The kids have broken up from school and the British weather is doing its usual dance between hot and cold - summer is well and truly here.

For some of you, it may mean a well-deserved break from work and a trip abroad. For others a staycation here in the UK or just enjoying the summer at home.

Some of you may be juggling work with having to sort out childcare over the long break. Or maybe you’re looking after your grandchildren through the daytimes during the week.

Hopefully, you are looking forward to everything that summer has to offer. However, I know that may not be the case for everyone.

Whatever the summer holiday season means for you, one thing is almost certain. For most people, it will be a change from the usual routine.

Changes to our daily routine can be a welcome break from the humdrum of day-to-day life. We all know the old saying, 'A change is as good as a rest’ and for many of us that can be true.

ALSO READ: 5 danger signs someone may be struggling with mental health

However, for some people, it can lead to stress and anxiety. The primitive side of our brain can go on the defensive as we are taken out of our comfort zone, causing stress and anxiety.

Did you know that most of the things we worry about never actually happen?

Lancashire Telegraph: Routine change can be stressful (Credit: Canva)Routine change can be stressful (Credit: Canva)

Whatever your situation this summer, here are a few suggestions to help you to avoid stress and cope better.

  • Firstly, try to plan ahead as far as possible, visualising things from the best outcome you can imagine, rather than thinking ahead in the worst-case scenario. The more you visualise something with a positive outcome, the more you mentally rehearse how you want something to be, the more your brain will actually be prepared for it and your anxiety levels will drop.
  • We’ve all seen the chaos at the airports in recent weeks. If you are flying abroad you may well be subject to long queues etc. So, follow the advice given by your airline, be prepared, but don’t dwell on it. Think about all the other things you have to look forward to on your holiday and concentrate on that instead.
  • We all know that money needs to go a lot further these days. If you are on a limited budget and have children to take care of then start looking now for free local activities which are taking place over the summer. Stick to your budget, it will only lead to further problems down the line if you don’t.
  • Set boundaries with people and don’t be afraid to say no. Don’t take on too much just to please others, it is not good for your own sense of self-worth. Balance is everything, if something you have been asked to do is too much to take on – say so. It will be better for all concerned in the long run. Think about offering to share a task such as looking after someone’s house whilst they are away.
  • Don’t abandon all your healthy habits over the holidays.
  • Make sure you make some quality time and space for yourself each day.
  • Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends or other family members for help if you need it.

ALSO READ: How to try and feel better when stressed or overwhelmed

Next week I will be talking about social media and what it can mean for your mental health.

If you’d like me to cover any aspect of mental health and well-being please contact me via the Editor,

If you feel you are in a mental health crisis or emergency and may be in danger of causing harm to yourself or others then please contact your GP, the Samaritans on 116 123 or attend A&E.