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 your daily schedule, mental and emotional adjustments may be needed. Maybe your priority is to use the summer time for a stress break and take it easy. Or you may be focused on working and saving or gaining experience for future employment. And summer is also a popular time to travel, either for education or for enjoyment - or 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 15-minute walk. Think about goals your job can help you reach: gain experience, find a mentor, or develop skills that will transfer to any work environment. If saving money for use during the next school year is a goal, make a budget for the summer as well as the 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.
Things to keep in mind while traveling:
- 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 in popular travel destinations 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.