Preventing Summertime Sadness: Amplifying Advocacy and Promoting Self-Care


Summertime Sadness” was a precautionary warning from our radiant, beautiful, and creative song-artist Lana Del Rey. As the season of sun and bad tans approaches, it becomes easy to trap yourself in your own head and indulge in thoughts that doubt your ability to grow as a person. This summer we’ve provided a few methods for escaping your head and using your voice as platform for advocacy and self-care:


Although advocacy may seem daunting at first, there are many ways you can be involved.

Supporting organizations dedicated to mental health and sexual & reproductive health (SRH) is a great way to start. Organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) offer resources and support for those struggling with mental health issues and those who want to help (NAMI). Additionally, organizations focusing on SRH, like Planned Parenthood, provide crucial services and education. Here at TeenSource we have many ways to be involved; click here to learn more. 

Advocating for policy changes is another powerful way to make a difference. Get informed about current policies affecting mental health and SRH, and find out how you can support changes that align with your values. For example, you can participate in campaigns, sign petitions, or even contact your local representatives to express your support for specific legislation (Mental Health America). Check out the instagram YHES4Condomsca instagram for advocacy opportunities in Calfironia. 

Leading by example is perhaps the most impactful form of advocacy. By prioritizing your mental health and SRH, you set a standard for your others to follow. Share your journey, challenges, and successes with your peers. Use your experiences to educate and inspire those around you.

Practicing Self Care 


It’s easy for people to instruct you to “seek help” or claim that “everything is going to be okay,” when in fact, it may not be. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed or on the brink of giving up at times; these feelings are okay, and everyone experiences emotions differently. But the important part is to recognize these feelings and take steps to address them. A particular issue that many of us can relate to is the struggle to forgive ourselves. Self-forgiveness is the process of acknowledging that you were affected by a certain event and reflecting on the aspects of the situation that made you uncomfortable. Some healthy ways of self-forgiveness include writing down the most embarrassing, hurtful, or depressing elements of your thoughts and then further breaking down these descriptions to the underlying causes. Another effective way is to, with consent, talk to a close friend about your problems to get an opinion that isn't yours and to receive support from someone you care about. Verbally speaking, or physically texting, your emotions will allow you to become more familiar and comfortable with touching your emotions. Remember, it is ok to not be ok, but you have to validate your own experiences and reach out for help when necessary. 


How many times have you stared at your blank ceiling and counted the ridges in its corners because of a memory you desperately wanted to forget or an intrusive thought that has overstayed its welcome? The memories that haunt us are ones that unfortunately can’t be changed. The best way to relieve this stress, anger, or sadness is to plainly reflect and forgive ourselves. Reflection and self-forgiveness shouldn’t be confused with “moving on,” because self-forgiveness is much more than just “moving on”. Quickly moving on may overlook very present trauma or emotional problems that may inhibit ourselves from dealing with similar mental health issues in the future (NCBI). When practicing reflection, it is important to not rush the process and to take as much time necessary to properly address your experiences. 


In today's digital age, social media can often contribute to feelings of anxiety and depression. The constant comparison to others, exposure to negative news, and pressure to maintain an online presence can be overwhelming. Taking a break from social media can provide a much-needed mental health reset. Unplugging from social media allows you to reconnect with yourself and the world around you. Without the distraction of constant notifications, you can focus on activities that genuinely bring you joy and relaxation. It gives you the space to engage in hobbies, spend quality time with loved ones, and appreciate the present moment.

Steps to Unplugging

  • Set Boundaries: Designate specific times of the day when you check social media and stick to them.
  • Use Apps: There are apps available that can help limit your social media usage by blocking access during certain times.
  • Find Alternatives: Replace social media time with other activities like reading, exercising, or exploring nature.
  • Stay Mindful: Be conscious of how you feel when using social media. If it starts to make you feel negative, it’s time to take a break.

It is important to remember that you are not alone when facing challenging moments in life. However, it is always okay and important to reach out to resources when needed to ensure proper care of yourself and those around you. Here are some resources you can reach out to in a time of crisis:


Caring for Your Mental Health - NIMH

It's Okay Not to Be Okay - SAMHSA

CA Youth Crisis Line

988 Suicide & Crisis LifCA Youth Crisis Lineeline California

Use your summer break to find a clinic near you for any sexual and reproductive health services you may need. By taking steps to advocate for mental health and SRH, practicing self-forgiveness, and using available resources, we can all work towards preventing “Summertime Sadness” and promoting well-being not only this summer, but throughout the entire year.