5 Self-Care Tips for Parents During Summer Break

For many, especially children, summer break means no school, vacations, beautiful weather and time with family and friends. For parents on the other hand, summer can mean a time of anxiety, chaotic schedules, noisy households and little downtime. As parents ourselves, we understand that summertime can be both a wonderful season and a one that may cause burnout.

To help you better enjoy this summer with your kids, here are five self-care tips to preserve your mental health this season. 

1. Get active outdoors.

Summertime is the perfect time to work on your physical health by getting active outside. As you may already know, physical activity releases those feel good chemicals called endorphins that helps us feel good. Take the kids to the park or a nature preserve (our favorites are Bluebell Beach and For Mar Nature Preserve here in Flint) and enjoy spending time outside and away from electronics.   

2. Spend time with loved ones alone. 

With playdates, birthday parties, sports practices, games and everything in-between, it may seem like your kids have a social life but yours is looking a little shabby (or nonexistent.) Make sure you get some social time too! Try to designate a time at least once a week to see a friend, family member, spouse or date without the kiddos. 

3. Set a sleep schedule.

The sun is up earlier and stays up later, but that doesn’t mean bedtimes need to go completely bust. Summertime bedtimes might be different from school bedtimes, but make sure everyone still maintains a bedtime. Not only is this good for kids, it’s also important for you as a parent. A little time to yourself at night can do wonders, plus it’s important you get enough sleep as well. 

4. Plan ahead. 

Speaking of setting schedules, reduce stress levels by planning summer activities ahead. If you’re planning on a vacation, give yourself plenty of time to book hotels, activities and pack. Even if it’s just a day activity, you’ll save yourself a headache by planning ahead instead of scrambling at the last minute. Check out activities at the Flint Children’s Museum, plan a trip to the farmer’s market, or even reserve a spot at the Lake Shore.

5. Carve out time for yourself. 

Last, but not least, remember to take time out of your busy summer schedule for yourself. Whether this is just 30 minutes at night or in the morning, a block of time during the week while the kids are at a summer activity, or a day you pick out during the month, make sure this time is spent doing something you want to do and not just chores. Meditate, take a bath, start a gratitude journal, read, go to your favorite coffee place, craft, whatever! Just make sure it’s something that brings you happiness and a sense of peace.

As parents and mental health professionals here at Traini Counseling Group, we know that summer is a mixed blessing. It’s wonderful to have more time to enjoy our kids, but also overwhelming to suddenly juggle everyday life, work and very active children. We hope that these self-care tips can help ease that stress, but also know that we’re here for you if you find yourself struggling with overwhelming anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues

Have a wonderful summer!

The Traini Counseling Group