Childrens Mental Health Tips for Summertime!
Summer break is filled with fun times, vacations, and smiles. For a child with anxiety, depression, or other mental health disorders, a break from school can be a difficult and stressful time.
Even though school can be hard work and tiring, for most of us, keeping a routine is good for our mental health. It helps keep our lives organized, creating less chaos in the long run. Being in the school routine also allows for constant interaction with other children. When summer break is in full swing, some children can feel lonely, bringing on depression in a time designed to give children a welcome vacation from school, tests, and deadlines. Sometimes, our summer vacations are packed so full of fun, it does not allow for enough downtime.
The University of Alabama Birmingham and Dr. Dayna Watson, Ph.D., give us tips on keeping our kids happy and healthy during this break. She suggests keeping a routine, scheduling time for face-to-face interaction, and allowing downtime. One way to help keep a routine in summer is waking up at the same time each day. Another idea is to create a large calendar for the family to view, allowing children to see what they can expect from day to day.
Scheduling time to visit with friends is important to our mental health. This can include day camps, park play dates, or even safe video gaming with friends.
Downtime is healthy and important to schedule into our busy lives, even in the summer! Trying to balance our busy time and downtime is a moving target. Taking the time to relax is rejuvenating and replenishing. This can mean something different for everyone, but some suggestions are taking a walk, reading a book, writing in a journal, or taking a nap.
As we enter this fun season of warm temperatures and sunshine, there is still reason to be aware of our mental health. Let’s try to help those around us to take care of their mental health during our summer break!