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7 Ways to Beat the Summertime Blues

7 Ways to Beat the Summertime Blues

Summer is the time when the fun begins! Outdoor gatherings and vacation plans all seem so nostalgic. Yet, not all people have this feeling. Many people can suffer from summertime blues. Depression or mild blues are tough to deal with, especially when the world around us seems so bright and inviting. There are many reasons why summertime may be tough for some. With all the sun and festivities that come along during the warm summer months, there’s also a lot of expectations. So how can we beat these summertime blues? Try these 7 ways to pick you up and shift your focus to a more positive place.

1. Host a “ME” Party

What is a “me” party? No, we don’t invite lots of guests and throw ourselves a party. A ‘me’ party is basically a pamper yourself date! Schedule a time once a week where you are totally focused on yourself and your own needs. Often times, we get caught up in our to-do lists and fail to nurture ourselves. Plan a day or even an evening where you spend time doing things you like. Take a candlelight bubble bath with soothing music playing or watch a movie that you want to see.  If you schedule this ‘me’ party, it can give you a little something to look forward to each week!

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    2. Go to the Library, Read a Book or Join a Book Club

    Find a topic that you enjoy and pick out a great book to read. Get lost in the fictional world of an author’s words. The beauty of books is that you can go anywhere and do anything inside of books. There are countless topics worthy of reading. Fiction is great when you need a break from the everyday world and memoirs and biographies take you deep into the lives of others which can help you readjust your feelings about your own emotions. Many libraries have ongoing book clubs, which gives you an opportunity to interact with people outside of your circle. Meeting new people and having  fresh insight to the world around you always makes you feel better.

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    3. Photography

    No, I am not a photographer either! Yet, I find that I love taking pictures of things around me.  Most smartphones have a built in camera, which makes it easy to take pictures. Expand yourself; go into the world and snap pictures of things that strike you as beautiful and interesting.  Taking pictures of trees and flowers are soothing. Looking at the immense beauty that surrounds us every day lifts our moods. Taking pictures takes you out of your current viewpoint and puts you in a place to see the world from a different angle: The angle of the photographer.  Surprise yourself with what you can discover behind the lens!

    4. Take a Nature Walk

    Vitamin D is important for our moods and the general health of our bodies. By going for a nature walk, you are exposing yourself to more sun and increasing your intake of Vitamin D. In addition, when you’re walking through nature, you connect with the world around you. Don’t just walk, be mindful of the things that you see, smell and hear. Engage your senses to make the most out of your time connecting with nature. Where I live, there are numerous nature paths. Explore what is available in your area. We are part of this glorious Earth but so often we close ourselves in our boxed houses and work cubicles, missing the element of connecting with the incredible beauty around us.

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    5. Find a Hobby

    Sometimes we just need to do something different.  Finding a hobby that you enjoy is a great way to do that.  A hobby should be something that is engaging and enjoyable.  Spending time doing a hobby releases stress while also allowing you to feel accomplished.  What types of activity do you enjoy?  Hobbies help you connect with others and boosts your knowledge and feelings of accomplishment . Spending time on your hobby also redirects your thoughts to the project at hand, relieving any feelings of sadness you may be experiencing.

    6. Write

    I love to write.  I write when I am happy, when I am sad, when I am confused and when I have fresh ideas.  I always recommend writing to anyone and everyone.  There is something magical that transpires when you put your thoughts out in front of you and make them visible.  You will be able to see the patterns of your moods and understand where your emotions may be stemming from.  When you write down things, you are able to unleash pent up feelings and thoughts.  The beauty of writing is there is  total freedom!  You can express anything.  There is no limit as to where your writing can take you.  Go beyond keeping a journal and let your imagination run with you.  Write poetry, short stories, lists, recipes, or even letters to people.  Just write!

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    7. Volunteer

    Volunteering is a marvelous opportunity.  When most people think about volunteering, the first thing that pops into their minds is soup kitchens.  While that is a wonderful volunteer position that certainly is needed, there are countless other prospects available.  Many businesses and groups need volunteers.  Hospitals, libraries, Habitat for Humanity are just a few organizations needing volunteers.  If you Google “volunteer opportunities,”  you will be provided with a host of places seeking volunteers.  Volunteering helps you occupy your time while helping someone else. For a person that is feeling blue, there is nothing better than to offer your time and assistance to someone else needing it. When we are focused on others, our mindset and our perspective on life is changed for the better.

    The 7 ways to beat the summertime blues is just a short list of many ways to redirect your emotions.  Most importantly, find something that interests you.  As you begin to involve yourself, your feelings of being blue will begin to dissipate.  As you nurture yourself and begin to see the beauty in the world around, a peaceful feeling will begin to transcend your emotional struggles and you’ll find that you’ll be able to enjoy the summertime once again!

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    Last Updated on March 25, 2020

    How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

    How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

    When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

    So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

    1. Exercise

    It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

    2. Drink in Moderation

    I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

    3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

    Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

    4. Watch Less Television

    A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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    Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

    5. Eat Less Red Meat

    Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

    If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

    6. Don’t Smoke

    This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

    7. Socialize

    Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

    8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

    Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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    9. Be Optimistic

    Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

    10. Own a Pet

    Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

    11. Drink Coffee

    Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

    12. Eat Less

    Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

    13. Meditate

    Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

    Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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    How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

    14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

    Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

    15. Laugh Often

    Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

    16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

    Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

    17. Cook Your Own Food

    When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

    Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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    18. Eat Mushrooms

    Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

    19. Floss

    Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

    20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

    Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

    Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

    21. Have Sex

    Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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    Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

    Reference

    [1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
    [2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
    [3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
    [4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
    [5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
    [6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
    [7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
    [8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
    [9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
    [10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
    [11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
    [12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
    [13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
    [14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
    [15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
    [16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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