6 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health this Summer

Above all else, your mental health should be one of your number one priorities. When you work on improving yourself and better managing your mental health, you often find that other areas of your life improve, and you feel happier and healthier overall. 

Especially after winter, many find that their mental health is in need of some serious TLC. So this makes summer the perfect time to get out, soak up the sun, and start some new routines that can boost your mood and help you feel better.

1. Develop a Regular Yoga Routine

You’ve likely heard it before, but we’ll say it again because it’s worth repeating: yoga can help strengthen your mental health. It’s not just a trendy wellness practice. Yoga has been linked to improved mental health by experts. 

So there’s no time like now to dust off that old yoga mat you’ve barely used and throw yourself into a regular yoga routine. And it doesn’t take much — just a quiet space and ten to twenty minutes a day can do the trick if you’re just starting out. 

2. Start a Collecting Hobby

Society has somewhat shamed collectors by creating shows like Hoarders and others that portray hobby collectors as odd or quirky. But there is actually a psychology behind collecting that shows it helps with mental health disorders. 

In the simplest sense, collecting as a hobby can bring people a lot of joy and pleasure, which helps with mood-boosting chemicals. But it can also help with things like social anxiety as it can help you get out and find others who share your collecting interests. 

Collecting has even been shown to help with stress reduction and developing healthy routines and habits. When you have something you love, you are more likely to develop routines and healthy habits to make that hobby possible. 

3. Take a Break from Social Media

For all the boons of social media, there are just as many harmful effects. The biggest issue is that social media is now likened to a drug. Receiving notifications and scrolling can release dopamine, which triggers instant happy feelings — but those feelings don’t last, and nothing useful really comes from them. 

This is not to say that social media is evil, but it’s important for people to start developing healthier social media use habits. So if your mental health is struggling, summer is the perfect time to do social media detox and learn to find other more useful ways to spend your time and feel happy. 

4. Get Outside More Often

One of the main reasons for seasonal depression during the winter is the lack of sun and time spent outside in nature. Science has proven that spending more time outside in the sun can release serotonin and help fight depression, among many other health benefits. 

So dust off that bike, shake out that old picnic blanket, get yourself some camping gear, and get outside this summer. If these activities aren’t to your liking, there are other endless possibilities. You can start a garden, go kayaking, pick up foraging, or try your hand at nature photography. 

Even just going for a morning walk every day or hanging out in the backyard with friends can help you feel better and soak up that vitamin D. Whatever your interests are, there are many ways that you can enjoy yourself outdoors

5. Develop a Healthier Sleep Routine

This one isn’t specifically tied to summer, but it’s worth noting as sleep plays a crucial role in mental health. The fall, winter, and spring months can often be busy and chaotic with work, school, and holidays. So the summer is an excellent time to rest and recuperate. 

If your sleep habits tend to decline during the cooler months, use summer to get back on track and catch up on some much-needed ZZZs. You can try creating a calmer bedroom space, practicing wind-down routines, and following a sleep-and-wake schedule. 

Exercising more during the day can also help you sleep better at night — as can avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco in the evenings. 

6. Start a Journal

Disorganized and overwhelming thoughts can also contribute to poor mental health. So starting a journal over the summer can help you calm your mind and prevent spiraling or racing thoughts that can contribute to anxiety and panic attacks. 

Journaling can also help you organize your thoughts, which can help improve your memory and help you develop healthier routines during the rest of your day. For example, if you journal at night before bed about what’s on your mind or what you need to do, it can help you wake up feeling more prepared to handle what the day has in store for you. 

Final Thoughts

The tips above can certainly help you have a more enjoyable summer and improve your mental health, but if you are still struggling, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Therapy is nothing to be ashamed of, and a health professional can better evaluate your situation and give you the tools you need to better manage your mental health.

Indiana Lee

Indiana Lee lives in the Northwest and has a passion for the environment and wellness. She draws her inspiration from nature and makes sure to explore the outdoors on a regular basis. Indiana loves experiencing new things and sharing with others what she learns through her writing. You can chat with Indiana on twitter @IndianaLee3