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The summer holidays are an opportunity for us to take a break from our fast-paced lives. Yet for many expat families, it is often a time of heightened stress and anxiety, as it can involve traveling ‘back home’ with children, visiting family and organising daily activities so the summer vacation is a success.

Tanya Dharamshi, Clinical Director and Psychologist at Priory Wellbeing Centre Dubai, has outlined tips you can use to stay positive throughout the summer and find time to unwind:

  1. Don’t panic

First of all, try to stay calm. We are never productive when we panic. As soon as a negative thought comes to mind, learn to replace it with a positive one. “What if we are running late and miss the plane, it will be a disaster” can be changed to “I have this under control and we will arrive in plenty of time, it’s going to be ok”.

  1. Make a plan

Writing down your plans can help you manage your time well, keep your thoughts in order and give you something to refer back to if you start to panic. While your plans should be flexible, having an initial reference point can give you peace of mind.

  1. Make a list of fun events and activities

By doing a little research before your holiday and planning activities ahead of time, you can take the stress out of keeping the children entertained. You may also benefit from early booking discounts!

  1. Spend time with family

It’s good to reconnect with the family, especially if you have not seen them in a while, so make sure that you switch off from your mobile devices and enjoy quality time together. As spending time with family can also provide its own stresses, make sure you also take time out for yourself – maybe read a book, listen to music or go for a long walk.

  1. Eat well

Regularly eating fresh fruit and vegetables during the summer will give your body the vitamins it needs to repair and renew. Having a good balanced diet will also give you more energy and help you to feel happier and healthier.

  1. Exercise

Exercise can provide you with a break from your daily routines and pressures, giving you a chance to relax. Dubai has many options for exercising, especially during the summer, so make the most of the ski centres and waterparks. If you are traveling ‘back home’, get outdoors and reconnect with nature to help you unwind.

  1. Catch up on sleep

Summer vacations are a great time to catch up on sleep and give your body a well-earned rest. This will help to revive and rejuvenate you in preparation for going back to work and getting back on track with your everyday life.

If you would like to find out more about the mental health treatment that is available at Priory Wellbeing Centre Dubai, which includes cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness and family therapy, you can make an enquiry online. If you would like to speak to someone in person, you can receive a telephone consultation by ringing (+971) 4 245 3800.

Tanya Dharamshi, Counsellor

This page was clinically reviewed by Tanya Dharamshi (BSW, MSc Psych, Counsellor, DHCC, UAE) in March 2019, and is scheduled to be reviewed again in March 2021. Tanya brings 18+ years of counselling experience in trauma, crisis intervention, child abuse, substance addiction, attachment disorder, depression, anxiety, stress, bereavement, couples therapy, mood disorders, chronic illness and adjustment disorder. View Tanya's full profile here.