Summer is everything. It’s the moment everyone is waiting for to have fun, be free, and enjoy the things that are only meant for summer.
Unfortunately, this summer has been rough for all of us. I personally have been struggling with my mental stability. And I know I’m not the only one, especially with COVID-19 plaguing our minds and pretty much everything in our lives and the unrest in the country stirred up by inequality towards Black people, people of color, and the LGBTQ communities.
When everything around you is seeming to break down, you have control over yourself and how you handle that. A good way to do that is to build a routine or plan to help you get back to a healthy mental space. I’ve come up with a short list of things I do to get me to a safe mental space when I’m feeling particularly low.
1. Get Outside
The power of the sun on your skin and a breeze in your face is unmatched. Sometimes when you’re in a low point, getting outside really helps to lift you up. This is the easiest and most versatile one for me because I can make it simple and just get some fresh air by sitting on my patio for a few minutes, I could read or blog outside, I could exercise, and I can do all of this in so many places outside. The parks and beaches are open now and fresh air is free. Just stay safe and hydrated.
I am an avid reader and I feel like I haven’t been able to crack a good book open in so long. This summer has opened that up for me because everything that I had planned was tossed aside so I had all this time to do what I love and that’s reading. Reading is also a nice escape from everything that’s going on and could also be a good way to educate yourself and improve on something.
Sleep is so important and sometimes in the day to day hustle, we forget to really give this part of our lives some TLC. Not only is sleep important but a healthy routine and environment for sleep. If possible, set yourself up with a bedtime and rise time to ensure you get adequate sleep. Make it reasonable for your routine because your body will quickly fall into this. Then watch your activity before bed; scrolling on Twitter is one of my bad habits before bed and it leaves me wired. I recently started reading before bed and it knocks me right out and I’ve been sleeping more peacefully. Also making sure your bed and/or room is inviting and enticing for sleep. Take time to decorate or clean up your space so it’s comfortable and welcoming. That might mean new sheets or using essential oils, or whatever makes you feel comfortable.
Journaling is a good way to get those overwhelming thoughts out of your mind and really see them. Facing those thoughts is actually how you get rid of them. Once you address them and let them ride out, you will find that they have less or no more power over you. If you find this practice to be lame or difficult, check out Pinterest. Sometimes journaling doesn’t have to be just writing your thoughts out, there’s so many ways you can make it work for you.
5. BONUS: Therapy
I know from experience; therapy is expensive. But it can help to see a professional to get some thoughts out and get some healthy solutions to the unhealthy things that have been happening to you. If expense is an issue, try BetterHelp.com; they give a free 7 day trial for an online therapist where you can message or video chat with them. They also offer a discount on their service if you ask. There are also other apps and services out there that provide therapeutic support, such as meditation, to help you be at your best. Hit up google and check around.
I hope you all are staying healthy and safe this summer; it’s almost over so make the most of it and enjoy what you can!