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The idea of summer typically conjures images of idyllic days, relaxing do-nothing weeks and endless time to relax and recharge.
But sadly, for the vast majority of us, that is the stuff of dreams.
In addition to warm weather, summer can also bring stress.
Changed schedules, kids at home, Christmas pressures, the need to work, extreme heat, increased commitments and more demands on your time than hours in a day.
But as daunting as summer can get, you can reduce the anxiety of these busy warm days, and make this summer a mentally healthy one.
Before you get overwhelmed with the impending flood of pressure, consider these 3 tips to help you reduce stress this summer.
Tip 1: Drop the “shoulds”
Stop pressuring yourself with summer activities that you think you should or shouldn't be doing. You have enough things on your plate already. What you are already doing, is perfectly fine. Instead of “should” or “shouldn’ts,” go with the flow and let each day be what it is.
Tip 2: Make joy in each day
It may not be possible to make every minute of every day absolutely perfect, but you can create small moments of relaxation and fun in your day. It might be enjoying a cup of tea in the garden, cuddling with your child on the couch for 5 minutes or turning the TV off and playing your favourite song at breakfast time. No matter what it is, those few moments of joy are yours, no matter what the rest of the day brings.
Tip 3: Quality is better than quantity
We hear “quality over quantity” time and time again - and for good reason.
A few close friends can bring greater joy than many acquaintances. Eating a small amount of high quality, nutritious food is always better than eating (small or) large amounts of low quality, processed foods. And lots of short strolls (perhaps through a local park) can collectively reduce stress more effectively than a single, lengthy hiking trip.
Just a little quality can bring a lot of good, so see what you can improve in your day.
Of course, three little tips can’t always solve life’s big issues.
If you feel you need to talk to someone about your concerns at Christmas, Connect Health & Community offers counselling for individuals, parents, families, young children, youth and those experiencing gambling harm.
For more information call Connect Health & Community on 03) 9575 5333 or Gambler’s Help Southern on 03) 9575 5353.
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