Finally – this cruel, bitter winter is over! The sun is coming out and the birds are chirping, and summer is on its way.
However, for some, summer might seem a little scary.
Whether the kids are driving you crazy on their summer vacation, you have a big work project coming up, or you just have the summer blues, summer might seem stressful. And when it’s happy and sunny outside, you feel like you should be happy…which might just stress you out more.
However, you can get rid of stress in a few simple ways so that you can feel ready to grab this summer by the horns and live up every day!
How to Get Rid of Stress This Summer
1. Get some (safe) sun
According to a study conducted by researchers at Baker Heart Research Institute, summer is associated with higher levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that can, essentially, make you happy. It’s thought that seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is often caused by low levels of serotonin in the winter.
Sunlight can boost your serotonin levels, so if you’re feeling stressed, slap on some SPF onto those pale winter arms of yours and get some sun.
2. Join a class
Treat yourself this summer and take a class of your choosing. It could be a workout class, like yoga, or just a fun class, like painting. It’s always great to have goals, and imagine how great it would feel to be better at something by September!
By the way, don’t try to claim that you don’t have enough time – you can spare an hour a week for something you love if it will help you get rid of stress.
3. Use a planner
Have you been feeling a little scatterbrained? Do yourself a favor and get a planner (or dig up that one you bought last year) and actually use it! If you make concise and practical to-do lists every morning for half an hour, you won’t spend the entire rest of your day trying to keep track of it all in your head.
That way, you can concentrate on your family’s jokes during the 4th of July cookout instead of worrying about what you have to do next week.
4. Go on short trips
What better way to get rid of stress than to go somewhere new and fun? You might not have time to drop everything for an entire week, but why not make a day trip to the closest beach with the family on Saturday, or maybe make a weekend trip to visit friends in another state? Traveling, even if it’s “minor” traveling, will keep your summer fresh and exciting.
5. Get up early
Remember good ol’ serotonin? If you sleep the day away, you won’t get outside for that nice aforementioned sunshine, which might affect your serotonin levels. Try to get yourself up early and enjoy your mornings.
Related: 5 Benefits of Waking Up Early
Getting up even five minutes earlier than you have to might not seem like something that will get rid of stress, but you’d be surprised how great you feel when you get half of your to-do list done before you’d normally even be awake.
6. Go on jogs or walks
One study found that the average American spends more than half of their waking hours sitting down, which can be incredibly bad for your health over time. Go get your sunlight by getting up and going on a walk or jog around the block once or twice a day.
Plus, getting active can release endorphins, which can help you get rid of stress like nothing else.
7. Use this weather!
Overall, the biggest way to enjoy your summer is to take advantage of this gorgeous weather as much as humanly possible! Get yourself outside working in the garden, or hang out with your family by getting them outside on hikes or in the pool instead of inside watching a movie.
Related: How to Grow An Organic Garden
There is no better way to get rid of stress than to feel like you’re taking advantage of every day this beautiful summer is offering you.
No matter what your concerns are about this summer, you can take each day as it comes and have a blast. You can get rid of stress during this lovely season so that you spend your days not worried and anxious, but happy and sunny!
Not sure how stressed you are? Take our quiz here.
Sammy Nickalls is the former content manager of Inspiyr.com and is a freelance writer for various sites, including HelloGiggles, YourTango, Quickbooks, and TWLOHA. Follow her on Twitter @sammynickalls.
Photo by Jessica Christ