Take Care of Your Mental Health During the Summer

SUMMER MENTAL HEALTH

Summer is usually associated with freedom and happiness. However, summer can also be overwhelming and cause anxiety for many. One of the things that can cause this is the lack of structure and activities. Summer can also put pressure on people who are already experiencing depression or anxiety because of the expectation to be happy and have fun. Here are 10 ways you can help maintain your or your child’s mental health this summer.

  1. Create a structure –
    • While many kids look forward to having no structure over the summer, it can be damaging to mental health. A schedule gives kids the feeling of being in control and gives everyone the feeling of being safe, secure, and comfortable. The schedule does not need to be as strict as during the school year, but sticking to a loose structure over the summer can help mental health.
  2. Get a summer job –
    • For teens and college students who are used to being in classes and around their peers every day, it can be easy for them to get bored or depressed over the summer. This is a great time for them to get a job or internship because it allows them to socialize regularly, have a structure, learn responsibility, and make some extra money!
  3. Get outside –
    • It is no secret that the outdoors can do wonders for mental health and that is no different during the summer. Vitamin D from the sun produces serotonin, a mood-stabilizing hormone. This summer, get out and go to the beach, paddle boarding, hiking, or whatever your favorite outdoor activity is.
  4. Maintain a sleep schedule –
    • It is easy for kids to want to stay up late and sleep in during the summer because they do not have as many daytime responsibilities. While this may be tempting, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule is not only better for your physical health, but your mental health as well.
  5. Enroll kids in summer camp –
    • Enrolling kids in summer camp or daycare over the summer has many benefits. It helps kids maintain a schedule, socialize, make new friends, and have activities.
  6. Stay active –
    • It is always recommended to get 20-30 minutes of activity a day. Over the summer it can be easy to sit on the couch all day and catch up on your favorite shows. Make it a goal this summer to stick to 20-30 minutes a day.
  7. Plan a vacation –
    • Taking some time off work, unwinding, and getting a change of scenery can help boost your mood. Whether it’s a quick weekend trip, or a weeklong vacation, plan a getaway this summer.
  8. Visit with friends and family –
    • For kids who are used to being around people all the time, the summer months can be isolating. Summer is a great time to catch up with friends and family!
  9. Take time for yourself –
    • With kids home for the summer, it can be difficult to find time for yourself. This summer make sure you set some time aside to relax and rejuvenate.
  10. Take advantage of vacation time –
    • Sometimes you use your paid time off to catch up on things around the house and things you usually do not have time for. Whether that means taking a vacation or a staycation, make it a priority to use your PTO for yourself this summer.

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