July/August 2023 Spotlight: Summer Well-Being

July/August 2023 Spotlight: Summer Well-Being

Summer has finally arrived!! For many working in the education sector of Manitoba, this means two full months off. Others may have to continue work in the education sector or pick up temporary work until September. Either way, things are changing and with change, we can feel out of sorts as we adjust and find our footing again.

Summer holidays can mean excitement, relaxation, opportunities to reconnect with loved ones and create new memories. But it also means stress, heightened expectations, potentially busy schedules and pressure to see others when you may want time to yourself. How do we balance all of the demands of summer? How do we take care of ourselves so that we return to school in September feeling refueled and rejuvenated? Here are some tips on how to take care of you.


Let go of last year: It may take time, so be patient with yourself if you find it difficult to shut off your brain from thinking about the past school year. While reflection is healthy, rumination is not; overthinking, replaying scenarios that cannot be changed or having regret for what was, is energy you do not need to spend, nor is it helpful. Sometimes we have to accept what was, in order to be open, and move forward to whatever will be.


Mindfulness: Practicing mindfulness is a way of bringing yourself back to the present moment, into summer, without worry of what was, or what will be next year. You can engage in mindfulness activities anytime, anywhere and anyhow that works for you. Find a quiet moment to simply be, even for five minutes, and focus on your breathing, allowing your thoughts to pass by without judgement. Pay attention to what is in front of you, the sights, smells, sounds, touch or taste of what’s around you. Remind yourself that you are safe, enough and loved. You can practice mindfulness when doing a daily task such as the dishes or having a shower. Or, you can engage through the use of a guided activity. You can find free mindfulness activities on our web portal:




Plan ahead: Summer often involves a lot of planning as there may be day trips, road trips, camping or other activities needing some organization and forethought.


  • Write down everything you would like to do and prioritize and plan
  • Try to not leave things to the last minute
  • Set a budget and stick to it
  • Make lists and check things off as you get them done
  • Schedule time to exercise and do things that are not holiday related 

Get Outside: Finally! No snow! This is a great opportunity to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Make sure you have what you need such as suntan lotion, lots of water (hydration is key to avoiding overheating), find some shade and wear a hat. The welcoming weather invites you to go outside and breathe deeply. Get that vitamin D from the sunshine, a natural mood booster!!


Move Your Body: This does not mean you have to get a gym membership or join a bootcamp. It simply means to be aware of how much you are using your body and how. Holidays are a time for rest but it can actually be counterproductive if we are not engaging in some light exercise or movement. If you notice you’ve been binging Netflix too often or feeling some aches and pains from stiffness related to too much sitting, get up and move around. This can mean light stretching, 20 minute walk, going for a swim or doing an activity that requires some physical exertion such as gardening or housework. Exercise results in immediate shifts in our mood for the better. Pay attention to how you feel before you move your body intentionally and afterwards and use that to motivate you to move your body again. Do something physical that bring you joy like an organized sport or class so that it is a pleasurable experience. Put on music, do it with a friend or family member, whatever is going to make it more possible.


Rest: Slow down and rest. This can mean something different to everyone. Some are able to take the time to refuel and prioritize their own energy so that they can sustain the demands of summer. But for others, rest feels indulgent, uncomfortable or a sign of weakness. Mainstream society sends us messages of hustle culture and the idea that the busier we are, the more productive we will be, and that is simply not true. Without rest, we burnout and are more susceptible to compassion fatigue or other health issues. Stop “shoulding” all over yourself; “I should be able to keep up”, “I shouldn’t be lounging around, there’s too much to do”, or “I should be doing “x”, I finally have the time”. These unnecessary expectations put too much pressure on what we think we should be doing rather than what we want or need to be doing, like taking care of ourselves, which includes rest.


Prioritize Me Time: Time alone is a necessary part of leading a healthy and active life. Solitude can recharge your battery. Treat yourself to a break from stress and chaos and get some peace and calm.


  • Do something that you enjoy
  • Appreciate your own company 
  • Think about your spiritual needs
  • Set and Maintain boundaries
  • Say “no” – it is a complete sentence
  • Schedule “me time” in if you need to
  • Reconnect with yourself; what lights you up? 
  • PLAY!! Games, leisure activities, including brain games such as Wordle or Sudoku are great ways to spend time alone.
  • Practice self-compassion. Be extra kind to yourself and authentically you without judgement.

Clarify Family Expectations: Have a conversation about holiday plans with friends and family as soon as possible. Set clear boundaries regarding what you are comfortable doing. If you turn down an invitation, provide a clear explanation. Release guilt, it’s ok to say no!


Explore: Here is a list of things to do in Manitoba:


  • Public parks re: Assiniboine, St. Vital or KP
  • Explore The Leaf or Leo Mol Gardens
  • Festivals!! Folks Fest, Fringe Fest, Folklorama
  • Take a hike! 
  • Visit the Human Rights Museum
  • LARP (live action role play)
  • Hit the beach!! 
  • Have a picnic or BBQ
  • Go out for cool treat; ice cream or slurpee
  • Public swimming
  • Camping
  • Walking tours
  • Farmer’s Markets
  • The Forks
  • Winnipeg Art Gallery and/or Quamajug
  • Medicine picking
  • Reconnect with nature; go forest bathing (www.branchoutmb.com)
  • Go to a movie theatre and cool off with air conditioning

For more information and ideas, please visit:

Travel Manitoba: https://www.travelmanitoba.com/

Tourism Winnipeg: www.tourismwinnipeg.com

Trails Manitoba: www.trailsmanitoba.ca

Hike Manitoba: www.hikemanitoba.com

Road Trip Manitoba: www.roadtripmanitoba.com


Reach out: If you are struggling with your mental health this summer, or any time of year, and reach out for support. Talk to a trusted friend, family member or professional; someone you feel safe with about how you are feeling. You can also reach out to the following:



  • Care for All in Education: www.careforallineducation.com
  • MTS HumanaCare: 204-957-5330
  • Adult Mobile Crisis Unit (24/7) - (204-940-1781) 
  • Klinic Crisis Line - (204-786-8686) OR (1-888-322-3019) 
  • Crisis Response Centre - (204-940-1781) 
    Community Intake – (204-788-8330)
  • Manitoba Suicide Prevention & Support Line (24/7) - (1-877-435-7170) https://www.reasontolive.ca
  • Addictions Foundation of Manitoba - (204-944-6200) OR (1-855-662-6605)
  • First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line - (1-855-242-3310). An online chat feature is available on their website: https://www.hopeforwellness.ca


Have a safe and happy summer!!