By Nomali Cele
In July, we touched on the impact of seasonal depression, highlighting the prevalence of summer seasonal affective disorder. In the abstract, it’s not hard to see why summer months can bring with them depressive feelings. In theory, you’re expected to be having the time of your life because schools are closed, work is on hiatus, there are parties every other day and everyone is acting festive.
But the reality is that with all the pressure to be present, to spend, to go on holiday, to always socialise…a burnout and anxiety can creep in. So how can you prepare now for mental health and self-care before the summer to
Summer mental health and self-care tip: Set your boundaries
Most people struggle with setting boundaries. If you want your mental health and self-care to go better this year, set and assert your boundaries as soon as you can. Let your manager know that once leave starts, you will be off the grid, inform friends if you will be taking a break from partying the season away.
Summer mental health and self-care tip: Set a budget now
The festive season is a time filled with pressure to spend, spend and spend some more. Your mental health and self-care can suffer if you are overspending or going into debt. Have a rough idea of how much you want to spend and where you want the money to go. Then closer to the time, put away whatever excess fund you have in a 30-day notice account, from which you can draw in the new year – by early February, realistically.
Summer mental health and self-care tip: You have a right to celebrate
A friend of mine always makes it a point to acknowledge people who may not have had the best year every December. Maybe you have been unemployed or you failed at school or you didn’t reach any of your goals; she makes it a point that those people know that they’ve also earned the good times that come with summer but the rest too.
Summer mental health and self-care tip: Check in with yourself
The festive season is infamous for numbing effects. You will come out on the other side only to realise you’ve run yourself ragged. Take time every so often to check in with yourself.
Summer mental health and self-care tip: Remember that you deserve to rest
A new timeline seems to begin during the festive season, but don’t forget that the main point of the season is to relax and be with loved ones or by yourself. As you plan for your summer now, consider ways you can relax and make good mental health and self-care a priority. Now is also a good time to correct any expectations people may have so you don’t find yourself carrying unnecessary guilt.
Only you can give yourself the care and consideration you need and unless you are vocal about your boundaries, your mental health and self-care will suffer in the summer.