By Nicole Chevrier
Who doesn’t love summer? Longer sunny days, outdoor activities, cottaging and camping, sports, social events, and relaxing and enjoying life. And for students, no homework. What could be better?
For some children and young people who live with mental health concerns, summertime can be challenging. The disruption in routine and a loss of structure can affect anyone. But young people who live with anxiety, depression, eating disorders, or other health concerns can be seriously affected. Changes in sleep and eating habits can have big impacts. Less structured days can lend themselves to spending too much time online and can aggravate an unhealthy attachment to social media.
Students may feel the loss of socializing with friends and peers during the summer break. Their health status might prevent them from participating in some social activities. Some may be hampered by finances, limiting their ability to participate in things that interest them. It’s not uncommon for young people to avoid some kinds of activities because of the discomfort they feel about their physical appearance. All of these challenging situations can lead to isolation, loneliness, and poor mental health.
Tips for summertime wellness
Simple but effective ideas to help anyone maintain their mental wellness during the summer:
- Go outside and get plenty of fresh air
- Adopt or keep up a schedule of regular exercise
- Eat a nutritious diet and regulate your eating schedule
- Get enough sleep
- Stay in touch with friends
- Keep up with medication as prescribed
- Maintain therapy or counseling sessions
- Limit the time spent on social media and screen time
- Join a summer camp, volunteer, or get a job
- Get involved with social activities on a regular basis, such as sports, cultural activities, or hobby clubs
Summertime can be one of the most relaxing and enjoyable times of the year. Embrace these healthy habits and let the sun shine in!
Nicole Chevrier is Marketing and Communications Manager with the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Mental health is one of her passions.
Nicole is an avid writer and photographer. A first-time author, she recently published her first children’s book to help children who are experiencing bullying.
When she isn’t at her desk, Nicole loves to spend her time doing yoga and meditation, ballroom dancing, hiking, and celebrating nature with photography. She is a collector of sunset moments.