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Fun in the Sun

Fun in the Sun: Ways to Enjoy a Stress-Free Summer

At last, summer 2021 is here! Let’s face it, we have all encountered challenges related to stress, fear, anxiety, and so much more over the past year. Adapting to working from home, kids adjusting to online learning, and social life turned into virtual life – it has been a challenge. It’s time to take a break, relax, and recharge our minds, hearts, and spirits. We may not fully be back to our “normal”, but there are still ways to enjoy the summer, stress-free.

Here are 3 tips to having a stress-less summer:

Go Outside!
One of the most common health benefits of going outside is sunlight. Sunlight provides our bodies with valuable Vitamin D, which helps boost our immune systems and gives us energy. But what about our mental health? Being outdoors also has a positive effect on individuals mentally and emotionally. The great outdoors also improves stress and anxiety levels, self-esteem, sleep and focus.

In Japan there is a therapeutic practice called “shinrin-yoku”, which translates to “Forest Bathing”. Now I know what you may be thinking, but no worries, it has nothing to do with taking a bubble bath in the forest! This practice is about unplugging from daily distractions and clearing our minds, by connecting with nature through our senses, such as sight, sound, smell, touch, and possibly for some taste. Inhaling fresh clean air, listening to the sounds of the wind, laying under a huge tree while watching the sun’s rays play peek-a-boo through the leaves, feeling the gentle breeze flowing against your skin, and smelling the natural scents of earth – this is shinrin-yoku. Take time this summer to relax, meditate, and rejuvenate yourself while embracing the beauty of God’s creation.

Make a Plan!
Planning is key. Summer is the time to socialize – we tend to stay up later than usual, hang out longer, and gather even on the weekdays! Our schedules can easily become full of parties, graduations, playdates, cookouts, weddings and more. It can seem like there is always an event to attend. Scheduling summer means endless possibilities for fun. It could also mean increased stress trying to manage it all. We can overcommit and feel pressure to say yes to every invitation. Organizing your time through scheduling helps eliminate potential stress, and allows you to enjoy the moments of fun, laughter, and excitement at ease.

Unplug and Escape!
We have all be stuck at home — quarantining, and social distancing. As the country is opening back up, let’s safely put the fun back in summer, disconnect from technology, and get away. Give yourself, your devices, and fingertips a break.

It has been proven that the excitement of going on a trip can boost one’s happiness up to 8 weeks prior to the big day! I don’t know about you, but I get a rush of every happy emotions when I plan a getaway. Inside I feel like a giant emoji, the one with the huge smile and star eyes! And that excitement builds everyday as the trip approaches.

Vacations are meant to better our mental health and emotions, clear our minds, improve our relationships, decrease burnout, and overall recharge us. Why take a vacation if we are going to bring our work with us, right? Taking a break from technology helps to reduce stress and allows you to be present in the moment. Being present allows you to take advantage of the time you get to relax and unwind. Checking emails, responding to text, taking phone calls, and scrolling through social media all become distractions and redirect our thoughts to daily task, job duties, to-do list, stress, and drama.

So treat yourself this summer. Disconnect, get away, and absorb the time you get to spend with nature, yourself, friends, and loved ones, and enjoy a stress-free summer.


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