Be Proactive in The Summertime!
It is finally summer break and you are immediately thrown into a world of less structure and quite possibly more chaos. There is nothing like waking up whenever you want and spending your days at the pool, but what happens when there is nothing to do? While some teenagers find alone time beneficial, others may find it difficult to cope with–and rightfully so. Being a teen or college student who is used to being surrounded by groups of people for eight or more hours a day to being at home or on vacation, your mental health can become more obvious to you than it would during the school year. Handling your mental health in a proactive and healthy way during summer break is definitely possible, but most of all, it is important.
When coming to terms with the words “mental health,” be sure to remember that this part of your life is just as important as your physical health and not as scary as you may think. Many people find it easy to handle a change in environment or their schedule. Others may need some guidance integrating different activities into their day to keep busy. That is OK! Below are some ideas to keep you and your friends busy during the summer.
- Join a summer league or team
By joining a summer league or sports team, you are working both your physical and mental health. Keeping your mind active and focused on a goal (such as winning a game) automatically integrates a sense of accomplishment and progress within your day.
- Explore your city/town
Expand your comfort zone and look at what is around your town. Visit the local shops or even take the train to the nearest city to explore. A change of scenery can help boost your mood, or even inspire you in ways you didn’t know were possible!
- Color, paint, or build something new
If you are not much of an outdoor person, no worries because there are plenty of mindful activities that exist indoors. Painting, drawing or even building something can keep you busy while also help relax you if you were looking for something more low-key for the day. Be sure to explore Pinterest or ask around for some fun summer craft ideas!
- Create a bucket list
Creating a bucket list or a “list of things to do” is a great way to outline your goals and things you wish to accomplish during the summertime. Include places you would want to visit, food you want to try, or even movies you want to watch. Each time you complete one activity, cross it off, then move onto the next!
- Read a book from each genre
If you are an avid reader or looking for a relaxing way to keep your mind busy, then visit your local bookstore or library. Expanding your genre list will keep things interesting, and you may find yourself enjoying a topic you wouldn’t have thought about branching out to before!
- Volunteer for an organization
Have a passion for something you wouldn’t normally have time to dedicate to during the school year? The summer time is a great time to start volunteering your time towards an organization. Not only are you keeping yourself busy, but you are helping others in the process.
About the author: Aly is interning at NAMI DuPage summer 2018. She is working towards a degree in Communication Studies at Northern Illinois University and hopes to continue to advocate for mental health in the future.