Summer Break: Slowing Down & Strengthening Recovery
Posted on April 14, 2021
Was it really only a year ago that we wrapped up the 2020 academic year, after a pandemic-mandated exodus from campus and a scramble to e-learning alternatives? The lapse of time hits me differently every day – sometimes it feels like yesterday that I celebrated a bulk toilet paper win, other days it feels like I have been quarantined in my one bedroom Chicago apartment for a lifetime. And for our college students, navigating the past year has been an accomplishment that warrants a bonus degree, or at least a "student of the pandemic" certificate of excellence.
Kudos to you for managing adjusted academics, shifted living situations, grieved social calendars and uncertain financial states. Not to mention, social injustice and a polarized political climate. It is no wonder college students continue to experience exacerbated mental health challenges, including increased anxiety, depression and social isolation, disordered eating – you are holding a lot right now!
I encourage you to give yourself permission to slow down and take care of yourself this summer. Exhale, unwind and embrace just being. My summer to-do list includes tackling my "library reading for fun" list, enjoying socially-distant park picnics with friends, and exploring nature with local hikes. It is also important to acknowledge the reduced structure of time during summer break might impact recovery. As you wrap up classes, consider ways you will maintain and strengthen your recovery in the coming months. Who is part of your support circle beyond campus, at home, or wherever you will be this summer? Are you connected with an outpatient team? Have you considered a therapy support group? What self-care practices will you prioritize? For some students, summer break might be a good time to consider treatment resources with the flexibility of time, like our summer college programming
Whatever your summer break plans bring, I hope you honor the pause and consider ways to take care of yourself and your recovery. Kudos to you for navigating all that is college and more this past year!
Katie Huber is a Professional Relations Manager for The Renfrew Centers. She received her bachelor's degree in public relations from Pennsylvania State University. Katie joined Renfrew in 2014 to help launch the Boston site, and now leads our national initiative in partnership with colleges and universities from the Chicago site. In her free time, she enjoys exploring a new Chrissy Teigen recipe, crafting, and hanging out with her cat.