The summer holidays are the perfect time to focus on your wellbeing. The sun is shining (we hope) and there’s more time to do the things you love. If you’ve been ridiculously busy running on autopilot this school year, it’s easy to get disconnected from yourself and what you need – especially after the tumultuous year we’ve had thanks to COVID-19. Taking time to rest and enjoy this summer holiday is more important than ever. If you’re in need of real rejuvenation try one or more of these tips to enhance your wellbeing during this summer break. Here are five summer wellbeing tips to keep you on top of your mental health in the sun.
1. Listen to your body
Your body is always speaking to you. Every ache, pain, craving and emotion is your body communicating with you. Start to notice the feelings and sensations you experience. Pay attention to the patterns your body follows. How does your body feel after seven hours of sleep? Do you feel weak if you don’t drink a certain amount of water? Does spending a lot of time socialising make you feel drained? These are all things to be mindful of because they have a major effect on your mood and motivation. Giving yourself what you can, majorly improves your wellbeing. Your body is the best guide – so listen to it.
2. Nurture your relationships
In the words of John Donne, ‘no man is an island ’. Humans are social creatures and we require the company and comfort of others in order to thrive. You don’t have to be the world’s biggest social butterfly but you do need to focus on maintaining connections with others – whether that’s ten people or two. Actively communicating with friends and family, even if it’s just a quick text or call, can make such a difference to the level of love and support you feel around you. Taking time to strengthen your relationships is good for your wellbeing. Blue Zones research shows that the healthiest, longest-living people in the world all have amazing support from their loved ones.
3. Spend time in nature
Take advantage of the nice weather and go outside as much as you can. Nature has a major impact on our mental and physical health. Deborah Franklin’s research study, “How Hospital Gardens Help Patients Heal”, suggests that people recovering from surgery heal faster when their room has a window facing trees, compared to patients whose windows faced a brick wall. Even patients who didn’t have a window but had a large photograph of nature in their hospital room experienced less anxiety and pain than those who didn’t. The patients with windows facing nature also needed less pain medication while they were recovering. It is clear that nature has a positive impact on our health and it’s a great, calming way to add structure to your day and improve your wellbeing for free!
4. Sleep Well
Rest is one of the most underrated needs in our modern society. Everyone and everything seems to be in ‘go-getter’ mode and the ‘you can sleep when you’re dead’ mindset has become the expectation if you want to be successful. Sleep is undervalued, despite it being one of our basic needs. Humans need rest. You can choose to rob your body of its well-deserved need for rest but you will need to pay it back eventually. If you prioritise your sleep it’s less likely that you’ll wear yourself out and negatively impact your wellbeing. Take the time out to sleep well this summer.
5. Have some Fun
The summer holidays are all about switching off and having some fun. Lighthearted pleasure and enjoyment are a gamechanger for wellbeing because it makes you feel so good! Our overall happiness in life is the average of many small choices we make every day.. Making time to do fun activities contributes to our inner happiness so it’s important to include them every day. If you’re stuck for what fun things you can do, Beyond’s Secondary Teacher Summer Holiday Bucket List can most definitely help. It has 32 awesome activities that help you remember to do things that make your summer holiday fun and fulfilling. We would love to know which activities you get up to this summer!
If you want more wellbeing tips, Twinkl has partnered up with mental health charity Mind to create a selection of resources, designed to support educators experiencing stress, anxiety and low self-esteem. To get your hands on these goodies visit our website.
Don’t forget to read even more of our blogs here! You can also subscribe to Beyond for access to thousands of secondary teaching resources. You can sign up for a free account here and take a look around at our free resources before you subscribe too.