This summer is a weird one, for sure. At a time when many of us would be off exploring the world or relaxing at home soaking up the sun, many of us are working from home to avoid a pandemic, protesting causes, and doing all we can to stay sane. 2020 has been a rough year, to say the least, but that doesn’t mean we have to let our summer go to waste. Sure, how we spend our summer may be different from years past, but now more than ever, we deserve to use this time to heal both mentally and physically.
Get Outside in a Capacity That Feels Safe
First and foremost, if you’re anything like me, you’ve been losing track of time. As an adult, this may sound ridiculous, but spending time at home, working strange hours, and having virtual plans take over my life, time seems like a strange and silly concept. This is fine and all until I realize that with that loss of time comes a loss of my ability to keep track of my mental health and energy. Without even thinking about it, I’m overworking myself and “losing out” on time with myself, friends, family, and the great outdoors. Ready to reset your internal clock? Well, it can be as simple as getting out for 30 minutes to an hour a day. Take that social distance stroll around your neighborhood. Order a tea or coffee-to-go from your favorite coffee shop, and find a spot to relax (with care and a mask) in a park or simply on your front lawn. If you happen to live in a community that offers outdoor amenities, make sure to take extra care to stay germ-free and leave an amenity, like a playground or the like, as germ-free as possible.
Take a “Vacation”
There are countless studies that show the correlation between good mental health and finding peace within isolation. Although you might not have the option to take a vacation to a far off location this summer, you can still find getaways closer to you. Whether you’re visiting a luxury cabin in a mountain town or taking a stay-cation in your own backyard, remember to treat yourself in some way as you feel the stress of life coming in. It’s normal to have above-average anxiety at this time, but working to dismantle the evils of this world while staying coronavirus free is still a lot for one person to handle. You still deserve that vacation. Go camping, convene with Mother Nature, or simply let yourself take an hour-long bubble bath if that’s more your thing.
Practice Mindfulness at Home
Without preaching the importance of mindfulness and meditation, both are, in fact, a healthy way to spend your time this summer. On any normal day, we can take for granted all the small and big things that make our daily life simpler. With all that’s happening, it can feel like the world is slowly closing in on us. Take a moment. Take a breath. And take a second to appreciate anything in your life that is helping you through this time. Both meditation and mindfulness don’t have to feel like impossible tasks. The key to mindfulness is not to overthink the task at all. In any given moment, take a second to appreciate what you have in front of you, whether it’s work, a place to live, family, friends, or simply the love of a beloved pet. Be mindful of how you view your day, and instead of seeing things as simply negative, try to find the cornels of positive.
Meditation can seem daunting at, to say the least. However, when it comes to recharging and renewing our minds and mental wellbeing, meditating can be a helpful tool. It can be especially helpful for those working through trauma, recovery, or depression during the quarantine. If you’re overwhelmed by the prospect of taking a quiet moment of meditation for yourself, start small. Even five minutes in the morning or night to simply breathe slowly and let your thoughts escape you, can be enough to let your mind reset and find restfulness.
Craft time isn’t just for kids
Feeling sluggish, depressed, and in a pit of despair? It’s time for a craft hour! Remember being little and feeling completely at one with the world when finger painting or playing with playdough? Yeah. Me too. Let’s get back to that feeling. Whether you’re doodling in a notebook, trying your hand at baking sourdough bread, or working through stress with knitting needles and a ball of yarn, summer can be the perfect time to get creative, learn a new skill, and find mental rejuvenation.