The days are getting longer, the weather is warming up, and the school year is coming to an end. Summer is almost here! As a parent or caregiver, you’ve worked hard all year long to support your children in and outside of school. The end of the school year and change in season is a great time to reset, refocus, and take time for self-care.
Self-care (noun) refers to activities and practices that we can engage in on a regular basis to reduce stress and maintain and enhance our short- and long-term health and well-being.
The idea of summer may feel overwhelming, but the great thing about self-care is that it can be simple and inexpensive (or even free!). I always encourage my families to start by getting outside. There are so many great activities happening in our communities that the whole family can enjoy. Here’s a list of my favorite summer self-care activities:
Take a walk
It may sound simple, but even if it’s just around the neighborhood or to the store, walking de-stresses the whole family.
Pack a Picnic
You don’t have to spend money when you go out. Getting out of the house and eating a picnic at the park or beach with food items you packed from home can make lunch more enjoyable!
Visit a free museum
I love taking my families to the California Science Center. Admission is free, and there are so many fascinating activities for every age. Free museums are a great way to have fun without stressing about the cost. You can even pack a picnic to make it even more affordable!
Enroll in a class or recreation activities
Find out what classes or sports activities are offered at your nearby park and sign your kids up for something that interests them. While your kids play, walk around the park to enjoy the fresh air. You may even find that there is a class you can take simultaneously (dance class for kids, yoga or Zumba for you).
Take a trip to the beach. Explore the Nature Walk at El Dorado Park in Long Beach. Being out in nature is proven to benefit your mental health and overall well-being.
Connect with your support system
Has it been awhile since you called your best friend or cousin? Talking with other adults helps to de-stress and is a simple way to practice self-care.
Play at home
Stuck at home? It’s time to make slime! Making slime is a fun way to do something positive as a family, and it’s inexpensive. Click here for recipes to make your own.
Jump in the water
Spending time in water, whether that’s a pool or the ocean, is incredibly relaxing. Visit the beach. Take a run through the water play pads at the park. Or, get relief from the heat by signing the family up for swim classes at a local pool – depending on your income they can be free or lower cost.
Whatever you do, make sure to take some time for self-care this summer.
Cynthia Sedillo-Artiaga, MFTI is a Clinical Therapist at The Guidance Center’s Compton Clinic, where she helps guide children and families struggling with mental health conditions or abuse toward positive and productive futures. She is especially passionate about bringing mental health awareness to the undeserved communities. Before joining The Guidance Center team, Sedillo-Artiaga worked at Aids Project Los Angeles. Sedillo-Artiaga earned a Masters of Arts Degree in Counseling Psychology/ Marriage & Family Therapy at Argosy University.