Maybe it’s the vitamin D boost or the energy you get from being near a source of water that rejuvenates and refreshes. Whatever the combination, the summer vibes can generate a healing space. Summer music with its upbeat groove has a way of moving us into a more easy-going state of mind. These days there is great relief in being outdoors, as we savor our time with others in open spaces where we can feel safe and comfortable (even if a little toasty with these heat wave temperatures!). Yet, the extremes we experience at the height of summer also remind us that we must find ways to cool down. We all need to find outdoor spaces for quiet and calm, where the stillness of mind and body can bring the natural environment to life in vibrant and healing ways.
I will assert that most of us sense the need to focus on healing at many levels. In May, a month designated to focus on mental wellness and ways to heal ourselves and our communities, our nation faced another school massacre with the ensuing and tragic consequences that force us to make hard choices. Our health concerns, along with climate imbalance and a multitude of social stressors that we are contending with will continue to put undue pressure on all of us well into the year. So, perhaps it is best to take this time to settle ourselves into stillness and greater self-reflection through breathwork, mindfulness practices, and moments of release to help us heal at our core and stay positive despite the heaviness.
In a sense, we must cool our thoughts and do our best to focus on self-care, so that we can respond to all individuals that shape our day with respect and grace, and when we find it necessary, simply move along with our day without losing our cool. Because we all have our days, and sometimes we need grace from others, but usually it’s nothing that a friendly smile from a stranger or a hug from a loved one can’t help resolve, along with exercise and a little evening fun. Take advantage of the extra hours of sunlight and stretch your relaxation time outdoors – take in the sunset; or walk off a hearty meal of fresh food and veggies, all made easier in the summer with nature’s abundance. Find a lake, a pool, and a beach to recharge.
We must be intentional about keeping it cool because summer is h-o-t. And that’s not all bad! Music and dance are almost synonymous with summer vibes. And rightly so. Some of the most important ways to keep up our energetic, physiological, and psychological state of well-being are through movement, and in particular through the power of music on the mind. Whether you feel moved by your favorite song, or you find your rhythm in sports or other types of exercise, do what feels good to you. And do it each day. Get in 15-30 minutes of outdoor cardio early in the morning before the summer heat sets in. Leave the evening hours for more leisure activities like a neighborhood stroll or a lazy bike ride through a nearby greenway. Chair yoga (or seated stretching) and chair dancing provide alternative options for engaging one’s body.
Include time at the start of your day (or cap off the night) with active reflection, stating or writing down two things you are grateful for. At that moment, take in a deep breath and let that positive reflection fill your whole being. Then exhale that breath, completely emptying your lungs, and inhale once again a full, deep breath. Feel the gift of air in your lungs and the warmth, the fuel, that gratitude provides the soul. This calming practice creates a space to organize your thoughts around setting intentions for the day, which helps engage the mind in ways that move you to accomplish your goals.
Journaling, simply writing out your thoughts and emotions, is quite helpful in curbing negative thinking by revealing your patterns of thought. It is a direct way to relieve stress and let go of those harmful thoughts that may weigh you down. By writing them out, you release them from your mind’s grasp and give yourself permission to name them or claim them, making it easier to let it go so that it lets go of you. Journaling provides a gentle, yet powerful, way to work through grief and trauma, while helping to strengthen memory and cognitive abilities, increase affect and boost mood especially when it involves incorporating positive thinking, and so many more positive effects of sorting out one’s thoughts on paper.
There are many more modalities and activities that can help you find that cool groove that you need this summer to feel your best. Still, there are also many traumatic events that too many minds and bodies are contending with, so many individuals experiencing trauma directly. Many more are affected each day by the growing mental health crisis and the inability of mental health care providers to keep up with increased need and awareness.
Thankfully, there are alternative methods that effectively and more quickly help treat mental health challenges such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, etc., and can help address the need for more targeted and accessible care. Whether you find yourself facing challenges, or someone you know needs the help of a mental health professional, Ketamine Health Centers is here to provide support and guidance to achieve mental wellness. Contact us today to learn more about the various treatment options available to alleviate post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and a wide range of conditions. We are here for you.