Physical health and emotional health go hand in hand. Take advantage of the Mind Spa’s Summer wellness tips to boost your mental health this Summer!
1. Have Fun in the Sun
Did you know that safe sun exposure is linked to increased serotonin levels?
Serotonin is a feel-good hormone and neurotransmitter that plays an active role in regulating mood and emotions. When the retina of the eye is exposed to UV rays, this signals the brain to make serotonin, positively impacting behavior and psychological well-being.
Today, research and studies have linked ample serotonin levels to lower levels and incidences of depression, fear responses, and addiction.
This Summer, take advantage of safe sun exposure at the earlier to later hours of the day. For an extra boost, engage in an outdoor activity such as walking or biking, which will also stimulate higher serotonin and endorphin levels!
2. Hydrate for a Better Mood
During the Summer, it’s easy to get dehydrated with the temperature increase and outdoor activities. However, did you know that inadequate hydration is linked to poor cognitive function?
Studies have shown that even mild dehydration has a negative effect on mood, short-term memory, and attention span. Dehydration is just one of many chemical triggers that can trigger anxiety and depression.
With our bodies being made up of 60% water, it is no wonder why our brains need water!
This Summer, give your brain a much-needed boost by drinking water! The US National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine now recommends about 15.5 cups of fluids daily for men and 11.5 cups a day for women.
For an extra boost, add electrolytes and natural fruit to access additional vitamins and nutrients. Your brain and mood will thank you!
3. Connect with Those You Love
Good conversation, healthy laughter, and quality time with family, friends, and community is not just reserved for the holiday season but every season!
More and more data shows that social connection is a key indicator of physical and psychological health.
This Summer, boost your mood with strong social connections! Social connections can be with family members, friends, or a social group.
For an extra boost, try something new! Enroll in a fun class, join a club, and or volunteer. Whether it’s goat yoga with friends or a new book club, social bonds are shown to stimulate a good mood.
4. Get Lost in a Good Book
They say reading makes you smarter, but reading can actually make you happier too!
Studies have shown that reading can promote near-immediate physical benefits such as reducing tension, heart rate, blood pressure, and more.
The psychological benefits of reading are substantial too. Recent studies have shown reading to be an effective tool for managing anxiety and depression, as individuals reported greater well-being and improved mood after getting lost in an enjoyable novel.
For an extra mental health boost this Summer, add reading what you find most enjoyable to your bucket list! Whether it is a fashion magazine, fictional novel, or autobiography, reading is just what your brain may need on a hot summer day.
If you’re looking for a book, here are a few of my favorite Mindfulness books.
5. Tackle a To-Do
We all know that feeling when we finally achieve a long-awaited or procrastinated goal. We feel accomplished, productive, and even powerful! And this is because our brains are hardwired this way; the reward system powered by dopamine is what our ancestors used to achieve certain tasks necessary for survival.
This Summer, if you find yourself getting bored with the mundane and needing an extra boost, consider doing something that you have wanted to do for a long time but haven’t had the chance to do.
Whether tackling a long-awaited DIY project with the family, sprucing up the garden, organizing the garage, or finally trying out a new recipe, all these activities are sure to boost your brain!
For more on mental health, feel free to check out the following Mind Spa resources: