Summer break is often a time of freedom and time in the sun, and the thought of returning to the monotony of school in the fall can undoubtedly feel daunting. But with a bit of preparation, you can ease the transition from summer to school, supporting your body and mind during this change.
Summer Break – The Pros and Cons
The extended summer break began in the early days of American history when children were expected to help on the farm during the peak farming season. But as American workers began to move away from farming work, the school schedule still hasn’t seemed to catch up.
These long summer breaks are certainly an excellent time to enjoy the great outdoors. Still, for many students, particularly those of lower socioeconomic status, it is often an empty time when the education gap widens. Research shows that an educational gap between students grows during the summer, mainly when some children attend summer camps or other summer programs while others remain at home.
This doesn’t mean you should fill your summer break with more schooling. Capitalist ideology likes to convince us that we should constantly be working to be seen as “worthy,” but the truth is that you are worthy exactly as you are! And we all need a bit of rest, so enjoy your summer vacation in any way that feels most nourishing.
4 Ways to Prepare Mentally and Emotionally for School After Summer Break
Adjust Your Sleep Schedule
One of the most challenging transitions from summer to school time for students is the change in their sleeping and waking schedule. Your circadian rhythm is your sleep-wake cycle, and when this gets seriously thrown off, it can have a significant impact on mental health. So, try to ease yourself into your regular school sleeping schedule over time to help make this transition a bit smoother.
Read for Fun
To keep your brain sharp during the summer and prevent the well-known education gap, try reading for fun during the summer. The more that you can engage your mind intellectually, the easier it will feel to go back to school in the fall. Try making a fun booklist and spend at least 30-minutes reading each day. Additionally, time outdoors is excellent for physical and mental development, so be sure to get lots of time in the sun!
Plan Your Schedule
Take some time before the fall school time begins to get a general idea of your schedule and start to prepare. It is essential to be realistic in your commitments and make sure not to overdo things. A jam-packed schedule is a recipe for burnout, so try to schedule time for self-care too!
Don’t Forget to Rest
Summer break shouldn’t be the only time of year when you take some time off. As you make your plans for returning to school, try to also make preparations for rest and time off. It can feel tempting to fill your days with activities or extracurriculars but don’t forget that rest is the number one way to fuel your brain.
Get Additional Support from Eastside TMS and Wellness Centers
Navigating the transition from summer to school can be challenging for almost everyone. If you are struggling with this transition or want some added support to help you prepare, then reach out to us at Eastside TMS and Wellness Center. Located in the greater Seattle area, we specialize in supporting people with their mental health using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). So, remember, you don’t need to navigate these changes alone!