Summer is officially here! Although there’s a lot to look forward to in the warmest season of the year, there are still many factors that can cause stress. With so much going on during the summer, it can be easy to neglect your wellbeing and self-care. Luckily, there are many ways to relieve some summer stress. Here are some wellness practices to consider.
It’s no secret that exercise is an effective way to relieve stress. Staying active has been proven to give you more energy and improve your mood, which will naturally reduce any tension or anxiety in your life. Not to mention, exercising regularly can improve both your mental and physical health and is a great way to practice self-care. Physical activity doesn’t have to be a huge commitment and can come in many forms. Walking your dog, going on a bike ride, hitting the gym, or playing sports are all great ways to stay active. Try to make these activities something you enjoy and incorporate at least 30 minutes of exercise in your day and your stress will melt away!
Organize Your Finances
Sunshine and warm weather have a way of boosting our moods, and with many people taking extra days off in the summer it’s easy to overspend on shopping, dining out, and other fun activities. Especially if you’re traveling and going on vacation, it’s important to keep track of your spending to avoid additional stress. Vacation stress is often inevitable just from planning and coordinating different schedules, and going into debt from these costs can make this even worse. In fact, money can be a major source of anxiety and uneasiness with 73% of Americans ranking finances as their number one cause of stress.
To help relieve some financial stress, create a monthly budget to live on throughout the year along with separate budgets for any vacations or special events you have going on. This will help organize your spending and make sure you can comfortably afford the associated costs. Debt is another big factor that causes stress, and can prevent you from achieving future goals such as buying a home or going on a well-deserved vacation during the summer. If you spend a lot of money on eating out at restaurants or buying clothes, try to cut back and dedicate this money toward debt repayment. If you’re a homeowner, you can also research how home equity loans work and how you can use them to pay off debt and fund any summer expenses. Using your home’s equity allows you to use the money for any purpose, and even has a lower interest rate than a credit card or personal loan which makes it a helpful financing option. Whatever you decide to do, making sure your money is organized will reduce any financial worry and stress while you’re enjoying the summer.
Spend Time Outside
Summer is the perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy the warm weather and beautiful foliage! Although it’s tempting to stay indoors with some air conditioning when it’s hot out, it’s important to spend time outside for both your mental and physical health. In fact, a study from Nature.com found that spending at least 120 minutes per week outdoors can improve your overall health and wellbeing. Going outside is a simple way to unplug from technology and can help you destress by getting some fresh air and vitamin D, which regulates your mood and promotes bone development.
Spending time outdoors is also a fun and scenic way to stay active, which is a proven way to reduce stress as mentioned earlier. Whether you go on a hike, spend time at the beach, read a book at the park, or have a picnic, going outside is an easy and effective way to relieve some stress during the summer.
Get Enough Sleep
Another cause of stress that might not be so obvious is getting enough sleep. Especially when the weather is nice and the sun stays out longer, it can be easy to stay up late and neglect some well-needed rest. However, sleep is a vital function and can help you recharge your brain and rest your body. Depriving your body of sleep will only enhance your stress and can make you more irritable and fatigued. According to a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, 21% of adults report feeling more stressed when they don’t get enough sleep, with 45% of adults with higher reported stress levels feeling even more stressed without an adequate amount of sleep.
Experts recommend that you get around seven to nine hours of sleep per night which can improve your concentration, regulate your mood, and sharpen your cognitive abilities. These qualities are essential in reducing stress and can even boost your energy levels. Try to stick to a consistent sleep schedule each night to get your body in a steady routine, but if you often feel tired during the day consider taking naps to squeeze in some extra rest. To make sure your naps don’t disrupt your normal sleep schedule, try to limit them to around 30 minutes for a quick midday refresh. Pairing quick naps along with a consistent sleep routine will ensure your body and mind are energized and well-rested so you can have a stress-free summer!
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