6 Ways to Prioritize Your Mental Health This Summer
Summer is here, and so is the reminder that focusing on your mental health isn't just something you should do when stuck inside during the colder months.
After all, summer vacation is the perfect time to get started on your glow-up, and who says that glow-up can't be mental as well as physical? Whatever it is you have planned for how you're going to spend this season, you should definitely try to incorporate these ways to prioritize your mental health over the summer while you're at it.
1. Start Simple By Going For a Daily Hot Girl Walk
If you've somehow made it this far into 2022 without hearing of the concept of a Hot Girl Walk, we simply don't know how! But whether you already know about it or not, the beauty of a Hot Girl Walk is that there's no one way to do it (despite what you might have seen on your For You Page). Do what feels good for you, but in general, you'll need some earbuds, comfortable walking shoes, maybe a cute athleisure outfit and of course, a place to walk for as long as you like. The longer the better—the point is to be getting into the zone where your thoughts just melt away (it's for your mental health as well as your physical after all, remember?).
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2. Say No To Plans You Don't Want To Go To, But Also Remember To Sometimes Say Yes
Okay, that may sound confusing at first, but what we really mean by that is to put yourself first. In order to do that, you'll need to get out of your comfort zone a bit to learn more about yourself, what situations make you happy and how to make incredible memories over summer so that it doesn't feel like you've wasted the whole thing binge-watching Netflix in bed. But when someone invites you to something you just don't want to go to or that you think might lead to you burning out, it's more than okay to say no. Don't feel pressured, just do what feels right for you and your mental health will thank you.
3. Be More Mindful
You've got the time to kill over the summer, so why not spend it practicing mindfulness? It may sound like something that you don't need to "practice," but you'd be surprised. Being mindful is all about slowing down and soaking in the moment—and what better time is there to do that than summer? Next time you're laying by the pool, stop and actually take in the feeling of the sun on your skin, the water on your toes or any other pleasant thing around you that you might not normally put in the effort to think about. The more you do it with random situations like this, the better you get at it and the more your mental health will benefit.
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4. Get Active
If Hot Girl Walks aren't for you, maybe the gym will be. Or maybe it will be playing tennis just for fun with your friends, or volleyball on the beach. Whatever way you love to get your body moving over the summer, your mind will reap the benefits as well thanks to the rush of endorphins that exercise provides.
5. Write It Out
The best time to start a journal is, well, anytime, but it certainly doesn't hurt to have more time and less stress from school or other sources during summer. And don't think that you have to write a daily diary, either—journaling can be as simple as jotting down some affirmations, some goals you have for yourself to reach by the end of the year (or week or month or whatever works for you) or even just some qualities that you like about yourself. Whatever it is, putting pen to paper helps you materialize what you're thinking about and prioritize the things that matter most.
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6. Spend Time With Friends/Family/Loved Ones
With all the constant reminders about "hot girl summer" and "summer flings," you can feel like you're supposed to be having the type of summer that deserves a romance novel written about it. However, you don't need to feel pressure to date over the summer—or ever, for that matter. If your mental health needs some work, it might be best to focus on working out your mind before your heart. The best way to do that? By spending time with the people that make you feel the most like you, rather than some person that sets you on edge worrying about whether or not they like you, or whether or not you like them. Make memories with your friends, family and other loved ones this summer—it'll certainly be a time you won't forget if you do.
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