Ah, summer… the time of year when you can kick back, relax, and take it easy for a little while. Well, so long as you’re 12.
The truth is that between taking on additional work stress because of coworkers’ vacations, planning your own vacation, jumping around from one family gathering to another, and everything else that the season holds, summers can feel far from relaxing. Follow a few of these ideas for a stress free summer.
Go On a Day Trip
Sure, it may initially sound like adding more work to your life, but a day trip can be a perfect break from the everyday hustle and bustle. Do a quick internet search for a point of interest within a couple hours’ drive, preferably someplace you’ve never been, and make a day of it.
Take Your Dog Out
Not only does this give you an opportunity to enjoy nature, but spending time with your pet goes the extra mile in easing anxiety. In fact, studies have shown that even difficult tasks are less stressful when your pet is around.
Explore a New Bike Path
Cardiovascular exercise offers a host of benefits, from reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety to helping ward off heart disease and some types of cancer. If you have a hard time getting the recommended thirty minutes a day of exercise, then dust off your bike, find the nearest bike trail, and go exploring.
Get Your Hands Dirty
According to a study conducted in the Netherlands, thirty minutes of gardening was shown to be more relaxing than thirty minutes spent reading a book. Gardening may be the perfect antidote to our hectic, relatively dirt-free everyday life; it’s hands-on, it can’t be hurried, and it’s nearly impossible to multi-task when your hands are in the dirt.
Find a Beach
If possible, soak up some Vitamin D and relax to the sound of the waves crashing by planning a day (or week) at the beach. Not only is it fun to spend an afternoon in the water, but research has shown that the sound of the waves actually changes the wave patterns in the brain, causing you to feel calmer.
Host a Cookout
Getting together with friends and family is always fun, so put on your apron and host a cookout. The gathering can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish, all that matters is that you have a great time with it.
Strike a Pose
If you love yoga, then consider taking it outside. Whether you’re in your backyard, at a park, or in the woods, the natural elements around you can heighten your breath awareness, and the uneven ground surface can help to strengthen your core. All in all, you can count on it to be a more relaxing, beneficial experience.
When we think of what it means to relax, we probably imagine being surrounded by all of our usual creature comforts. It’s surprising then, that so many studies have shown camping to be so calming. Camping allows us to get away from our normal routines, not to mention the noise that modern technology brings into our lives.
Rather than spending what precious little free time you have spaced out in front of the television, try one of these ideas to truly unwind.