Avoid the Summer Bummer
Summer can be Fun – or Lead to Depression and Anxiety
What can you do now to help your child or teen avoid the summer doldrums? Summer is “supposed” to be fun, but the reality can be stressful for a lot of people.
Reasons can include expectations not matching reality, thinking that “everyone else” is having more fun than you, not getting enough sleep, body image issues at the pool or beach and money concerns. This can lead to anxiety or depression – summer slumps that you can help your teen avoid by planning ahead. Keeping busy (but not too busy) with healthy activities is key.
Some ideas for keeping summer fun and healthy:
• Volunteer: See www.volunteermatch.org to search by topics for opportunities in your area. It can be a chance to do more with a hobby or explore something new. And helping others can put your own troubles in perspective. It also contributes to a sense of purpose, which can help reduce depression and anxiety.
• Work: A paid job can help with money issues or saving for college and be a chance to meet different types of people. Check out 2-1-1 Ventura County listings for youth employment.
• Paid or unpaid internships can provide a chance to see a career up close and get valuable experience.
• Summer sports: Try a team sport or take a class to learn something new.
• Summer classes: Check out city rec departments, colleges and more. Try painting or learn how to play an instrument or build a website.
• Learning to cook can help out busy parents and build healthy habits.
• Do projects around the house: Helping with an outdoor project or coming up with their own can create a result to see and feel proud about.