Every year, my kids and I look forward to the long summer break from school. Perks like sleeping in late, daily swims in the pool and traveling to new destinations all add up to a fun, memorable summer. So, why do I always get the summertime blues come August?
I believe a big reason I feel down in the dumps mid-summer is from the intense heat and not getting outside enough because of it. With temperatures often above 100 degrees here in Oklahoma, even swimming can be hot! Because of this, I find myself spending more time inside the house than I would like. Add that to a wonky sleep schedule, busy summer activities and too many trips through the fast food lane and you have the perfect storm for the blues.
So, how can we avoid a summertime slump? I have five tips below that can help!
Get healthy sleep. It’s easy to get off schedule when the kids don’t have to be at school in the morning. The problem is, when we get off of our regular schedule we tend to get less sleep, or even too much sleep, both of which can be dangerous for our mood and overall well-being. Instead, try sticking to a healthy, regular schedule throughout the summer. It will be easier to adjust to the school schedule come fall, too!
Exercise. If you are often cooped up inside the house due to extreme heat conditions, don’t forget to exercise. Exercising releases endorphins that help support mood, so it is important to keep your body moving. This may require turning the television off from time to time, but you will be glad you did.
Don’t overschedule. Though summertime seems like one huge break from the norm, families often end up adding more activities and travel to their schedules than usual. Overdoing it can lead to fatigue, which can lead to the blues. Try to avoid overscheduling appointments and activities for your family by creating a calendar to include empty days to rest.
Watch what you eat. Busy summer schedules often lead to families eating quick, unhealthy meals. Whether it be a greasy burger from a fast food joint or processed sugary snacks, we tend to grab whatever is easiest at the time. To avoid this temptation, consider slicing fruits and vegetables in advance, then placing in baggies to create a quick grab-and-go snack. In addition, consider taking a daily multivitamin to help supplement those not-so-healthy food days.
Get creative. It is important that we keep our bodies AND minds active. Get your creative juices flowing by trying a new recipe, craft or art. Whatever inspires you, do it! Your mood will thank you and you may learn a new skill along the way.
Here’s to a healthy, happy summer with NO summertime blues!