With summer here, and six weeks off school or college, or summer breaks coming up at work, the pressure is on to spend summer well. But this can leave people feeling pressured. Although the weather warms up and there's lots to do, summer holidays can be a difficult time. Time away from friends, finding things to fill weeks and maintaining a healthy routine can all be difficult. It can especially hard for those with difficulties in their life, like being NEET, having problems at home , or having problems with drugs or alcohol. Knowing where to get support this summer can really help - whatever the problem.
How can I help myself over this summer?
Here are five ways of wellbeing are proven to support everyday health:
- Talk to somebody, this could be a friend, family member, trusted adult or professional.
- Find the best way that works for you to be active.
- Find a way to learn – this keeps your mind active and moving forward.
- Even days when you don't have much to give, small things like a smile or a hello can improve your wellbeing
- Find the way that works for you to take a break from activity, business, life online and be mindful, take care of yourself and build your wellbeing.
Building wellbeing actions like these into your daily routine can help with positive mood, and feeling busy, active and valued.
VERY IMPORTANT: If problems become more serious, then know how to get support. Find out more about stress, depression, and more in our Healthy Mind section, including support available locally from your School Health Nurse, CAMHS and others.
How can I support a friend?
Often the first people to notice someone is struggling are their friends. But it can be hard to know what to do, when you are worried about a friend's mental health. Here are some tips from Mind.org on how to support somebody who may be struggling.
- Stay in touch, let them know you're thinking of them and that you are there if they need you.
- Support them to get help, let them know it's okay not to be okay.
- Arrange to meet them, whether your visit them at home, catch up over coffee or even go for a walk.
- Be gentle and listen to them.
Finding things to do
Although summer is a great time to relax and chill, staying active and busy is great way to support mental health. There are lots of things to do this summer for young people in Oxfordshire, here are some suggestions:
- Find something to do on Activities Oxfordshire
- Do the National Citizen Service (open to young people 15-17)
- Help out at local events or festivals like the Cowley Road Carnival
- Attend a local event like a Play Day or Fun Day
With so much on, and friends boasting about all the amazing things they're doing on social media, it can be easy to feel jealous or excluded. But everyone has different activities that suit them, different places they feel happy and different things they do to have fun. Arranging activity swaps with friends, taking breaks from being online and keeping a journal or record of the good things you enjoy and do are all great ways to experience new things, build happiness and support better mental health this summer.
In this video, young people and workers from South Wimbledon Youth Centre talk about mental health, and the challenges faced by young people. Though it's from another part of the UK, similar services are available in Oxfordshire - you can find links from this page, or elsewhere on the website.