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A Mental Note this Summer

Summer break is right around the corner, and we often envision this season overflowing with chill vibes, relaxation, and hanging out with family and friends. But for some households, it may seem more like trouble in paradise. Disrupted routines can add stress. Suddenly calendars overflow with commitments. Bedtimes can change, quite literally, overnight. So, as you tackle the transition to summer in your household, Harbin Clinic psychologists want to give you a few easy tips for coping with everyday stressors at home. The gist of it? Pay attention to the creature comforts of yourself and others.

JUST SAY NO:

Long days and beautiful weather might tempt you to say yes to every fun opportunity this summer. Or you may feel guilty for not always taking responsibility for certain roles at work or in volunteer organizations. Schedules can fill up with all sorts of activities, but it’s important to know your limits. If summer is already complex in your household, learn to eliminate unnecessary activities and leave margin for rest. “Resting” includes scheduling breaks between activities and finding time to sleep. If you stay up late, take a nap or plan to sleep late. Avoid abusing caffeine and energy drinks in lieu of getting the rest you need.

ASK FOR HELP:

No one is perfect. And trying to maintain perfection at work or at home, especially for external praise, is exhausting. Also, extend grace to others when their interaction is not perfect. It’s easy to be less critical of yourself when you are less critical of others. Most importantly, learn to flex and admit when you need help. Ask whether deadlines are realistic or try to compromise.

GETTING MOVING & ENJOY HOBBIES:

Significant research points to the power of exercise and stress relief, especially if you’re outside! So, if you’re feeling weighed down by stress, it’s time to find an activity you love and enjoy. One of the best parts of summer is the unique, outdoor activities available for free in our community. Our physicians suggest 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days a week. Choosing outside activities is also an easy way to connect more in-person with people you love while minimizing screen time. Don’t forget to hydrate!

Stress is a normal part of life, but the effects of lots of stress over a long period of time can take a serious toll on your health, such as increasing blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration. To combat these negative side effects of stress, Harbin Clinic is inviting you to join us for a summer filled with easy, free ways to get moving in our region. Check out our calendar of activities here and enjoy the great outdoors! It’s just what the doctor ordered.

Published May 26, 2022