June 23rd, 2024

Mental Health Matters: Simple ways to practice self-care this summer

By Collin Gallant on July 14, 2018.

With summer here, it is important to make a conscious effort to enjoy it. There are still many stressors during the summer, which makes it difficult to find time to do things that make us happy. There are a few tricks you can do to feel happier instantly.

One trick to feel happier is exercise, but gym memberships can be time consuming and costly. If you do not have the time or money for a gym, skip elevators and take the stairs. By taking the stairs, chemicals get released into your brain, and you feel better and happier right away. It’s a great, easy alternative to the gym, and taking the stairs every day can help you stay fit and happy. Another easy trick to feel happier immediately is to eat a banana. It contains potassium, which gives you energy and is good for your heart. The reason eating a banana is a great way to feel happy is because it also contains tryptophan, which helps create serotonin in your brain, a chemical we need to feel happy. Awareness is a tool we can use to feel better right away. When going for a walk, pay attention to your surroundings and really look at what is around you. Noticing and appreciating your surroundings is a great way to feel happy quickly.

In regard to diet, fruits and vegetables have great positive effects on our bodies, and we need five servings a day keep our systems healthy and happy. A great way to reach five portions and feel good is smoothies. You keep most of the nutrients from the fruits and vegetables, and they make five servings seem less daunting. An important trick around food to feeling happy is breakfast. Eating breakfast is another way to feel better this summer, as it gets your digestive system working and starts to eliminate the need for snacks during the day.

Doing a small favour or kindness to someone is a way to feel happy right away as well. It could be as simple as holding the door open for someone, spending time with someone who needs the company or buying a coffee for a family member or friend. A happy list is anothersimple way to keep yourself feeling good and reminds you of good times. When making a happy list, think of times that you have enjoyed, times you felt a job was done well and times felt close to someone else. Looking at your happy list when you feel down will help make you feel better right away.

Summertime is busy and sometimes stressful, so use a few of these simple tricks to feel upbeat and happy right away.

Justine Fiegler is the Youth Mental Health Support Worker with Canadian Mental Health Association. In addition to the youth program, Justine also serves as a Coordinator for the Caregivers Connections support group. For any inquires please call 403-504-1811 ext. 115.

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