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Summer Break Mental Health Tips for Students

May 15, 2024

Blake Ravin, LCMHC, Primary Therapist – Teen Mental Health Program

Summer is often a time of relaxation and enjoyment for students, but it's important to remember that mental health doesn't take a break. For teens dealing with mental health issues, summer can present unique challenges, especially when it comes to maintaining routines. One major hurdle is the disruption of daily schedules, which can lead to irregular sleep patterns and unhealthy eating habits. Additionally, the lack of school can exacerbate feelings of isolation, a common trigger for those dealing with mental health challenges, as there are fewer natural opportunities for social interaction. There is also less access to school counselors, teachers, and other supportive adults which may further impact a student's support system.

How to Care for Your Mental Health During the Summer:summer-mental-health-tips

  • Embrace the Outdoors: Spending time outside increases vitamin D levels, which can positively impact mood. Sun exposure also helps regulate melatonin production, aiding in better sleep quality. Aim for at least 30 minutes of outdoor time daily, ensuring hydration and sun protection.

  • Engage in Meaningful Activities: Consider part-time employment or volunteering opportunities to maintain structure and consistency in your routine. Volunteering fosters a sense of belonging and satisfaction from helping others.

  • Prioritize Healthy Habits: Practice mindfulness through activities like meditation and yoga, incorporate regular exercise into your routine, and maintain consistent sleep and eating patterns.

  • Maintain Social Connections: To prevent isolation, stay connected with friends and family through regular calls, outings, or virtual hangouts. Social support plays a crucial role in maintaining mental well-being.

  • Limit Screen Time: While technology can be a valuable tool for staying connected, excessive screen time can negatively affect mood, sleep patterns, and overall mental wellness. Set boundaries on screen time and prioritize face-to-face interactions and outdoor activities.

  • Have Fun: Use the break to do things you enjoy. Have you wanted to try something new – this is your time to do it! Engaging in fun activities that bring you joy triggers the release of endorphins and leads to an overall sense of positive well-being.

  • Seek Help: Seek support from peer groups, consider telehealth if transportation is an issue, and continue therapy instead of pausing for the summer break. Helplines like Teen Line (1-800-852-8336) and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) or text 988 can also provide assistance.


Learn More About HopeWay's Teen Mental Health Programs


Editor’s note: This blog post is presented for informational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness. If you have any health concern, see a licensed healthcare professional in person.