Summertime has finally arrived. The weather has warmed up around the country, kids are wrapping up the school year, and the COVID-19 pandemic has improved thanks in large part to the vaccine.
This can only mean one thing: It's time to start being honest with ourselves by looking at our health and wellness and see how we can improve ourselves. Consider the following health and wellness tips for adult learners to add to your toolbox this summer and maintain as time goes on.
1. Consider getting away from home.
Over the past 15 months, many of us have experienced cabin fever. The good news is that if you are careful about it, you may be able to finally get out and do some traveling this summer. This can give you a big boost to your overall wellness and mental health. You might consider:
- Safely visiting family or friends you haven't seen since the pandemic started.
- Taking a road trip to a destination within a few hours of your residence.
- Finding an Airbnb or other rental home or condo to safely enjoy some time away from home.
- Renting a boat or kayak to relax out on the water.
2. De-clutter and get things in order.
While you might be taking classes this summer, you could find yourself having a little more time to focus on getting organized.Make sure your workspace where you study and work on your assignments is not overflowing with papers and folders. Be sure to keep any printed paperwork for specific courses in their own areas. File or get rid of old papers if they are from previous classes. In terms of electronic files, create a folder for each of your classes and, if it helps, create subfolders with notes, assignments, the syllabus, and any other relevant documents so you can easily access this information when you need it quickly.
By getting organized, you can decrease your stress and anxiety throughout the course of a term in which you're taking one or more classes.
3. Try yoga, meditation, and other activities to improve well-being.
Several simple activities that can be done anywhere offer a wealth of benefits in terms of mental health and wellness. These include:
- Yoga: You can find many free guided yoga videos and audio tracks online. Yoga incorporates breathing and stretching exercises.
- Meditation: Like yoga, you can find a number of simple meditation practices online. Meditation involves sitting quietly, focusing on one's breath, and narrowing in on the positive experiences in one's life.
- Mindfulness: This activity, born out of Buddhism, involves being mindful of living in the present. You could engage in mindfulness through meditation or simply taking a walk and focusing on the surroundings in your environment.
4. Find time to simply relax your mind and body.
Making time to relax is an integral part of maintaining wellness. Consider some simple yet powerful relaxation activities like:
- Sitting by the pool.
- Reading a book.
- Picking up a new – or old – hobby, such as arts and crafts or playing an instrument.
5. Engage in physical activity.
Do jumping jacks or pushups. Take a stroll around the block. Invest in a treadmill, elliptical, or exercise bike, or simply a jump rope or resistance band. Learn a dance and get grooving in your living room.Whether it's a free or inexpensive option, there are countless ways to engage in exercise and physical activity. These activities can significantly improve one's physical and mental well-being.
6. Take a close look at your diet.
Most people would probably admit they could eat a better diet. However, instead of just repeating this in your mind, take some action this summer and dig into what you're eating.
Perhaps you could add more fruits and vegetables to your daily intake. Maybe your diet is too high in saturated fats or carbohydrates. Or, maybe your caloric intake is above average in general. No matter the case, write down what you eat and see how you could improve upon this list. Eating right has so many benefits to overall health and well-being.
7. Adjust how you balance work, life, and family.
As an adult learner, you might have a full plate – your education, your career, and your family. Whether you're caring for kids or aging parents, working from home or at an office, or taking one or three online classes, it's important to find the ideal amount of time to devote to each commitment in your life.
Like with your diet, write down how much time per day, week, or month you are devoting to each aspect of your life. Then ask yourself if these times represent a healthy balance. Too much of anything is not usually beneficial to happiness and satisfaction.