Winter can be a challenging time for many people, especially when it comes to maintaining your mental wellbeing. When colder, darker nights become a reality, you can feel exhausted, unmotivated and struggle to find the time to spend with friends and family. However, now that it’s almost summer, we can finally spend some more time feeling the benefits of nature and of the sun on our skin. This time of year can really improve our mental wellbeing, but is this always the case?
How Can Summer Improve Our Mental Wellbeing?
We often feel happier and more energised in summer for a multitude of reasons. Read on to learn more about why you might find yourself feeling less drained by your daily life during the warmer months.
The Mood Booster
Sunlight triggers the release of the hormone serotonin in your brain. Serotonin is also known as a ‘natural mood booster’, which helps us feel calmer and more focused, thus improving our mental wellbeing. Consistently low levels of serotonin are associated with a higher risk of developing depression, with seasonal patterns (also known as seasonal affective disorder or SAD) also emerging for some.
The Happy Hormone
With the sun rising earlier, setting later and the temperatures soaring, the great outdoors feels so much more tempting to explore. We tend to be more active during the summer months – walking, running, riding a bike or swimming all release endorphins, also known as ‘the happy hormone’. Endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain, triggering a positive feeling in your body. Endorphins can create such an amazing feeling that many athletes experience a ‘runner’s high’ after a workout, making such activities feel almost euphoric, drastically improving our mental wellbeing!
The Love Hormone
We are more likely to spend time with our family and friends through the summer months. Impromptu barbeques, drinks after work or meeting up for a walk in the summer sun all sound more tempting than in the pouring rain! Luckily for us, eating, talking, hugging and even just listening to someone else can all help our body to release ‘the love hormone’, oxytocin. Increased levels of oxytocin lead to less anxiety and stress and better sleep.
Summer Stressors And Their Impact On Your Mental Wellbeing
As much as many of us cannot wait for the sun to show its face, summer can be a cause of stress for many reasons. The scorching heat and school holidays can make us more stressed than ever; feeling down in summer is more common than you may think. If you find it hard to maintain your mental wellbeing even when the sun is out, you’re not alone.
As lovely as many of us find the hotter weather, our bodies can struggle to cope with heat. In order to stay cool, our bodies sweat and increase the blood flow to our skin. Whilst this can help decrease our internal temperature, in order to maintain this blood flow, our hearts must work harder, leaving us flustered and out of breath. As our organs work hard to keep us at the right temperature, we can feel grumpy, tired and uncomfortable.
The school holiday can be amazing! After all, they are a fantastic way to relax and unwind. However, this time of year comes with its own challenges. Disrupting your children’s schedules can often lead to you being left with the daunting task of occupying them all day. If you work from home, you may find yourself suddenly having to deal with impromptu questions and interruptions, which can reduce your mental wellbeing, no matter how much you love your children.
Book A Discovery Call With Dr Jan To Regain Your Mental Wellbeing
If summer doesn’t hold its usual joys, then you may benefit from some coaching sessions with Dr Jan. He has over 15 years of experience in mindset coaching and he can use his skills to help you. His unique BrainTuning® System seeks to break down your subconscious negative thought patterns and rebuild the way in which you view the world, which is ideal for improving your overall mental wellbeing.
To book a Discovery Call to start your life coaching journey, complete an online form and Dr Jan will get back to you as soon as possible.