We’re just a few days from the official start of summer, and I’m excited it’s here again. Of course, since Buckner is based in Texas, we usually start the summer temperatures sometime in early March and don’t break out our fall sweaters until Thanksgiving. It’s hot here.
This week, I asked Dr. Amy Curtis, senior director of counseling at Buckner, to share five tips to increase self-care. In turn, she collaborated with the entire counseling team to offer their best tips. See how many of these you can work into your summer schedule.
Be intentional about sleep
Sleep is one of the most important components to self-care. But did you know we normally sleep less during the summer? Your body’s production of melatonin and your circadian rhythm correlate with the light outside so longer days with more sunlight may shorten your overall sleep time. Sleep is very important to your overall health so be intentional about your sleep habits.
Take your inside activities outside and connect to nature
Take advantage of the added daylight to rest and unwind outside. Read under the shade of a tree. Go for a nature walk. Have a picnic. Spending time outside reduces stress, and a little extra vitamin D from outside can improve your immune system and reduce inflammation.
Go for a walk around the block after dinner
This can be tricky in Texas where you may need a can of mosquito spray, an entire tube of SPF 70 and a 64-ounce bottle of water to walk a block. However, walking after dinner helps to boost your immune system, lower your blood glucose and improve heart health. So, the next time you go for a walk, just tell yourself it is worth it in the long run.
Be mindful about what your body needs to refuel
And don’t forget to hydrate! Increased heat means an increased need for water. Experts suggest drinking 6-12 ounces of water for every 15 minutes spent outside and 16-20 ounces of water 1-2 hours before an outdoor activity.
Stay on schedule
We mentioned the additional daylight which can throw off sleep. It can also throw off a schedule. In the summer, children are out of school, young adults are home from college, guests come to visit or you go on a much-anticipated vacation. Whatever the reason, schedules get disrupted. Try your best to keep a consistent, predictable schedule in the summer. An added benefit is that predictability lowers anxiety in children.
I hope some of these tips helped. As we enjoy the longer, warmer days of summer, find time to use some of them in your daily routine.
And, as always, I hope your summer and time with family and friends is blessed. Thank you for your support of Buckner.