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Stay Well This Summer: 10 Ways to Make Wellness a Priority Over Break

brought to you by the Parents Association Wellness Committee

As the school year winds down and the Gilman community prepares for the summer months, the Parents Association Wellness Committee has a few recommendations to help you maximize your wellness — mind, body and spirit — over summer break.

  1. Embrace Nature: Studies show that spending time in nature can have a measurable effect on both mental and physical health. From a walk along the beach to time spent in a local park, the warm summer months offer tons of opportunities to spend time outside.
  2. Set Fitness Goals: Summer schedule changes can thwart even the best planned fitness routines. Set clear and realistic goals for summer fitness — even small ones, like doing five pushups and crunches a day.
  3. Give Back: Carve out time this summer for volunteering — even something as simple as cleaning up roadside trash. Scientific studies connect volunteering to decreasing stress, anxiety and depression — doing something good for others will help you feel good about yourself.
  4. Try Something New: Get out of your comfort zone at least once a month this summer by trying a new food, sport or activity. Expanding your horizons is a great way to make fun family memories.
  5. Write It Out: Journaling is a terrific way to relieve stress and focus priorities — and a fun way to create a snapshot of this summer that you can revisit for years to come. Experiment with different types of daily or weekly writing, from gratitude journaling to simply jotting down what you did during the day.
  6. Connect Through the Mail: Write an old-fashioned letter. Summertime provides plenty of opportunities to write to others, from dropping a postcard in a mail from a far-flung vacation destination to writing a newsy letter to a kid at sleepaway camp, or sending a chatty card to a grandparent.
  7. Wash Your Face: Summertime in Maryland is all about heat and humidity — and sunscreen. Sticking to a simple skincare routine will keep your skin healthier during this sticky season and will make you feel better, too. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using lukewarm water to gently wash your face once or twice a day (or after you’ve been sweating).
  8. Grow or Pick Your Own Food: Summertime is a gorgeous time for produce in the mid-Atlantic. If you have a garden of your own at home, that’s great, but even if not, there are plenty of farms in Central Maryland where you can pick your own fruits and vegetables. Visit for links to local farms and a calendar of what’s in season throughout the year.
  9. Make a Splash: Get out there and swim! Swimming is an excellent way to improve overall physical health as well as mental health. According to the CDC, swimming can improve mood and decrease anxiety, while improving long-term cardiovascular health and lung function.
  10. Celebrate the Wins & Plan for What’s to Come: Start the summer with a list of accomplishments you and your family have made so far this year. Even small ones! Celebrate those all summer long. Then, at the end of the summer, sit down to make a list of what you hope to achieve in the fall, so you start next school year with a plan in place.


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