19 Jul Managing Work And Play On Summer Vacay — How Students Can Make The Most Of Summer Break
Stress has a sinister way of spilling over from high school life into summer vacation. As competition ramps up for college admissions, more high school students work as hard during the summer as they do during regular school sessions. While it’s crucial for students to remain competitive, please remember that summer is a time to recharge from the inevitable stressors of school life.
Many surveys show that today’s students have record high rates of anxiety and depression. There’s also solid evidence that students who don’t manage these emotions early are at a greater risk of developing significant mental health conditions.
This isn’t an excuse for high school students to neglect their future career and college goals during the summer. However, all students need to learn valuable “life lessons” during the summer, which include finding ways to relax and creating a balanced work-life schedule. Establishing these healthy mental health habits will help students better manage the stress of college life, internships, and beyond.
How Students Can Avoid Getting Stressed During Summer
Tips For Finding An Ideal Summer Work-Life Balance
Everyone has a different idea about what a “work-life balance” means for them. No scientific study proves students perform best when they spend X hours at work and X hours socializing. So, parents and students must recognize that defining a healthy “work-life balance” may take some time and adjustment over summer break.
A fantastic strategy students could use to set their summertime boundaries is to schedule daily relaxation time. Parents should also encourage their students to say “no” to any extra work that creeps into their relaxation time. During the summer, students must recognize that working during off hours is a bad strategy for psychological health and building a balanced professional life.
Students who aren’t already into journaling may want to pick up this habit during the summer. Taking 15 minutes each day to free-write could help students recognize early warning signs that their “work-life balance” is off kilter. Also, there’s solid evidence that daily journaling sessions have a positive impact on mental health.
Learn The Warning Signs Of “Burnout”
Arguably, “burnout” is the best warning signal that “work” is overwhelming a student’s summer “life.” However, since “burnout” isn’t a clinical diagnosis, there’s no easy way for people to recognize they have this condition. Much like setting a “work-life schedule,” each student must be mindful of what “burnout” feels for them.
In most cases, “burnout” symptoms mimic other mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. Medical authorities often say people with “burnout” experience fatigue, irritability, and poor sleep quality. If students find they’re having difficulty meeting their work obligations — or they constantly feel they don’t have any time to catch their breath — chances are they’re already “burnt out.”
Again, students should keep a journal of their daily experiences to pinpoint when the stress of their job may be interfering with their mental health. If students suspect they have “burnout,” they should brainstorm ways to inject more “me time” into their schedule.
Regular exercise and meditation are two science-backed strategies that can significantly reduce burnout-related stress. It’s also crucial for students to have fun activities to look forward to with friends and family. Combining these strategies should help students beat “burnout” during summer break and in fact, all year long.
Be Wary Of Summer Anxiety
“Summer anxiety” hasn’t gone mainstream like Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), but it’s a valid medical condition students need to be aware of. While it may seem weird to associate “fun in the sun” with “panic attacks,” there’s a strong correlation between summer heat and anxiety levels.
Any students prone to anxiety must keep this fact in mind during summer break. Not only is it easy to get “burnout” on a summer job, it’s more likely for people to experience excess stress due to the weather.
Most researchers suggest dehydration is a key contributing factor to “summer anxiety.” Plus, since summer vacation isn’t as clearly organized as the school year, students are more likely to fall into subpar sleeping patterns. A lack of hydration and sleep is always a recipe for extra stress!
Parents should remind students of the importance of drinking plenty of water and getting at least seven hours of sleep per night to prevent stress symptoms.
Schedule Some Time To Settle Financial Stress
A 2022 report from Wakefield Research suggests finances are causing high schoolers many sleepless nights. Roughly 54 percent of high school students now claim they’re stressed about financing their future educational and professional goals.
While getting a summer job can alleviate some of this stress, students should set aside plenty of time to review their financial situation. Often, students fear their finances because they don’t fully understand money matters. The more parents talk about bank accounts, investing, and retirement funds, the more “financially fit” high schoolers should feel before entering college.
Once in college, creating and staying on a budget will help students manage stress by taking control of their financial well-being.
Stay Safe This Summer With The Umergency App!
Wherever students travel this summer, please remember the Umergency app will help keep them safe and prepared. Although Umergency was initially designed for college students, it’s now available for high school students and their loved ones. The Umergency app provides students with instant access to emergency services wherever they are and whenever they need it most. Plus, since the Umergency app links with their chosen contacts, trusted friends and family will know when a health or safety crisis occurs and how to help.
Please find out more about downloading the Umergency app on this page.