How to use the longer and lighter days of summer to improve your mental health

black woman looking out over balcony, wellbeing, relax

Article by Ashley Lourens, Head of Wellbeing, Plumm

The last couple of years have been hard on everyone, and the number of people reporting mental health issues has risen. Maintaining mental wellbeing can help to prevent or alleviate mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.

With workloads on the rise both professionally and at home, it’s harder than ever for busy people to find time for themselves and achieve the right work-life balance, whilst looking after their mental health. With the longer and lighter days of Summer, it is time help bring calm and balance to your day-to-day life, no matter how busy.

Mental wellbeing isn’t just about preventing mental illness, it’s also about feeling good. Long periods of low mood or stress can increase the risk of mental health conditions such as depression, so it’s imperative to take care of your mental health as you would your physical health.

Summer is a glorious month for most, and especially so for those who need a mental health boost. A lot of people don’t realise it, but summer provides plenty of opportunities to boost your mental wellbeing. So, how do you use summer to help support your mental health?

Absorb some vitamin D

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin our body needs. It can be found in small amounts in some foods, but the biggest source of vitamin D is the sun.

Rays from the sun contain high doses of vitamin D, but how does that help you feel better? Well, it’s more to do with the lack of vitamin D you likely have in the other seasons. Vitamin D deficiency is thought to be common in the UK and has been linked to several health issues, including depression.

Getting outside, even if it’s just in your garden, and soaking up the vitamin D filled rays can help to alleviate low moods caused by vitamin D deficiencies. Just remember to always wear sunscreen.

Spend time in nature

It’s been scientifically proven that green spaces can help to improve our mental health. Being in nature, surrounded by vibrant plant life and wildlife, may help us feel more connected to the earth.

Green is known to be a calming colour and being in green spaces such as parks, fields or even just your own garden, can improve mental health by reducing stress, reducing anger and increasing feelings of calm and happiness.

Whether you want a boost, are already suffering from low mental health or have a mental health condition, nature is great for the mind.

Spend time with friends and family

Summer is a social month. The great weather and longer evenings mean we can get together with friends, have barbecues and generally be more social than we would in the winter months.

Even for those who prefer the indoors or their own company, getting out and seeing other people is known to help raise your mood. Having fun and feeling like a part of something is a fantastic side effect of summer.

Organise a barbecue, go to the park with friends, go on long walks every day, visit nature areas and woodlands, sit in your garden and read a book. No matter what you choose to do, make sure it makes you feel good.

Harness summer in 2022

As we head into the warmer months, harness the power of summer to boost your mental wellbeing and tackle symptoms of mental illness. For more tips on looking after your mental wellbeing, visit Plumm.

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