the practice of focusing your mind on a particular object, thought or activity to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state. Take a few minutes each day to ease your mind and focus on something that’s happening around you. Close your eyes and listen to the sounds of birds in the trees outside, smell the summer air or and feel the warmth of the sun. A simple few minutes spent in meditative thought can make a world of difference.
Do the Things You Love
It’s important that you take time for yourself by doing what makes you happy. Read that book you’ve been dying to start, have dinner at your favorite restaurant, or visit that great little record shop and buy an album by your favorite band. Practice self-care this summer by doing what makes you feel good. Enjoying yourself does wonders for reducing stress.
You may find yourself surprised by just how much impact a little effort can have on improving your mood and lowering stress. Between backyard barbecues and beach trips this summer, take the time you need for self-care.