I don’t always receive a lot of comments about my blog, but I was surprised to have about a dozen youth get back to me in several ways to give their ideas about what they are going to do to get a “real summer holiday”.
I received great suggestions from them and thought I would write this follow-up to yesterday’s blog with these ideas, some of which are very unusual.
Two thirds of the youth who got in touch with me echoed this suggestion:
“Kids can look for all kinds of volunteer projects. I was reminded that most cities and many organizations are listing volunteering opportunities. As someone who often worries about how young people are faring, I was really impressed at how many suggested that volunteering was a good way to spend the summer.
“You’ll love this idea, Dr. Beck!” one person wrote to my hospital email, “There are good book clubs at the library – and you can go to lots of libraries. I am using the book club suggestions from the New York Public Library!” Look up your local library. You don’t just have a choice of book clubs, but also movie clubs and music clubs. I could see how much these could move any person, and not just youth, into a vacation frame of mind.
“People can learn to garden!” was another good idea. “I learned to garden last year with my grandpa, but this year, some of my friends got garden kits and are using the city’s garden manual.”
Everyone who got in touch with me – including parents, although I have focused on youth – agreed that we all need a summer holiday. They agreed with the research that having a break would improve mental health, but this person summed it up best:
“Dr. Beck, I agree that we need a break, even if it seems like we haven’t worked that hard since March Break. Are you going to remind parents about this when you talk to them?”
(This image from The Guardian of many hands raised is my favourite artistic representation of volunteering.)