When school’s out for summer, we expect kids to jump for joy.
However, by the end of the school year, kids and teens can feel burnout from school, stressed after exams and even overwhelmed by the summer ahead.
The end of the school year can lead to a drop in confidence and an increase in anxiety for children as they have to prepare for a new routine, unpredictable schedule, loneliness and missing the daily interaction with their peers.
How To Spot Anxiety In Children This Summer
During the summer months, you may notice children and teen being:
- More irritable
They may also have sleep problems, changes to eating habits, anxiety attacks, meltdowns, or feel more vulnerable, risk-averse and emotional.
What Causes Anxiety In Summer?
Lack of structure
Summer is a much-needed break for many kids and teens, but if there is no structure to the summer break, this can cause anxiety.
For some children having too little structure after the rigidity of school life can feel overwhelming.
Having lots of free time without a plan can lead to overthinking and excessive worrying.
The last few weeks of school often include exams, tests, coursework and homework deadlines, and the hurried finishing of modules in class.
There is a lot going on in the final term, and there is a big focus on staying on top of your game until the end of the term.
By the time of the summer holidays, kids can begin experiencing burnout which increases anxiety.
During the summer holidays, it is normal for bedtimes to slide, especially with longer hours of daylight throughout the summer months.
While children may have later starts in the morning, summer holidays often mean children and teens sleep less than usual.
Inconsistency in sleep schedules or regular disruption to sleep can increase anxiety and negative emotions.
Some want to make every moment of the summer count – from holidays, trips away, summer camps and days out.
However, a full-on schedule can add to stress and anxiety and give children little downtime to relax and recharge.
Additionally, anxiety can increase if their summer schedule is full of new activities, locations, and people.
If summer has lots of new experiences for children, this can feel unfamiliar and overwhelming.
How To Help Reduce Summer Anxiety
Spend time together
Create memories and build bonds to create familiarity and consistency in their summer schedule.
Create regular breaks
While summer camps can provide routine, it’s vital to add regular downtime into their schedule and not overfill diaries with new activities.
Make plans together
Uncertainty can increase anxiety. Sharing key travel plans, routines, packing and information to help them if they are going somewhere new can help them to prepare and reduce stress.
Create screen boundaries
Screentime can be good for downtime and is often the primary way children connect with their friends during summer. However, moderation can be essential to help to create balance, routine and structure.
Focus on basics
Flexibility can be important during the summer and empowering your child to make plans that are right for their needs.
However, ensuring the basics are covered, including a healthy sleep schedule, good nutrition and time for exercise, outdoors and play, can create the essentials for a healthy, happy summer.
Summer is a great time to strengthen your bond and talk openly and honestly.
Asking questions can help to ensure your child has a great summer that’s right for their needs.
If your child struggles with anxious thoughts and needs more support, Flourished Minds is here to help.
Chat today to learn more about how we can support kids and teens to live their best summer.