Summer is quickly approaching, and while a few months without a class schedule can sound exciting, the change in routine (and often location) can be difficult to cope with. The temptation to relax and scroll your Instagram feed all day is definitely real, but in those warmer weather months, it’s important to take steps to maintain your mental and physical health. To help you with this task, here are 6 self-care ideas to keep you cool, calm, and collected all summer long.

1) Stay hydrated

Hydrating is essential all the time, but when it’s hot outside dehydration can happen faster than usual. To stay hydrated in warm weather, it’s important to drink water regularly. Try drinking a glass of water with every meal or snack and carrying a bottle of water with you when you go out. Adequate water intake is beneficial for all areas of health, physical and mental. 

2) Keep a regular sleep schedule 

For many of us, the summer season means having much more free time in our schedule with school being out for summer break. Though your routine may look different during these months, it is important to try to maintain a regular sleep schedule during summer break. This doesn’t mean it has to be strict, but try to wake up and go to bed at roughly the same time every day. Also, make sure you get enough sleep – around 8 hours a night is ideal. If your body is not rested enough, it will be harder to stay healthy and happy during your break.

3) Make plans with friends

If you are a college student, summer break can feel pretty lonely! Many students go to school in a different city and travel home for breaks, so the friends that are around during the semester aren’t around every day. Try to work out a plan with some friends to meet up for a fun activity this summer, or even have a group zoom hangout! Summer break is also the perfect time to make plans with friends who may work a 9-5 job if your schedules don’t seem to align during the school semester. Having something to look forward to and spending quality time with people you like is a fantastic mood-booster.

4) Pay attention to your screen time

With extra free time in the day, it’s easier than ever to get sucked into social media for hours at a time. Though this can be fun sometimes, it’s still important to pay attention to and have a limit on your screen time. Too much time spent on social media can have a negative impact on mental health and sleep quality, so monitor your usage and try to pull yourself away before it becomes unhealthy. Besides, you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to hang out outside before it’s sweater season again, do you?

5) Take time to do things that make you feel good about yourself

A disruption in a regular routine paired with being separated from friends that are usually around can be tough on mental health. This is why it’s helpful to focus on taking time for yourself and doing things that make you feel good physically and mentally. Whether that is learning a new hobby, reading a good book, or getting in some physical activity, set aside some time and do something positive for yourself! 

6) Treat yourself!

Is there a hike you’ve been wanting to go on? A recipe you’ve been itching to try out? Go for it! These months of beautiful warm weather are the perfect time to take advantage of the extra free time on your hands and do something you might not usually have time to do. Summer always seems to go by too quickly, so soak up all the fun and relaxation you can while it’s here. 

Summertime freedom is great, but don’t let it disrupt your health or mood! It can be tempting to not do anything while you have the opportunity to, but staying aware of positive and negative habits and setting aside some time for intentional self-care is important to ensure you have the best season possible. 

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