Using Summer Break for Self-Care: Prioritizing Mental Health

self-care summer

Being a college student in a bustling city like Austin is an exciting journey filled with opportunities, experiences, and challenges. Balancing demanding academic responsibilities, an active social life, and a part-time or full-time job can quickly become overwhelming.

Though the average college student’s fast-paced lifestyle can be invigorating, the whirl of activities might push self-care and mental health to the bottom of your to-do list. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Let’s explore the importance of prioritizing mental health and how summer break can be an ideal time to rejuvenate and prep for the upcoming academic year.

Why Mental Health Should Be a Priority

Mental well-being forms the foundation for your overall quality of life. It affects how you think, feel, and act, influencing your ability to handle stress, relate to others, and make decisions. If you are mentally unwell, you may struggle to focus, experience decreased productivity, and feel a constant cloud of exhaustion hanging over you, among other symptoms.

The strain of juggling multiple responsibilities can lead to a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion called burnout. This chronic state of stress can result in a decreased ability to perform, withdrawal from social activities, and feelings of helplessness.

Ignoring your mental wellness can lead to anxiety, depression, and other problems that might interfere with your personal and academic life. Therefore, prioritizing your behavioral and emotional health is not a luxury but a necessity.

Summer Break: The Perfect Time for Self-Care

Summer break presents a golden opportunity to prioritize self-care and self-awareness. You can use this time to rejuvenate, learn stress-management techniques, and cultivate healthy habits that you can take back to campus in the fall.

1. Relax

First, use the summer break to relax and recharge. Catch up on sleep, get together with loved ones, volunteer, and do the things you don’t usually have time for when school is in session.

2. Move Frequently  

Engage in regular physical activity. Whether it’s yoga, swimming, hiking, or taking long walks, exercise can help reduce feelings of anxiety and improve your mood.

3. Eat a Nutritious Diet

Busy college students whose primary sustenance consists of quick snacks eaten between classes can become malnourished. A balanced diet improves all facets of your health and wellness.

4. Work With a Therapist

Professional help is one of the best ways to work through stress and equip yourself with the tools to combat negativity. At Amend Wellness, we provide evidence-based therapy in a supportive, private environment. Coming to our retreat over the summer can help you better understand all facets of your mental health and learn valuable coping strategies.

5. Learn and Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness can help manage stress and enhance your overall well-being. It involves paying attention to your thoughts and feelings without judgment, staying focused on the present rather than worrying about the past or future.

6. Establish a Routine

A consistent daily routine is an essential part of self-care. Use your summer to establish a schedule that includes exercise, balanced meals, excellent sleep hygiene, and relaxation time.

The Benefits of Self-Care for Better Academic Performance

Self-care isn’t only about feeling good; it’s also about boosting your ability to succeed in every area of life, including academics. When you’re mentally healthy, you can be more resilient, focus on tasks, and maintain the energy required for studying and classwork.

By dedicating the summer break to self-care, you’ll set yourself up for success in the fall semester. You’ll return to campus rejuvenated, focused, and armed with effective strategies to take care of your mental health.

Remember, you don’t have to navigate this journey alone. At Amend Wellness, we’re here to help. Take advantage of the summer break to prioritize your mental well-being. It’s an investment that will pay dividends in the form of better grades, improved relationships, and a healthier, happier you. Reach out to our wellness advisors to learn more about how a stay with us can benefit you.