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Take a break for your mental health

Take a break for your mental health – we are now approaching the school summer holidays, this might be a time that you are looking forward to or dreading. Either way this time of year is when we start to think about going on holiday, days out, or just having a break.

Taking a break from your normal routine can be incredibly beneficial to your mental and emotional wellbeing. In this cost of living crisis putting money aside to go on holiday may not be a priority or possible.

In other blogs on this website we have explored how taking a break or going on holiday can be really beneficial for our wellbeing.

You can read these blogs here

Are Holidays Good for Mental Health?

The Benefits of Taking a Lunch Break

Vacations and Relationship Problems

Dr Lynda Shaw, neuroscientist and psychologist – Why Holidays Are Important For Our Mental Health says that holidays can

  • Improve our physical health – working without breaks can disrupt our hormone levels which can weaken our immune system.
  • Improve out mental health – Overworking and overstimulating our brains makes our neurons more excitable and alert which leads to trouble sleeping, mood swings, short temperedness, poor memory and focus and confusion. More serious mental health problems can also occur like depression and anxiety. Holidays do the reverse and help us take time to find solutions to problems and to be relaxed in the moment.
  • Can help us consolidate and process memories – rest gives our brains a chance to sort memories out.
  • Can help to strengthen our bonds with friends and family
  • Can decrease burnout
Summertime Sadness

If holidays and breaks from our daily life are so important, but we can’t afford to go away or visit attractions, how can we still get a break on a budget. Below are some ideas.

  • Get to know your local area – search online for places of interest that are close by, whether they are open spaces, or attractions such as free museums or art galleries to visit. Look into places that are free or offer discounts or free tickets.
  • Research how many local parks or woodlands or places of natural beauty there are near you. It may surprise you how many parks there are in your local vicinity. Make it a mission to explore as many as possible.
  • Visit your local library or community centre or government website for events that are happening close to you. Look out for school fetes and summer fetes held by churches and community groups.
  • Go on a picnic.
  • Make the most of your garden, if you have a garden think about how you can enjoy it and spend more times outside.
  • Make plans with friends to meet up or go to each other’s houses for BBQs or picnics in the garden.
  • Go out at different times of day. Go out for breakfast, whether you make the breakfast at home and take it with you or you pick up a bacon sandwich while you are out, or a croissant from the supermarket, go out early to somewhere you enjoy. Go out in the evening, have an ice cream, again you can take it with you or get it along the way. The idea here is to do things that are not part of your routine that you will enjoy.
  • Plan days at home where you are just doing your favourite things.
  • Think about what you want to do and plan for next year, if you can, set some money aside each month so that you have some money that will allow you go further afield or to the places you really want to.

Often holidays and days out are about making lasting memories, you can do this even if you don’t have the money to go away. Some of my lasting happy memories are around being with my family sitting in someone’s back garden. Make sure that even if you can’t go away or have big days out, you find ways that are right for you to form those memories for yourself and take that break.

If you are struggling and would like to make an appointment with Paul for Counselling or Psychotherapy, please call Paul on 07843 813 537 or fill in the form on the Contact Page, if he doesn’t answer he is probably in a session, please leave him a message and he will call you back as soon as he can. For more informaion about Paul please take a look at the About Paul PageFrequently Asked Questions Page and The Counselling Services Page.

Seasonal Affective Disorder
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