Preserving Your Mental Health During the Summer

June 29, 2021 6:33 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Summertime is often hailed as a break from routine and structure, which is fun when you’re a schoolkid—but if you suffer from depression, anxiety or other mental health issues, the lack of structure can be difficult. This is particularly important this year, as more people are vaccinated against COVID-19 and we’re seeing a return to “normal.” You might feel increased pressure to be “carefree” or happy, and embrace the lack of routine, especially if you have stir-crazy kids in the house.

However, taking care of your mental health is just as important as enjoying the summertime. Consider signing up for family counseling in Yakima, WA, then try these tips below to maintain your mental health:

  • Set goals: If you have a few months of relative aimlessness coming up, it can be daunting—especially if you’re the type of person who thrives on schedules, routines and achieving goals. Instead of letting the lazy days turn into weeks and then months, set a few goals for yourself. For example, perhaps you want to focus on a DIY project around the house. Break it down into manageable chunks, then cross them off the list when they’re complete. It’s bound to give you a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment, which is great for your mental health.
  • Create a routine: Even if you’re off work or school for the summer, you (and your family) can still benefit from a routine. It doesn’t have to be planned out to the minute to be effective. You can schedule regular activities each week (swimming at a public pool on Mondays and Fridays, errands on Tuesdays, etc.) along with things you want to do each day (mealtimes, walks with the family, an hour of quiet time and more).
  • Go on vacation: If you can, try to go on vacation—even if it’s just for a weekend. Getting a change of scenery can refresh your perspective and make you feel more relaxed. You’ll go back to your normal routine better prepared to take on whatever challenges come your way.
  • Get plenty of exercise: It’s always a good idea to get exercise, but especially if you think you’ll be more sedentary than normal. Exercise releases your endorphins, which improves your mood. Better yet, go outside to exercise: the sunlight and fresh air release serotonin, another “good mood” chemical.
  • Remember mindfulness and meditation: Your mental health routine is still important during the summertime. Don’t neglect mindfulness and meditation when you’re on a break. These tools are important for keeping you healthy and grounded.
  • Make sure to prioritize things you like to do: Finally, don’t neglect the importance of doing what you enjoy. It’s easy to get caught up in trying to entertain the children or accomplish 50 different tasks in a week. However, by making time for things you love, you’ll be in a better mental place to do the things you don’t enjoy.

Family counseling in Yakima, WA can help you maintain good mental health and establish good habits this summer and throughout the year. Call Apple Valley Counseling Services, LLC today to schedule your first appointment.

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