Summer can be an amazing time of the year: holidays, festivals, sunshine, free time – dream come true right? But sometimes a change in routine or separation from friends can make you feel more cloudy grey than sunny smiles. Cue our tips to help beat those holiday blues…

Stay connected

A sudden change in routine can take time to get used to. You might be back home for the summer and miss seeing your friends or doing the things you enjoyed during term time. Or maybe you’re still in your university or college town, while everyone else has cleared off.

Whilst campus winds down for summer, clubs & societies often remain active. Keep a check on what’s going on over the summer and how you can get involved.

Stay linked in with your mates, even if they are spending the summer elsewhere. If you’re feeling a bit isolated, there’s a chance they might be experiencing the same thing.

These tips on dealing with loneliness may help if you’re feeling isolated during the holidays.

Banish boredom

Being faced with so much free time can sometimes be daunting if you are used to a routine. Keeping busy can be a good remedy for low mood.

The summer holidays are a great chance for trying out new things or starting projects that you didn’t have time to do while you were at uni.

Our Take 5 database is full of ideas of things you can do if you’re feeling bored. Try brainstorming some ideas or even grab some mates for inspiration – many heads are better than one!

Not getting along

If you’ve been living away, spending more time at home during the summer can be difficult, especially if you don’t get along very well with your family.

You might find you have less independence, argue more or stress levels are higher. It’s normal for families not to get along with each other sometimes.

If you are worried or finding it hard to cope try

  • following our tips on handling family dynamics
  • talking to someone you trust about how you feel
  • contacting our counselling team, who are here 24/7 even during summer holidays

Giving back

Why not take advantage of having some more spare time, and do something nice for something else? From just a few hours, to several weeks – volunteering is a great way to help people, gain new skills and meet others. It can also reduce stress and give your mood a boost.

Drop the Pressure

Keep expectations for the summer break manageable by not trying to make the holiday “the best ever” or “the most productive ever”. You might have a whole list of things you want to do so try to set realistic goals and pace yourself.

Set your goals for the summer now and figure out which ones you should prioritise.