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Consumer Watch: Summer mental health wellness

Form stress to not sleeping enough, summertime can take an unexpected toll on your mental health. (KOKH)

Seasonal affective disorder is usually a winter time problem, but the summer can also cause some mental health stress.

Summer time may bring a lot of sunshine, but all that free time can get overwhelming for children and adults.

“It is important not to let those things linger, and become something more than what they need to be. Get help quick, “says Jeffrey Dismukes, spokesperson for Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

No school and possible vacations may sound like a dream, but just like during the winter time holidays, overexerting yourself with activities can take its toll.

The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services has these three tips to limit stress.

  1. Don't overschedule yourself: plan one or two fun things to do-- so you don't feel stretched thin.
  2. Get plenty of sleep: all that extra daytime in the summer is fun, but getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep is important for a healthy body and mind.
  3. Watch your diet: From too many treats to even drinking too much alcohol, those indulgent choices can have more than a physical effect.

If what you are dealing with is more than mild stress or summertime blues, reach out. Ask your regular doctor, a mental health provider, or go to a community health center for help.

“You can call, you can make an appointment or you can simply walk in the door during business hours. You are going to get an assessment, “says Dismukes.

If you need more help and don't have insurance, a health center can refer you to more affordable care.

People with diagnosed mental health issues can struggle in the summer too because schedules shift. Consider staying on a schedule similar to the one you're on most of the year if this is a problem for you or your family.

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