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How to Utilize Summer to Improve Your Mental Health 

Harmony Bay Wellness

It is no secret that summer is the time of year that many people look forward to, especially those who may struggle with seasonal depression during the darker months of the year. Summer provides endless opportunities for focusing on your mental health and growing stronger social connections. 

One of the benefits of summer for mental health is that it allows you to get out more instead of self-isolating. However, you have to be careful as trying to do too much during the summer months can result in burnout and a strain on your mental health. 

Keep reading to find out how you can use summer to improve your mental health and enjoy more self-care activities. 

Spend Time Outdoors 

One of the biggest benefits of summer by far is the ability to spend more time outdoors as the weather is warming up and the sun is out. Exposure to natural sunlight has the ability to increase your levels of vitamin D and serotonin, which help to boost your mood. There are also many therapeutic benefits to spending time outdoors in nature instead of staying cooped up inside. 

Depending on where you live, you most likely have dozens of outdoor activities you can enjoy during the summer months. Here are some examples of activities that can boost your mood, improve your mental health, and get you physically active: 

  • Walking or jogging 
  • Hiking 
  • River rafting 
  • Swimming 
  • Outdoor yoga 
  • Going to the beach 

Enjoy Both Social and Solitary Activities 

Winter and autumn tend to be times of the year when people start to self-isolate as the weather gets colder and the days grow shorter. Many people find that this contributes to their seasonal depression and anxiety, as it is not healthy to remain solitary long-term. However, there are benefits to having a balance of social and solitary activities in your schedule. 

Summer tends to be a very social time of the year where people get together and enjoy summer activities. Just about any kind of summer activity can be enjoyed with your friends and family so that you maintain those important social connections.  

Having some healthy alone time is also crucial and can include things like nature walks, meditation, reading outdoors, painting landscapes, etc. 

Take a Vacation 

The most popular time of the year to take vacations is during the summer months when many companies and businesses are slowing down. Because of this, more people have room in their schedule that allows them to take a week or two off to enjoy a much-needed vacation. You should take advantage of this, as taking time off of work to simply enjoy life is incredibly important for your mental health. 

A vacation doesn’t even have to fall into the standard category that you may think of, such as traveling to a different state or going to an amusement park. You could enjoy a staycation where you enjoy staying at home and doing activities that you never have time for. Or you could plan a more simple vacation, like a road trip with your friends, a visit to your family, or a camping trip. 

The most important aspect of a vacation is that you unplug from your work life and connect with real people to create real memories. 

Start a Garden 

As we discussed above, spending time in nature comes with a variety of benefits, both physical and mental. Aside from more active outdoor activities that you can enjoy, there are also slow-paced and relaxing activities that you can enjoy right at home; a perfect example of this is starting a garden. 

You don’t have to have a large backyard to grow a garden; many people can even grow pot gardens on their balconies if they live in an apartment. The benefit of gardening is getting your hands dirty and connecting with nature in a way that you usually wouldn’t. It is also incredibly rewarding to grow something with your own hands and reap the rewards of your labor. 

Clean Your Space 

Spring cleaning is something that many people take part in but this isn’t just a spring activity. Deep cleaning your space comes with many mental health benefits as it gives you a clean slate and helps to also clear up your mind. Cleaning up your space can help reduce anxiety and improve depression by giving you a fresh start and removing any chaos from your surroundings. 

Get Involved in Your Community 

Summer is a very busy time in most communities where there are all kinds of community events being held. This is a perfect time to get out of your comfort zone and engage more with those who are local to you. There are many mental health benefits of feeling connected to your community instead of merely feeling like an individual, especially if you do not have many friends or family in the area. 

Some community events you can attend include farmers markets, festivals, plays, sport events, and charity drives. Not only do community events get you out of the house and around others, it provides more opportunity for you to find like-minded people and make new friends. 

How to Avoid Summer Burnout 

Even though summer can be incredibly beneficial for your mental health, there are some things that you need to be aware of. Because summer is such a busy time, this can easily lead to summer burnout if you overfill your schedule with social events and obligations. To really improve your mental health, you need to maintain a balance of rest and activity so that you don’t overdo it. 

Set Boundaries 

Something you need to remember during the summer months is that it is okay to set boundaries. You may have many people asking you to do things and commit to different responsibilities, but you do not always have to say yes. For the sake of your mental health, you need to establish boundaries and only commit to what truly matters to you. 

Most people will understand if you have to decline certain things, especially if it is for the sake of your mental health. You also won’t be able to enjoy any of the things you do if you are trying to do too much. 

Plan Ahead 

If you foresee your summer being very busy, you need to take time to plan ahead and figure out what matters the most to you. What are some of the main things you want to do during the summer that are going to take up the most time? Do you have any goals or activities that you are especially looking forward to?


These are questions you want to ask yourself when you are creating a summer plan so that you make time for what truly matters. If you try to make time for everything, you won’t be able to really enjoy the activities that you have been planning and looking forward to. 

Creating a summer schedule also allows you to make room for empty time, which will enable you to rest and fit in last-minute activities that you are excited about. 

Don’t Forget Self-Care 

With so many things going on in summer, it could be easy to forget about self-care, which can have a negative impact on your mental health. Make sure you are still getting plenty of sleep and are maintaining your regular self-care practices. For example, make sure you are eating three balanced meals a day, prioritizing personal hygiene, and making time for therapy or meditation. 

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Harmony Bay is an outpatient behavioral health service that offers primary mental health treatment for a variety of mental health disorders. Our mission is to make mental health care convenient and affordable while providing an unmatched experience to our clients. contact us today by calling 855.765.6399.