5 Tips to Relax and Recharge This Summer
RAFT Team, June 27, 2022
Summer brings excitement, but also high expectations. You’re poised to relax and enjoy the weather, so why do you feel exhausted and stressed out? You’re not alone.
73% of people experience more stress and anxiety during the summer. Here are a few reasons:
- Warm temperatures can increase anxiety. High humidity makes it worse.
- Heat increases stress hormone production.
- FOMO is higher during the summer. (Thanks, social media, for showing us all the amazing things other people are doing.)
You certainly don’t need another item to add to your to-do list or to feel guilty about not accomplishing. But sometimes one simple idea or the encouragement to progress in a new direction makes a difference.
Below are 5 tips to help you relax and recharge this summer.
Don’t feel you have to do them all. Choose one tip from the list and watch beautiful things happen.
1. Make a To-Do List Just for Fun Things
To-do lists include all the things you have to do. To help you relax and recharge this summer, try creating a to-do list of only fun things instead. Your mind might instantly go to exotic beach vacations or skiing in the Rockies.
Instead, think simple. Maybe it’s one of these:
- Find a new “beach read”
- Eat a bowl of fresh berries
- Visit a local park you haven’t explored yet
- Grill a new recipe
- Make sun tea
- Schedule a movie date with yourself
- Discover a new Podcast
- Plant some flowers
When you have 30 minutes or an hour, pull out your list and see what enjoyable thing you can spend time on.
If you face a full weekend of yard work, obligatory family get-togethers, and mounds of laundry, choose something from your list that you can look forward to in between. (Or even better, instead of one of those things.)
When you’re already tired, overwhelmed, or discouraged, a go-to list takes the pressure off yourself to think up something fun and relaxing to do. Your list can empower you! And help you practice greater self-compassion.
2. Find a Patch of Nature
Nature brings unique healing to your heart and mind. The quiet environment, the beautiful scenery, wonderful fresh smells, and fresh air can lower your blood pressure, calm you, ground you, reduce stress, and increase a sense of wonder.
Find a park. A patch of grass. A tall tree. Take in all the details: what’s the texture, the smell, the colors, the size?
Even a 60-second pause admiring the natural world can help you relax and recharge.
If you can’t get outside but still need a break, take a virtual nature walk on YouTube. Start your journey with these:
3. Establish a Mindfulness Routine
Mindfulness doesn’t have to be an hour long meditation session. In fact, mindful.org defines mindfulness simply as, “the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.”
This approach doesn’t require you to add anything to your day. It simply means to be fully present in whatever it is you’re doing.
Your mindfulness routine doesn’t need to be complicated. Maybe your mindfulness routine is a reminder on your phone twice a day to pause for 60 seconds and be fully present in that minute.
4. Take a News Hiatus
The news is full of controversial topics and discouraging circumstances from around the world. It’s on websites, television stations, social media, and at your local coffee shop! If you’re already feeling anxious, watching the news can make it worse.
Over 7 in 10 adults (72%) acknowledge that media blows things out of proportion, and more than half (54%) say that they want to stay informed about the news, but following it causes them stress.
Faced with uncertainty, it’s normal to seek as much information as possible. Your brain tells you that the more you know, the better you'll feel. And it works — for the short term.
Unfortunately, extended exposure can make you realize there is no certainty, causing your anxiety to skyrocket. Avoid the news for a day or two. See how you feel.
5. Be Intentional About Positivity
Who are the people, where are the places, and what are the things that keep you grounded in the present and get you excited about the future? Prioritize your time with them. Your perspective will shift towards hope and you’ll feel better about almost everything.
Follow these 5 tips to help you rest and recharge.
There’s no magic formula to regain your strength and motivation, but slowing down certainly helps. You have value and are worth the investment!
Changing habits takes time. (Learn 20 tips to make it easier here.) As you seek to relax and recharge this summer, remember that it’s okay to say no. It’s okay to ask for help. (Here are 3 ways to ask for help.) And it’s okay to spend an evening doing something you love.
Self-care will gradually become a mindset rather than a to-do list. And with each step you take, you’re building compassion resilience!