Mental health and physical health are largely connected, so by taking care of your body, you’re also taking care of your mind. Here are five things to remember this summer to help you take care of your body and mind.
1. Get your rest
Routines may vary with summer events but aim to get seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Keep your room cool and shades pulled to help make your sleep more comfortable.
2. Move your body
Added heat (even if it’s dry heat!) can make exercise uncomfortable in the summer months. Try getting some exercise in the morning hours before the sun is at its peak. Or break up your day and go for shorter walk breaks throughout your day.
3. Connect with other
Plan something fun with family or friends. It doesn’t need to be expensive, but being social and around others will help keep any negative thoughts from ruminating. If you aren’t feeling like being in a crowded space (street fair, farmers’ market, amusement park), try to call at least one person to stay connected.
4. Stay hydrated
Aim to drink more than the standard eight glasses a day. And get creative: put some frozen berries in your water or even some mint leaves and lime slices. Opt for snacks with high-water content such as watermelon, cantaloupe, tomatoes, and cucumbers.
5. Wear sunscreen
Look for at least an SPF 30 and wear it all the time! Even if you are just running errands or going for a “short walk,” ultraviolet exposure increases somewhere between four and 10 percent for every 1,000 feet above sea level. So at an altitude of 9,000 feet (about equal to Georgetown), UV radiation can be nearly 50 percent more intense than at sea level.
Use these tips to help take care of yourself this summer and stay safe and healthy all season long!
Shannon Gwash is the Director of Wellness Services for Jefferson Center and is also a Certified Mayo Clinic Wellness Coach. She earned her MS from the University of Denver in Strategic Health Communications/Behavior Change. She has nearly 10 years of experience in the communication world and nearly three in parenting … which clearly makes her an expert there. To stay sane, she runs around Sloan’s Lake, hikes with her daughter, enjoys outdoor concerts and reads nerdy books.