Public Affairs: Establishing Summer Routines by Mattison Holland
Summer is the perfect time to get lost in adventure. No other time of year can make jumping in the pool or hitting the lake more fun. Your mindset determines the type of summer you’ll have, so it can either be full of TV and couch time, or full of new memories and laughter shared with close friends.
THE IMPORTANCE OF GOOD SLEEP
Because summer is usually full of free time and clear schedules, teens’ inclination to sleep in until late afternoon may seem more appealing. However, according to PBS, because sleeping inside you “upsets the balance between the sleep drive and the circadian clock.”
Summer is for catching up on sleep, of course, however, it’s great to get out and hang out with friends. Studies show that surrounding yourself with close friends and having a good time can “increase your sense of belonging, improve self-confidence, and help reduce stress and anxiety.” Making memories with friends or with anyone else can prevent isolation and feelings of loneliness. you might experience.
Whether your reason is to bond with friends or catch the new season of your favorite show, another hard-to-break habit might be staying up late. Going to bed late every once in a while is really nothing to worry about, but when it becomes part of your routine, you might start to see changes in your mood and even your state of mind.
Going to bed late can lead to sleep deprivation and cause long term issues like decreased brain function, obesity, depression, increased anxiety, weakened immune system and more. According to PBS, night owls are forced to get up early to go to school or work. Social activities prevent early risers from going to bed late. This disconnect between social obligations and our sleep cycles is called social jet lag.¨
The Sleep Foundation states that circadian rhythms are 24-hour cycles that are part of the body’s internal clock, working in the background to perform essential functions and processes. One of the most important and well-known circadian rhythms is the sleep-wake cycle.¨
Specifically, when it comes to teenagers, PBS explains how most teenagers stay up late, because for some, the time they should be sleeping is the only time they have for themselves. They state that “sleep loss due to early morning school hours may increase the risk of obesity, mood disorders like depression, drug use and car accidents.”
Due to issues like these, it is important to establish a good routine to stay productive and healthy, especially during the summer season. During the summer, you have the opportunity to be active and productive at work, financially and mentally. This is especially the case for teenagers.
Depending on your level of sophistication in mental well-being, creating change may be more difficult than others. Some people make life adjustments so easy. However, some people yearn for the idea of change, but find it so difficult to make those same changes stick.
Being disciplined and having a routine can really benefit you and your mind. NorthShore’s online source gives us simple steps and advice on what to put into your routine and basically how to keep it going. Some points they say you might want to consider when creating your routine are ¨Decide what needs to be in your routine, set small goals, make a plan, be consistent with the times, be prepared, meet -the fun, track your progress and reward yourself
Creating your routine starts with waking up. One major factor that people overlook that can really impact a person’s mental health is bed making. In an article written by Sarah Vanbuskirk on this topic, he states that there is a wealth of anecdotal evidence that points to the substantial mental health benefits of this daily practice. These potential benefits include the following: a sense of accomplishment, a sense of calm, better sleep, better organization, better concentration, relaxation, and reduced stress.¨
EXERCISE AND ENDORPHINS
Physical activity has so many positive effects on the mind and health. WebMD says ¨When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine.¨
According to an article by the National Library of Medicine, NLM, ¨Exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and improving self-esteem and cognitive function. Exercise has also been found to alleviate symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal.¨
Not only is frequent exercise beneficial, but the amount of time you exercise. Because your morning sets the tone for the rest of the day, people say it’s better to train early rather than in the evening or afternoon. This is because in the morning you have healthier food options and there are fewer distractions.
Healthline states “By exercising early, you can feel more energized throughout the day. Having a healthy circadian rhythm can help you wake up early and be motivated to work out.
HEALTHY FOOD, HEALTHY LIFE
A key factor that plays an important role in your mental health is your diet. The foods you eat are what fuel you throughout your day, so it’s important to have a sense of balance in what you eat.
For example, foods loaded with sugar, fats, etc. will make you feel sluggish and improve mood swings. While healthier foods can boost your mood, lead to happier outlook, improve focus, and even give you more energy.
Every morning, we all have a choice. This choice is how we will respond to the trials we face today. This choice also means knowing that change takes time and that we cannot always be 100%, but we can always give 100%.
Everyone has their own specific things in their life to focus on, but each individual can make simple changes in order to create a positive environment and provide a healthy state of mind.
By Mattison Holland