By Ivy Nguyen
Summer is a season of liberation and exploration, offering a break from the structured routines of daily life. However, this lack of structure can sometimes pose challenges to our mental well-being. With the absence of rigid schedules and responsibilities, it's crucial to proactively support our mental health during the unstructured summer months.It is important to get involved with self-care practices and strategies for combating seasonal emotional changes, empowering you to embrace the freedom of summer while maintaining your mental well-being. International Self Care Day is celebrated on July 24th to remind everyone to take care of themselves during the summer. While the allure of summer lies in its spontaneity, establishing a loose routine can provide a sense of stability and purpose. Create a general framework for your day by designating specific times for self-care activities, exercise, pursuing personal goals, or engaging in hobbies. This loose structure can help anchor you amidst the freedom of summer, ensuring you have a sense of direction and focus.
With the long summer days at your disposal, embrace the opportunity to engage in mindful exploration. Try new activities, visit new places, or revisit old hobbies. As teens, we are discovering ourselves and finding our passions and interests. You can pick up new hobbies such as journaling, learning an instrument, or going on long walks. Challenging yourself intellectually through books and educational videos can be very beneficial to stress during the summer. Participating in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment can uplift your spirits and boost your mental well-being. Whether it's hiking in nature, swimming in the ocean, or simply enjoying a leisurely picnic, allow yourself to fully immerse in the present moment and savor the experiences without stressing about future events or responsibilities.
You can also pick up a new way to support yourself and your mental health by getting a summer job. This way you can be productive and make money to alleviate financial stress. Summer jobs can also help you interact with more people, depending on your place of work. You can either save your money or spend it on things you love!
Summer often brings people together, providing ample opportunities to nurture social connections. Plan outings, gatherings, or adventures with friends and family. Participate in community events or join local clubs or groups that align with your interests. Spending time with loved ones and engaging in meaningful social interactions can greatly enhance your mental health, reducing feelings of isolation and fostering a sense of belonging.
In the midst of the summer's carefree atmosphere, it's crucial to prioritize self-care. Develop a self-care routine that encompasses activities that nourish your mind, body, and soul. This may include practicing mindfulness or meditation, engaging in regular exercise, journaling, taking soothing baths, or indulging in hobbies that bring you joy and relaxation. Remember, self-care is not selfish but rather a vital aspect of maintaining good mental health.
The temptation to indulge in unhealthy habits during the summer, such as poor eating and phone addiction habits, can impact our mental well-being. Strive for balance by maintaining a nutritious diet, staying hydrated, and engaging in regular exercise. Opt for refreshing summer fruits and vegetables, hydrate with water, and incorporate physical activities that you enjoy, such as swimming, hiking, or cycling. Make sure you aren’t spending your whole day looking at screens, as it can worsen mental well-being as well as physically by hurting your eyes or head. Taking care of your physical health can have a profound positive impact on your mental well-being.
If you find yourself struggling with seasonal emotional changes or other mental health challenges during the summer, it's important to remember that seeking support is a sign of strength. Reach out to trusted friends, family members, or professionals who can provide guidance and a listening ear. Therapy or counseling can be invaluable resources for navigating these emotions and helping you develop effective coping strategies. Remember that you don't have to face challenges alone, and there is support available to help you through difficult times.
As you embrace the unstructured summer season this July 24th, remember to prioritize your mental health and well-being. By establishing a flexible routine, engaging in mindful exploration, fostering social connections, prioritizing self-care rituals, maintaining healthy habits, and seeking support when needed for this International Self Care Day, you can navigate the summer months with grace and resilience. Embrace the freedom and possibilities that summer brings, while taking care of your mental and emotional well-being.