From the expert: 5 tips to boost your mental health and build resiliency over the summer

experts mental health Jun 01, 2022

From our resident scholar and psychotherapist Natacha Pennycooke, clinical director of Natacha Pennycooke Psychotherapy.

Hello summertime! Time to pull out the barbeque, find the latest summer styles and pack up the car (and kids) for the vacation road trips. But don’t forget that the summer is actually the best time of year to build up your mental health resiliency.

I’m Natacha Pennycooke, psychotherapist and clinical director of Natacha Pennycooke Psychotherapy, a group therapy practice ready to help you with all your mental health and wellness needs.

I have noticed that the summer months are usually the times that our clients are doing their best mentally, emotionally and physically. Of course the warm weather, sunlight and summer celebrations contribute to that. What this also means is that we are in a good emotional space to learn, use and practise new communication tools and emotional regulation skills, as well as set boundaries—which can also help to prepare us for the fall/winter months to come.

Here are five tips to help you boost your mental health and build resiliency over the summer months.

Exercise: There is a connection between our mental health and physical health—and exercise has shown to help boost mood, improve concentration and decrease stress levels. Try incorporating a 10-minute morning walk into your daily routine before you start your busy day. Your body and mind will thank you!
Get outside: Summer weather makes getting outside a lot easier, so take advantage of exercising outside when (and if) you can. Exercise, fresh air and sunlight all have a positive impact on our mental health, and can be preventative to experiencing symptoms commonly associated with depression and anxiety. Also, did you know that low levels of vitamin D (often called the sunshine vitamin) can lead to mental health symptoms? So, apply the sunscreen, grab a bottle of water and get outside!
Set goals: I love the feeling of accomplishing a goal that I have set for myself. Use the summer to reflect on the goals you would like to achieve. Have you been wanting to read that new book, redecorate your home office or learn new communication skills? Now is the time! Write down those goals and create a list of the action steps needed to complete each one. (Use this Action Step Goal List to help you)
Connect with your tribe/find your community: Having an emotionally supportive community is so important (#momhalo). We all need a safe space to feel seen, heard and validated. Make it a priority this summer to connect/reconnect with people to build healthy friendships with. You can do this by finding a group that you have shared interests with. Maybe you have been wanting to join that running club or start swimming again? Whatever it is, make sure to do it with a community that you feel comfortable with.
Find a therapist: A therapist can help you unpack the blocks you may have to achieving all of the above summertime goals. A therapist can provide you with a safe space to learn about communication tools, boundary setting and help you practise emotional regulation skills. Having these tools and skills now will mean that you are better prepared for the September school year transition and ready for the fall/winter months that are typically a challenging time for our overall mood.
Our team at Natacha Pennycooke Psychotherapy understands the importance of building your mental health resiliency and is ready to support you on your wellness and healing journey. Don’t hesitate to reach out—complete your intake form today for a FREE discovery call!

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