For some, school holidays are naturally exciting, relaxing and full of fun.
For others, the lack of structure and social connection can increase levels of anxiety, loneliness and depression. No matter what time off school or uni looks like for you, it can be a great opportunity for something we call 'self-care'.
Self-care encompasses any activities you do with the intention of increasing energy, reducing stress and maintaining balance in your mind, body and soul.
Each person's self-care will look different, but the aim is the same.
Here's some tips for using your school holidays for self-care.
Stay socially connected
Social connection releases feel-good hormones in our bodies.
Look for school holiday activities in your community.
Ask your local youth centre what's on.
Try something new and connect with new people your own age
Don't stay up all night
It's nice to have the freedom to sleep in and stay up a bit later on holidays, but if you take this to the extreme you can end up throwing your body out of whack, and that can make you feel worse mentally.
Try not to deviate too much from your normal bedtime and wake time and use your time off to get more sleep - you'll thank us when next term starts.
Spend some time outside
Make the most of Australia's abundant sunny winter days by taking activities outside.
A simple walk around the block or at the beach is enough to freshen up your mood (take your dog for an extra mood boost).
You could also take a book or a journal to your closest park, or join your friends for a game of footy or a skating session.
Extra points if you leave your phone at home.
Engaging in creative activities is a fantastic way to express feelings and combat boredom.
Getting creative regularly can change the brain's neural pathways and encourage you to think more positively in challenging situations.
Try your hand at sketching your best friend, write a short story, get stuck into a bit of photography or look on Pinterest for cheap DIY ideas and craft tutorials.
- For tips for a healthy headspace all year round visit headspace.org.au.
- You can make an appointment with headspace Mandurah (Peel Health Hub, 91 Allnutt St, Mandurah) by calling our office on 9544 5900.