5 Ways to Support your Teen’s Mental Health this Summer

Schools out for summer! Sound familiar? As summer has arrived, parents need to consider the importance of mental health care for their children and teens. As carefree as summer can seem, it can also be a time of increased stress and anxiety for many young people, with changes in routines, increased social pressures, and the absence of structured activities. As a team of therapists we understand the importance of mental health year round.

1. Encourage physical activity

Physical activity is an essential component of mental health care for children and teens. During the summer months, encourage your children to engage in physical activities they enjoy, such as swimming, biking, or playing team sports. Exercise releases endorphins, which can help to boost mood and reduce stress. In addition to the physical benefits, regular exercise can also improve sleep and increase self-esteem.

2. Maintain routines

While summer can be a time of relaxation and leisure, maintaining a routine is essential for children and teens’ mental health. Try to keep regular meal and bedtime schedules, as well as designated times for screen use and outdoor activities. This can help children feel more secure and less anxious, knowing what to expect each day.

3. Foster social connections

Social connections are vital to mental health, particularly for children and teens. During summer, make an effort to foster connections by encouraging your child to participate in group activities or arrange social outings with friends. For older children and teens, consider enrolling them in a summer camp or volunteering opportunities that align with their interests. Fostering social connections also means you, the parents! Try to prioritize one on one time with your child with no distractions. This is a great way to build a relationship of trust and respect.

4. Monitor screen time

Excessive screen time has been linked to a range of mental health concerns, including depression and anxiety. During the summer months, when children and teens may have more leisure time, it is essential to monitor screen use carefully. Set limits on screen time and encourage alternative activities such as reading, outdoor activity, or creative hobbies.

5. Encourage open communication

Open communication is crucial to maintaining good mental health for children and teens. Encourage your child to talk about their feelings and emotions, and listen attentively without judgment. Create a safe and supportive environment where your child feels comfortable discussing any concerns they may have. This can help to reduce stress and improve overall mental well-being.

Teen Counseling at Authentic Connections Counseling Center (AC3) 

Prioritizing mental health care for children and teens during summer can help to reduce stress and improve overall well-being. Parents can help their children thrive during the summer months. Remember to be attentive to your child’s emotional well-being and seek professional help, if needed. If you have any questions or want to get to know some of our therapists that specialize in teen therapy, please contact us at 720-370-3010. We are here for you and your child or teen!