Caring for Our Mental Health This Summer
Around 1 in 5 adults (21%) experienced some form of depression in early 2021, which increased from 19% since November 2020 and more than doubled since the start of the pandemic (19%). Even without looking at statistics, it is clear the impact Covid-19 has had on our lives, health, and happiness. We all know someone who has either had Covid-19 or has suffered mentally as a result – we may be facing some mental health issues ourselves.
It’s been especially difficult for adults whose finances may have suffered due to the pandemic, with many losing their jobs. A shocking 35% of adults who could not afford an unexpected expense of £850 experienced depression in early 2021.
As we head into summer with restrictions easing, we might get our expectations too high or overwhelm ourselves with lots of socialising and ambitious goals leading us to burn out. As we head into summer 2021, we need to care for and protect our mental health as it recovers from the pandemic rather than make it worse.
An Overwhelming Summer
All of us are excited for summer now that we are expected to have minimal restrictions and lots of chances to party, meet friends and family and have fun. Young people especially have festivals, holidays, and concerts to keep them occupied. However, booking too much and overwhelming ourselves with socialisation can damage our mental health further.
Young adults and women are already more likely to experience some form of depression due to the impact of Covid-19, with over 43% of women ages 16-29 experiencing depression and 26% of men of the same age. While you think that getting out of the house and booking lots of exciting things to do will cure this depression, it might not. Mental health is complex, and things need to be taken slowly with consideration rather than rushing headfirst into too many experiences.
Reduce Your Expectations
We also need to consider that plans could change, and in two months, we could find ourselves with some restrictions again. Getting our hopes up for holidays and festivals which can be cancelled can only worsen mental health issues like depression. It’s better for our mental health to prepare for summer with an understanding that things aren’t 100% at the moment. Recognising and accepting this will help protect your health and happiness if you are ever let down this summer.
Slow it Down
Take a step back, and don’t rush into things. You don’t need to see your friends every day this summer. Nor do you need to occupy your local beer garden every weekend. You don’t want to start creating habits you can’t keep up with and drain your mind and body of energy. In six months, you might not want to be going out all the time, booking trips, or drinking daily. You need to set a pace you are comfortable with to protect your physical and mental health.
Care for Yourself
Don’t forget this summer to put yourself first. During the height of the pandemic, you may have been supporting friends and family whose mental health issues seemed more intense than your own. However, you shouldn’t dismiss your own issues or needs. As we approach summer, now is the perfect time to assess your health and happiness. Ask yourself questions like: How am I really feeling? Am I tired? Do I lack my usual energy? What stresses me out or brings me down at the moment? Be honest with your answers, as this will give you great insight into issues in your life that are affecting your mental health and happiness and give you something to work from.
One of the best ways to address any mental health issues in your life is to seek support through therapy. Therapy for depression, anxiety, or stress can help you understand your mental health and the unique way your mind works. From this increased understanding comes the ability to take back control and reduce the power mental health issues have over your health and happiness.
Experienced therapists like myself can provide you with expert advice and guidance on managing symptoms of mental health issues like depression and stress so that they no longer interfere with your life. Therapists are understanding and compassionate and are here to support your journey no matter what barriers are in the way.
If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of therapy and what your unique mental health journey might look like, then get in contact with me today. Also, take a look at my website for more information about different types of therapy, my experience, and my qualifications.