Summer is a time for relaxation and enjoyment. Except when it is not. Just because school has stopped, does not mean conditions like anxiety and depression come to a halt as well. That can be a hard pill to swallow, but it is important nonetheless. There is a certain expectation for summer, that it will make one feel lighter, or happier. The cold reality is that summer is just like every other season, except it is hotter and people tend to have more free time.
Summer can actually be a worse time for people mentally because there is no distraction of school. Day to day living can lose its purpose and white space evades hours spent alone and bored. While during the school year it is easy to hop from thought to thought and day to day, in the summer one is faced with their emotions without the escape of distraction and other stimulation. Normalizing these experiences is crucial, because the stigma around perfect summers only creates an environment where people feel inadequate in their emotions.
So how does one improve their summer? Although it seems counterproductive after wanting a break from school, staying busy can actually be really helpful in avoiding falling down rabbit holes of isolation. The strategy in staying busy over the summer is to create a schedule filled with enjoyable activities. Hanging out with friends or getting a summer job are productive but do not usually hold the same type of stress and pressure that school does. Volunteering at a local summer camp or library can be pleasurable ways to be involved in one’s community. The bottom line is that summer does not have to be perfect. Walking the line between relaxation and isolation can be difficult, but there are ways to avoid tripping into an unhealthy secluded summer.
Solace Yee TeensForAll Blog Writer