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Don't Sweat Summer Stress

Kristina England, MD, Family Medicine, ACMC-Marshall

Summer is finally here; the sun is shining and your long awaited vacations are finally underway. Although summer is meant for fun and relaxation it is often one of the most stressful times of year. This comes from the added pressure of busy schedules, endless planning and even those irritating bug bites and sunburns. Here are some tips to help keep you and your family stress-free this summer:

  1. Summer vacations are important for both your overall health and happiness. They offer much needed recuperation and time to enjoy with your family and friends. However, planning, executing and the financial strain of the "perfect vacation" can add a great deal of unwanted stress. Scheduling a vacation close to home, day trips to the lake and a few days at home can make vacation season more enjoyable.
  2. Schools out! With a three-month summer break, you finally get that much needed quality time with your children. Unfortunately, a mixture of boredom and countless activities can increase summer stress. Finding other families to car pool and plan play dates with can make for a smoother summer with kids.
  3. With all the exciting summer events, we often forget to take care of our bodies. Busy days and late nights cut drastically into your normal sleep schedules, creating agitation and sometimes illness. Keeping up with a sleep routine can ease summer stress and help keep you healthy year-round. Staying hydrated and maintaining a well-balanced diet are also essential for keeping your body in working order.
  4. Spending time outdoors is something to look forward to in the summer months. However, bug bites and sunburns can make your days outside unbearable. Make sure to keep bug repellent and sunscreen on hand when you are spending time outdoors. Bug sprays that contain picaridan and DEET can be effective for keeping bugs at bay. When seeking a sunscreen, find one that covers broad spectrum including UVA and UVB. Also make sure to apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going in the sun and reapply every two hours as needed.