Summer Self-Care Series

Summer Self-Care Series:

An Intro to Mental Wellness

by Taylor Ureta, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo undergraduate intern, supervised by Dr. Hannah Roberts

Happy summer, Thrivers! Welcome to the first section of the Summer Self-Care Series. With bright skies and sunny days ahead, this series will highlight the perfect opportunity to prioritize summer self-care. Here at Thrive, we emphasize that alongside therapy, self-care is crucial for effectively managing many challenges, especially anxiety and trauma.  

What Is Self-Care?

Self-care involves intentional practices to restore one’s physical and emotional health to manage stress and promote overall well-being (Bible, 2017; Schmutte, 2017). From journaling to hiking, self-care includes anything you do to keep yourself mentally, physically, or spiritually healthy. Doing acts of self-care might seem simple enough, but in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, self-care can be easy to overlook. Between school deadlines and work obligations, carving out time for yourself can feel like a burden. However, self-care is not just about pampering yourself; it’s about taking all the necessary steps to ensure your physical and mental health are balanced. By integrating self-care practices into your routine, you can reduce stress, increase energy levels, and enhance your ability to cope with daily challenges. 

How Does Summer Self-Care Impact My Mental Health?

Self-care can significantly impact your mental health and may act as a “personal medicine” to help decrease symptoms and improve your overall mood and well-being (Bible, 2017). For example, self-care activities help to release endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good hormone, boosting your mood and helping you cope with negative emotions. When used effectively, self-care practices can also reduce stress hormones and promote feelings of calm, relaxation, and self-awareness. 

When struggling with anxiety and trauma, self-care can act as a protective measure against the negative effects of these conditions. Practicing regular self-care acts like deep breathing techniques or muscle relaxation can equip you with tools to manage anxiety symptoms like panic attacks, racing thoughts, and physical tension. Self-care activities that promote relaxation and self-awareness can also help you regulate emotions that may accompany anxiety and trauma. 

Ultimately, self-care can be an effective way to maintain your health and well-being. Alongside therapy, effective self-care monitoring and management can help you gain a better understanding of your symptoms and how to address them (Riegel, 2021).

How Do I Start Incorporating Self-Care Into My Routine?

The key to summer self-care is exploring different practices and identifying those that resonate with your individual needs and abilities. What works for one person might not work for another. While some people find comfort in meditation, others may need the energy boost of a group fitness class. Self-care practices can also range from activities that give life meaning or purpose to spending time in nature or with loved ones. 

Now think to yourself: “what makes me feel good?” “What helps me relax?” 

Maybe you thought about how journaling before bed every night helps you unwind, or how going for a walk around your neighborhood gives you a great boost of energy. Either way, when you find those little acts of self-care, you should start incorporating them into your daily or weekly routine. Figuring out the most effective acts of self-care for yourself will help promote consistency and lead to more positive outcomes. 

Why Is Summer the Perfect Opportunity for Self-Care?

Whether it’s enjoying sunlight with mood-boosting vitamin D, engaging in outdoor exercises, or simply taking time off to recharge, summer provides great moments to prioritize your mental and physical well-being. It’s the perfect time to establish and reinforce healthy habits that can benefit you throughout the year.

In the next few weeks, we’ll discuss how summer self-care approaches that support physical wellness can improve your overall health, especially when managing anxiety and trauma (Schmutte et al., 2017). Starting with the importance of sleep, we’ll delve deeper into specific self-care practices to improve your mental and physical well-being. 

See you next week and happy summer!

Have more questions or feel ready to start therapy in California today? Schedule a session with one of our therapists! You can schedule online here!

We hope you enjoyed this blog post! Have more topics you’d like us to blog about? Contact us and we’ll be sure to include your topic in a future post.


Bible, L. J., Casper, K. A., Seifert, J. L., & Porter, K. A. (2017). Assessment of self-care and 

medication adherence in individuals with mental health conditions. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association: JAPhA, 57(3S), S203–S210.e3.

Riegel, B., Dunbar, S. B., Fitzsimons, D., Freedland, K. E., Lee, C. S., Middleton, S., Stromberg, A., Vellone, E., Webber, D. E., & Jaarsma, T. (2021). Self-care research: Where are we 

now? Where are we going? International Journal of Nursing Studies, 116.

Schmutte, T., Davidson, L., & O’Connell, M. (2018). Improved sleep, diet, and exercise in adults 

with serious mental illness: Results from a pilot self-management intervention. Psychiatric Quarterly, 89(1), 61–71.

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