We all know about the brain and its complexities, but is this the only organ to blame for mental health concerns? I’ve been studying medicine for awhile, but only recently did I become interested in the “second brain.” This is the enteric nervous system (ENS) – the nerve cells lining the entire gastrointestinal tract. Many people are aware of the link between the gut and mental health, but it’s being studied constantly.
Although it’s a time for relaxation, summer can easily feel mundane. For those on summer break, the lack of routine or structure can make the days feel like they’re all blurring together, and for those who work from Monday to Friday, even doing work during this time can feel sluggish and slower because of the heat.
Usually, we listen to podcasts to get some sort of information. It might be the news, entertainment, or education, but whatever kinds of podcasts you listen to (if you do listen to them), you probably do so with the intention of paying attention so you can get something out of it.
Participating in causes to help make a difference and support the underprivileged can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Social media has made activism that much easier too – think of the hashtags and fundraisers people post about or how simple it is to repost other people’s posts on your story about important issues and how to get more information about the topic.
I have been struggling lately and I am now not afraid to admit it. With school, COVID, family and relationship problems, I have been frustrated and stressed with so many different things. I have been mentally and physically exhausted. I finally decided, I need to do something about how I am feeling.
As someone with anxiety, I have learned, and maybe you have too, the tool to help you when you are feeling a panic attack. It is to think of five things you can see, four you can hear, three you can touch, two you can smell, (and one maybe taste). This act of bringing yourself to the present moment can be classified as grounding oneself. While very useful, I find that this is sometimes not enough.
Try to think of the memories you have of last summer, the summer before that, and the summer before that. Think of the fun, cliche summer memories you have had throughout your life, whether it be in the car listening to the radio, hanging out by the pool, or watching fireworks and lighting sparklers during the muggy nights. Do you have songs attached to them?
As we discussed earlier this week, staying hydrated is not just important for your physical health, but can have substantial benefits for your mental health and your mood too. This is especially important now during the summer, where the heat and humidity can make it even easier to get dehydrated.