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Tips for a stress-free summer

The sun is shining, the Corner is quiet, and the summer is finally here. Why would anyone need tips for summer time? It should be fun….right? Anytime there is a big change in a daily schedule, it is good to be aware that mental and emotional adjustments may be needed. In addition, everyone has different needs. Some people need to use the summer time for a stress break and take it easy. Others need to use this time to work for financial needs as well as experience for future employment. Others may use this time to travel, either for education or for enjoyment- sometimes both. So whatever your plans are, here are some tips.

  • No matter what your plan is for the summer, it is helpful to set some goals or make a schedule. It may feel like three months is a lot of time, but you'll be surprised at how quickly the time will fly by. You may want a break from looking at a calendar, but it is helpful to have a general time line of what you want to accomplish.
  • If relaxation is your plan, think about a schedule (a flexible one) that will provide stress reduction. Yoga or meditation classes, gentle exercise, read for FUN, social time with stress-free friends and family will all help with this plan. Your goal could be to find what works best to manage stress once you are back in school full time.
  • If your plan is work, your schedule may not be flexible but you can still plan times for lunch breaks, social breaks, a fifteen- minute walk. Think about what is your goal for having this job; even if it is not in your field of interest, you can still find a mentor and/or develop skills that will transfer to any work environment. If you are working because of financial needs, this is a good time to make a budget for the summer as well as the next school year.
  • Eating, drinking and sleeping are all impacted when there is a change in environment and schedule. Remember all of the TIPS you have been getting through out the year from many sources on Grounds and continue to focus on your health and safety. See the reminders below.
  • Traveling is exciting and educational. It can also bring challenges that cause stress physically, mentally and emotionally. You can prepare yourself by researching ahead of time the areas where you will be going. Although spontaneity is fun, be cautious about sudden plans to travel to a part of the world where you know no one, don’t speak the language, and have not had time to research the customs. Click here for further information about cultural adjustment.

Here are a few reminders:

  • Travel with friends or in groups. If this is not possible, be sure to let friends and family know your schedule and have times to check-in.
  • Eat several healthy meals a day along with drinking plenty of water.
  • Make plans to meet new people in public places. Do not give out room numbers or phone numbers to anyone who is unknown.
  • Always keep your phone charged and carry your identification in a secure place along with money/credit card for transportation.
  • The sun can be very intense and even if you have a tan, be sure to use sunblock and wear protective clothing.
  • Drinking alcohol and being in the sun is often a bad combination; if you are attending social events outside, be sure to drink water along with alcoholic drinks and be sure to eat food as well.

A final reminder: Healthy relationships are based on trust, respect and support. Violence of any kind is never acceptable whether it is a friend, partner, teacher, employer or a family member. If you experience violence please reach out for help. If you do not know about any of the local resources where you are, check out our resource guide for Charlottesville and UVA. Very best wishes for a great summer from the Counseling staff at the Women’s Center! Feel free to contact us if we can be of any help. 

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