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Ahh the school holidays…time to relax and enjoy some sunshine (if the British weather allows).

For many of us, summer is the season of fun and freedom but if you’re living with a mental health issue, you might not be quite so excited at the prospect of the weeks ahead. If so, we’ve put together some top tips for managing your mental health over the summer holidays.

Ice cream cone

  1.  Don’t do away with the routine - Long lie-ins are a must sometimes but if you’re sleeping lots every day, it can have a negative impact on your mental health. It’s ok to relax your routine a little – we’re not suggesting 6am starts – but try to go to bed at a reasonable time and get up not much more than an hour later than you normally would. Have a shower and get dressed, even if you’ve got no planned. You’ll feel refreshed and more energised.
  2. Get planning - If you’re struggling to get motivated, planning your time can help. Give yourself something to do every morning and afternoon, and make sure you have a good mix. Schedule in some time for gaming, reading or watching TV and add in a couple of chores. It’s not just to keep your parents happy (although that’s an added bonus), it’ll give you a sense of achievement and make the fun stuff more enjoyable. If you need help getting started, take a look at our top tips for planning your time.
  3. Practise a summer of self-care - Self-care is all about being kind to yourself, listening to what your body and mind need and making time for the things that make you feel good. Check in with yourself each morning and evening to see how you’re feeling and if there’s anything you need. Sometimes a few minutes of mindfulness, a short walk or a nice relaxing bath can do wonders. Try making a list of some feel-good activities and plan them out for the weeks ahead.
  4. Enjoy the great outdoors - Ok, so living in the UK’s second city, it might feel like we’re miles from the countryside but there’s more to see in Brum than you might think. As well as beautiful parks and nature reserves, a walk around the city itself can be pretty interesting. Whatever works for you, try to get outside at least a few times a week. And if you need some inspiration, the Birmingham Mail has some great suggestions for summer walks.
  5. Stay connected - If you can’t meet up with your mates over the summer, six weeks can feel like a lifetime. Having some company is important for everyone, so make an effort to catch up with family members and keep in touch with friends if possible. If you’re feeling lonely or need someone to talk to, come and see our friendly team at Pause. We’ve also got some great workshops where you can connect with other people your age.