How Summer Can Affect Our Mental Health

How Summer Can Affect Our Mental Health 

Calendar-IconJune 6, 2022  |  ALONE TIME, MENTAL HEALTH, SLEEP, SUMMER
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Summer and winter are opposites. Winter is cold and dreary, and the days are short. Summer features warmer weather, bright sunlight, and long days.  


While many of us feel the urge to stay inside during winter, summer produces the opposite effect. During summer you will probably want to spend more time outside and get more exercise.  


During summer, people often notice a boost in their mental health. This can be seen in both children and adults. A big reason is that the sun gives us more vitamin D exposure which can boost mental health.  


This post will go over some ways that summertime can affect our mental health.  

Your Mental Health in Summer


The Sun gives us more Vitamin D 


One of the good things about summer is that it's a great time to get outside and bask in the sun. One of the benefits of being outside during the summer months is that you'll receive more vitamin D from sunlight. Ultraviolet rays are what makes us tan and give us Vitamin D. 


Vitamin D helps build and maintain healthy bones by helping them absorb calcium into their structure. People who don’t get enough vitamin D may also experience muscle weakness as well as low energy levels due to their inability for muscle contraction. A healthier body helps make a healthier mind. 


Spend time outside during summer 


Many people are avid outdoors-lovers who enjoy being outside as much as they can. But there are also a lot of people who spend their free time inside, especially in the summer months when it's hot outside and it seems like there's nothing else to do but stay inside with air conditioning on full blast. 


Studies have shown that being outside during the summer months can improve your mental health by helping you stay active, which is important for sustaining a healthy mind and body.  


It's also been found that simply being exposed to sunlight helps boost serotonin production (a hormone that regulates our mood), so if you're feeling gloomy or stressed out during this time of year, sitting under an umbrella won't do much for you! 


Spend some time alone 


The summer months are a great time to spend some quality time with yourself. Whether you're on a road trip, at the beach, or lounging in your backyard, make sure that you take moments throughout the day to reflect and recharge.  


Take some time out of your busy schedule to sit in silence and meditate or simply enjoy being in nature without distraction or commotion. You will discover so much about yourself when you aren’t distracted by other people! 


It's harder to get enough sleep in summer. 


Summer is here, and it's hard to deny that the sun has a way of putting us in a good mood.  


But there are some things about summertime that can affect our mental health in negative ways. With longer days and lighter nights, maintaining regular sleep schedules can be difficult—especially when you're looking forward to spending more time outdoors!  


Maintaining a regular bedtime routine is important for getting enough shut-eye, but even if you do manage to stay on schedule during the day (and avoid overdoing it with all that outdoor activity), the increased daylight hours may still throw your body clock off-kilter in the evening. 


Prepare for the winter months 


When summer ends, it’s hard not to feel like something has been lost.  


As the days become shorter and colder, we tend to avoid going outside. We retreat into our homes and hide from the elements as much as possible.  


It’s important not to abandon your self-care routine just because winter has arrived—even though it feels like you might want to hibernate in your bed with a blanket over your head forever (we get it).  


Take advantage of sunlight whenever possible; light therapy is an easy way to boost serotonin levels naturally without having any negative side effects.  


While we understand why people often shy away from sunlight during these months, getting outside for even a few minutes each day can help prevent feelings of depression or anxiety caused by a seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is most common during the autumn/winter months when there aren’t enough daylight hours for our bodies' circadian rhythms. 


Summer Months and Better Mental Health 


People often report the best mental health in the summer months. This is due to a myriad of factors including longer days, increase vitamin D, and other factors.  


It is important to use the summer months to plan outdoor activities with your children. Getting your children used to outdoor time can help instill lifelong healthy habits that they will carry with them into adulthood.  


If you are looking for other ways to instill healthy habits in your children, then it is time to check out Child Focus.  


At Child Focus we offer many programs aimed at helping children to better acclimate to life. See what we can offer your family today!