5 Mental Health First Aid Tips to Enjoy the Sun

by Dennis Kim

Photo Credit: Jordan Wozniak

With the sun on it’s way and the summer months approaching rapidly, you tell yourself you really want to enjoy this year’s summer more than ever before. Although sometimes mental health issues: depression, anxiety and other feelings that cause us not to want to leave the house get in the way. Here are five tips to help you or a loved one find perspective and combat the blockages you are expressing that are preventing you from truly enjoying a great summer!

  1. MOVE, this may seem to be the hardest tip, and that’s why we are putting it first. Whether it’s a workout in the gym that you have to power through or a beautiful bike ride with friends, you have to move your body. Our bodies are the vehicles that carry us around this beautiful planet and it is important we maintain them. It is hard to believe how much stress, anxiety and sadness that can be relived and in some ways resolved by the simple act of exercising and breaking a sweat.

  1. Take a Moment now that your done your morning workout find time to relax and calm yourself, even if that’s for 10-15 minutes in the morning. Find a comfortable place to sit: outside, on the floor of the living room doesn’t matter, put on headphones play some relaxing music and close your eyes and breath deep. The simple act of slowing down and just breathing has miraculous effects on our psyche and overall well being. If you have to get up 10 minutes earlier to incorporate this practice in your day, don’t worry about the sleep your missing as this will charge your batteries more than you could imagine.

  1. Spend time with love ones. It is so easy to turn down or make excuses when friends ask you to actually leave your house and venture out in the world too do something fun. When depression creeps in can cause us to want to isolate and cut ourselves off form the outside world. Although this can ultimately lead to spiralling out and further decent into sadness. Instead accept one of those invitations or attend an event or club and try something new and see how fast it pulls you out of your bad mood.

  1. Sleep although the sun is out, you also have to balance your day with good sleep. The effects of a good sleep can dramatically alter your state of mind and overall well being. Take an afternoon nap in the sun even if its just for twenty minutes. Sleep is one of the greatest healers, so make sure to have a good sleep schedule and consistent one at that. Going to bed at a specific time every night will do wonders for your energy levels which will lead to you not feeling crabby and grumpy in the start of your day.

  1. Enjoy the great outdoors. If you have access to any hiking trails, forest pathways or any sort of place you can be with nature and away from the bustle of city life can cause great alleviations of stress. If you have ever been on a camping trip you will know the feeling of disconnect and priority shift that begins to take place after a few days living in nature. You are not thinking of how long of line up there is going to be at your local café or if they are going to be out of soy milk, instead you are choosing between a day of reading in hammock next to a lake or hiking a scenic mountain trial. This kind of change in perspective and alteration of living styles no matter the duration can lead to some remarkable changes in over all mental health well being.

These are just some basic tips to keep yourself or a loved one from missing out on the best season of the year. For more in depth and advanced information take a look at our mental health first aid course at Pacificfirstaid.ca