Many children and teens look forward to the end of the school year and summer vacation – no homework, no tests, sleeping in later. Summer, nevertheless, can also be a time when children and teens feel bored, sad, anxious or depressed. These feelings can be a result of less structure, not being able to see friends as often, and perhaps a monotonous routine of playing video games, endless hours of social media, or other excessive screen time.
How can you keep your mental cool and calm this summer? One word: Structure!
Structure is a way of organizing one’s life (or your child’s life) so that it makes sense. In other words, you wake up with a sense of ownership and order. Structure can help children and teens increase their self-esteem and reduce feelings of depression and anxiety. Structure can help us stay grounded.
Here are some important tips that will help you and your kids stay cool and calm this summer:
1. Limit screen time to 2 hours a day. Set parental controls do devices shut down on their own. Or set timers to alert everyone when screen time is done.
2. Exercise, like bike riding, hiking, walking, going to the gym) is a great way to release endorphins, which boost mood and reduce anxiety.
3. Set a goal: Pick a physical or academic challenge and try to accomplish it over the summer.
4. Spend time outdoors. Connecting with nature is a great way to “get out of your head” and boosts mood.
5. For older teens, get a job working or volunteering at camps or local shops.
6. At home projects: Art projects, Science experiments, Cooking, Baking
7. Look into your local library and town for free events/activities
8. Participate in local therapeutic groups like the ones we offer at Well Being Therapy Center:
- Circle Up Teen Therapy Groups for 13-17 yrs (July 8th – Aug 22nd)
- Girl Power Tween Camp for 9-12 yr girls (July 22nd – 26th)
- Confident Kids Social Group for 7-11 yrs (July 9th – September 10th)
For more information on our summer programs, please call or email us.
Here’s to Your Well Being and a very Happy and Healthy Summer!
Maria Antoniou, LMFT