“I’m Cool for the Summer”

What does your summer consist of? More traveling? Family trips? Seeing friends more often? Time off of work to simply relax? I don’t know about you, but that is a pretty good snapshot of what my summer tends to look like, and because of it, I seem to feel better. And guess what, clients seem to feel better too!

I find myself sounding like a broken record in session…..how’s your self-care? Are you still meditating? Are you still doing your breathing exercises? Are you exercising and eating properly? Are you sleeping well?

It’s easy to stop doing the things that have gotten us to a sound mental and physical state when there are other events happening in our lives that make us feel good! It happens to all of us, but as a therapist, I worry about what happens when those “other events” go away.

As people, we tend to want to take action when we feel poorly, and the challenge then becomes to continue the routine even when we feel good or excellent.

Trends in mental health inform us that summer time can mean less depression/stress/anxiety, and then that pesky season called Winter shows up, and we get down again. We feel depression/stress/grief/fill in the blank, and we wonder what suddenly changed. This is one reason why it is important to continue with your self-care regime even when you feel well as a preventive measure for when things become not so good.

My challenge to you all is simply this: meditate, exercise, eat well, find a hobby, work on your breathing, etc. Whatever your thing is, don’t stop. Keep doing it and do it consistently! Then, when your therapist asks YOU how your self-care has been going, the answer is easy.

Gina Carlino is a Licensed Professional Counselor at N. Lamar, Austin office and Bastrop, TX.

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