Recipe for a Happy Summer

 

The science of happiness has come a long way.  Of course, the recipe for happiness varies from person to person, but scientists will state that they have data on what makes most of us miserable.  Growing up, all of us, young and old, have adopted a “school’s out” mindset.  A break in routine brings along with it a more carefree outlook.  Here, in the Village in the City, all around us are the ingredients we need for a summer of happiness. 

1 part sunlight. When your body absorbs UV light, it produces more of the happiness hormone serotonin, and that pumps your mood. Exposure to sunlight also shuts down production of the sleep hormone melatonin, which leaves you feely sleepy and sluggish. So get out in it!   

1 part nature. Science has determined that nature has a therepeutic effect.  Take a bike ride down a tree lined street, or through a forest preserve or beside a body of water.   Nature produces a serene feeling that lingers. We can get a nature fix by spending a day gardening in our own yards or a public somewhere nearby that needs some attention.  

1 part sweat. Physical exertion to the point of sweating actually produces pain reducing, blissful endorphin hormones.  Even short periods of sweating can add up to brighter outlooks on life. 

1 part party. We are social creatures, and the evidence on the power of connecting is strong.  Gathering socially at barbecues, parties, walks, or al fresco dining at a local restaurant offers the chance to meet friend and strangers and to be part of something bigger than ourselves.   

Directions:  Put these all together by organizing an event like your block party or porch party, or volunteer at an already organized event.  Jump in and help for an hour or two, or a day or make a long range plan to show up where you are needed every week.  The possibilities are enless with so many activities put on by BAPA, Beverly Arts Center,  Moms of Beverly, 19th Ward, Beverly Area Arts Alliance, Get local Beverly, local churches, schoolsorganizations like garden clubs, or even at a CAPS meeting  Want help connecting to a place to volunteer?  Call us at 773-233-3100 or email us at bapa@bapa.org and BAPA help you find an important ingredient in your recipe for happiness.    

 We’re lucky to have so many unique aspects of Beverly/Morgan Park.  We only have to walk out our front doors to find it.  BAPA sees it every day.  Just ask us!