Coping with summertime challenges | Jigsaw.ie

Coping with summertime challenges

Coping with summertime challenges

Thursday, 23 June 2022

Many of us look forward to the long summer break from school or college. But without routine and structure, many of us can struggle with so much free time and feel a bit lost.

Everyone’s situation is different. You may not get to see your friends as much during the summer. Or have the same access to money as your friends.

Depending on your situation you might not be able to get around as much as you’d like. Extra responsibilities such as looking after siblings or working might take up a lot of your time.

Sometimes it can feel like everyone else is having a fantastic time.

sandy-beach-and-blue-sea

A few of the issues that might come up for you are:

  • loss of routine
  • loneliness
  • isolation
  • boredom.
A girl is sitting down in an armchair, texting on a smartphone. Her face is out of view.

 

To look after your mental health during the summer months, you don’t have to reinvent yourself or take on huge projects.

There are a few simple things you can do to help you handle challenges that come up during downtime.

Take time to focus on what is going on within yourself. Acknowledge what you are feeling whether it is loneliness, anxiety or stress.

young man using smart phone

Reach out

Our wider social networks can help us to feel a sense of belonging.

Stay connected

Whatever your circumstances during the summer, do try to stay connected to friends and family. Whether it is by sending a couple of texts a week or arranging to meet up if you can.

Our relationships with other people are fundamental to our sense of well-being and happiness. Close relationships with family and friends can yield love, support and a sense of meaning in our lives.

Our wider social networks can help us to feel a sense of belonging. So it makes sense we work on strengthening our relationships and on making new connections.

Go outside

Build something simple into your daily routine.

ground view of person walking

Get active

You don’t have to start training for a marathon or cycling 10 miles a day. Simply getting outside and going for a walk can make you feel better. Or you can spend a bit of time doing some yoga or stretching.

Build something simple into your daily routine, so that you don’t allow the day to drift without doing something physical.

young person playing guitar

Stay curious

Learning exposes us to new ideas and helps us to stay curious and engaged.

Try something new

Why not decide to try something new this summer? Learning doesn’t have to involve lectures – perhaps dipping your toe into a new language by downloading an app, or teaching yourself something creative like an instrument or origami!

Learning exposes us to new ideas and helps us to stay curious and engaged. It may also give us a sense of accomplishment which, in turn, can boost our confidence.

Give

Helping others makes us feel needed and valued.

elderly person on the phone

Help others

Doing good is good for us. Helping others makes us feel needed and valued. This can reinforce social connectedness and give us a sense of purpose.

Spontaneous acts such as paying a compliment or holding open a door or making someone a cup of tea. It can be more structured and significant commitments, such as volunteering as well.

Hands holding red heart

Take control

Try and take control of your own situation where you can.

Hold on to hope

If you find that you are having a difficult time during the summer, remember that this too shall pass. Try and take control of your own situation where you can. This does not mean making massive changes in your life, it can simply be doing one or two things a day to try and keep yourself buoyant.

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