6 tips for keeping healthy over the summer holidays

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Now it’s the summer holidays, it’s time to lighten up and let some fun into your life! Our school nurses, Mrs Hawkes and Mrs Purchase, share some simple tips to make sure you’re making the most of your summer holidays and most importantly, having fun and managing stress.

Tip 1 – Enjoy yourself, your friends and your surroundings

Smile, laugh, play some sport and make more time for the people that matter the most. For example, arrange a BBQ or go on a country walk with your friends and family. Getting outside in the fresh air and spending time in nature with loved ones will help you ensure good mental health.

Tip 2 – Balance your screen time with other activities

We have all had a lot of screen time in this last year of the pandemic but spending time in front of screens - whether it be on our mobile, tablets, or TVs - keeps our brains and bodies alert meaning we are less ready for sleep. Try to limit your screen time to short 30-minute bursts and then take a break to do something different, for example, go outside or do some physical activity. Balancing our screen time with other activities can be part of a healthy lifestyle and will ensure it doesn’t interfere with our sleep.

Tip 3 - Smile and laugh as much as you can

Just like smiling, laughing reduces your level of stress hormones. Not only does it make you feel good, it also lowers your blood pressure, improves breathing and regulates your heartbeat. So stock up on those comedy shows and don’t be afraid to crack lame jokes! It’s for a good cause: your health. Laughing with friends is the best way to make memories that will last a lifetime.

Tip 4 – Eat a balanced diet

Make sure you are eating 3 meals a day and try to avoid unnecessary snacking. And make sure you’re eating foods from all the vital food groups protein, carbohydrates, fats, fruit and vegetables. Some quick tips to eat more fruit include:

  • Keeping a bowl of whole fruit on the table in sight so you can grab something quickly.
  • Keeping a variety of fruits that are dried, frozen, canned, and fresh so you don’t get bored of eating the same thing.
  • Experiment with adding fruit in your main meals like tossing some grapes or pomegranate into a salad.

Tip 5 – Make sure you’re getting enough ZZZs

Teenagers should be getting 8 to 10 hours a night. Keeping to a good routine by not going to bed too late and getting up at a regular time in the morning will help your circadian rhythm – your internal body clock. By maintaining healthy habits around your sleep patterns, you will be able to respond better to this natural rhythm of your body and get a better night’s sleep. Some quick tricks to ensuring a restful sleep include:

  • Avoiding using electronic gadgets an hour before bed.
  • Having a nice relaxing bath, reading a book (no school studies) or listening to some relaxing music.
  • Having a milky drink like hot chocolate. Don’t drink caffeine too late in the day as this is a stimulant and will keep you awake.
  • Avoid napping during the day as this can affect your night time sleep pattern.

Tip 6 – Practice gratitude

Gratitude is central to our health and happiness. Gratitude is one of many positive emotions which helps us focus on what's good in our lives and be thankful for the things we have. Why not try writing a gratitude journal. This is a great way to write down all of your reflections and the things you are thankful for. Go back to your journal on a day when you're feeling a little blue to see how many things you have to be thankful for.