10801 S. Western Ave., Suite 2B | Chicago, Illinois  |   (708) 586-7357

10 ways to support your teen’s mental health during summer break

Support Your Teen's Mental Health During Summer Break, teenage girl laying on a dock reading surrounded by water and trees

Summer break is finally here! For kids and teens, the long days of summer, with big chunks of unstructured downtime, sports, camps, and more time to socialize, are the highlight of the year. At the same time, summer, with its changes in routine and potential social pressures, can bring challenges for teens in terms of maintaining good mental health. Here are our 10 of our favorite strategies to support your teen’s mental health during summer break:

How do you support your teen’s mental health during summer break?

  1. Establish Routine: Our amygdalas and hippocampi love consistency. When we have a routine in place, our brain’s threat detection system moves from high to low alert, allowing us to feel less anxious and less on guard. Encourage your kids to maintain a daily routine, including regular wake-up times and activity sequences (this can be as simple as wake up > eat breakfast > walk the dog > complete one chore,) to provide structure and stability during the summer break.
  2. Stay Active: Physical activity isn’t just about physical health; it’s vital for mental well-being too. Encourage your teen to engage in activities they enjoy, whether it’s swimming, biking, or even just a daily walk. Encouraging carving out time to remain active is a great way to support your teen’s mental health during summer break.
  3. Limit Screen Time: Research clearly shows that excessive screen time, particularly on social media, has a negative impact on mood and overall mental health. Encourage boundaries around screen time and promote activities that foster face-to-face interactions and creativity.
  4. Practice Mindfulness: The relatively easier schedule of summer is the perfect time to establish new habits. Introduce your teen to mindfulness principles or breathing techniques (we like box breathing,) and encourage them to practice them several times each day. By the time school comes back around, mindfulness techniques will feel like second nature.
  5. Connect with Nature: Spending time outdoors can have profound benefits for mental health. Encourage your teen to soak up some vitamin D by going for hikes, camping trips, or simply spending time in the backyard.
  6. Encourage Hobbies: Hobbies offer an outlet for self-expression and joy. Support your teen in exploring their interests, whether it’s playing an instrument, painting, or gardening.
  7. Foster Social Connections: Encourage your teen to maintain social connections with friends and family. Plan outings, encourage participation in community events, and prioritize quality time together. Being sure to schedule time for being social is a perfect way to support your teen’s mental health during summer break.
  8. Set Realistic Goals: Setting achievable goals can boost your teen’s self-esteem and motivation. Help them set goals related to personal growth, academics, or hobbies, and celebrate their progress along the way.
  9. Seek Help When Needed: Remind your teen that it’s okay to ask for help if they’re struggling. Be a supportive listener and provide resources for accessing mental health support if necessary.
  10. Prioritize Self-Care: Encourage your teen to prioritize self-care practices like getting enough sleep, eating well, and taking time for relaxation. Remind them that self-care is essential for overall well-being.

If these 10 ways to support your teen’s mental health don’t seem to be working, contact our team of therapists and we will connect you with one of our clinicians who specialize in adolescent mental health.   

Scroll to Top