The end of the school year has is in sight, and summer vacation is on your doorstep. In general, most children look forward to summer break. However, some children, especially those who live with a mental illness such as anxiety or depression, may dread summer. Whatever category your children fall into, there are steps you can take to help your children’s mental health during summer break.
Summer Mental Health Tips
- Create some structure and routine. Sit down with your children and write out a general routine. This can be a bedtime/morning routine, a set screen time, meals and snack schedule, etc. Whatever you decide, try to keep to that routine, even if you’re on vacation.
- Set bedtimes and wake-up times. Help your children get the sleep they need by setting certain times they need to be in bed at night and awake in the morning.
- Plan socializing. As much as you are comfortable doing, arrange some times during the summer for your children to be social, whether that be play dates, summer camps, or something else. For older teenagers, socialization could be found in a part-time job, which will also give them structure.
- Encourage movement. Going on hikes, doing yoga, going swimming, going on family bike rides, and everything in between is great for mental health. Any activities outside are especially helpful.
- Change the scenery. Going to a new state park or on a wekend getaway can help refresh and reset if your children are feeling stuck in a rut.
- Find ways to serve. Helping others can help your children’s mental health by making them feel needed, important, and happy.
- Try something new. Ask your children something new they’d like to try. They may discover a new talent or hobby!
This blog was written by Hope Squad. Hope Squad student members are trained to be aware of their peers and watch for warning signs. They learn to show empathy to their peers, listen without judgment, and reduce stigma regarding help-seeking and mental illness. Hope Squads are now in over 1,200 schools across 35 states and Canada. During the seventeen years since Timpview High School started a Hope Squad, the school has not lost a student to suicide. And as Hope Squad grows, we will continue to spread hope and save more lives. Learn more by visiting https://hopesquad.com/.