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Sunshine and Stability: Summer Routine as a Mental Health Strategy

For many young people, summer is a time to unwind and leave a stressful school year behind. While summer can be the best time for youth who thrive on freedom, it can be difficult for others who are unsure of what to do without their usual routine and support systems. Transitioning from the structured schedule of the school year to the spontaneity of summer can leave youth living with anxiety, depression or other health concerns seriously impacted.

We had the opportunity to speak with Shaina, The Grove Hubs Mental Health Clinician, about the importance of maintaining a routine throughout the summer months in order to sustain mental wellness. Shaina shared that a routine doesn’t have to be a strict schedule. It can be made up of small things that offer both stability and flexibility, helping you maintain mental wellness while enjoying summer freedom.

She suggests, “Something as simple as having a regular meal schedule, sleep schedule, or connection schedule with the people that we love can all be enough to help life feel predictable and manageable.”

Maintaining a routine during the summer is much easier said than done. Slipping out of a regular schedule can cause you to lose track of your priorities. Shaina suggests taking time to consider what ‘fills your mental health cup’ by writing out a list of activities in which you find enjoyment. “Some people really like going for walks, taking time to read, going out with friends: the possibilities are endless! Once you have the list, it can be helpful to think about how you can intentionally incorporate it into your regular routine,” Shaina says.

While you may have a full list, it’s important to note that you don’t have to do everything every day. When working on your routine, you want to be cautious of overscheduling your time and making your mental health feel like work. “Finding time a few times a week to do one or two things on your mental health list can help in maintaining your mental health,” Shaina shares, but it is important to stay realistic. “Being intentional about your time can help you to continue to feel like life is predictable, and also helps to give the sense that you are fulfilling a goal rather than simply floating through these next two months.”

Curating an individual routine is a great way for youth to feel a sense of independence and individuality, but parents and caregivers play a vital role in contributing to the mental well-being of our young population as well. While remaining present, it is important for caregivers to recognize the expectations they have of their children within the summer months, Shaina shares, “Maybe we think our kids need to enjoy being kids, or maybe we think they need to be working. Each young person likely also has their own goals and vision for the next 2 months, and it may look different than the ones we hold.”

Shaina highlights that asking important questions like “what youth want and need out of the summer,” will allow caregivers to understand both the expectations of themselves and their children. That way you can work together to find a balance that both validates wants and fulfills obligations of increased responsibility. With this plan, caregivers can begin to offer the necessary support children need in order to thrive. Providing a space that is not only safe and secure but also a place where young people can feel loved and understood is vital in helping them excel and reach their goals.

The Grove Hubs is here to support youth not only through the summer months but throughout the year. We’ve curated a space for youth to feel safe walking through our doors to just hang out, connect with other youth, or use one of our many services. Our relationship-oriented team takes time to hear what young people need to work towards a “place of thriving, rather than just surviving,” Shaina says. The Grove Hub's open-door policy prioritizes youth taking their mental health into their own hands, by seeking support at their discretion and their own pace.

Integrate The Grove Hub’s support into your routine this summer. Contact us to learn about the free services and mental health programming The Grove has to offer. For more information about our hours during the summer and our “Sub Hub” program, check out the ‘Come On By’ section of our website. We’re excited to see you!


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