June 30 • Written by: Jennifer Sierra, LMHC


As the scorching Orlando sun ushers in another Florida summer, many of us recall the childhood excitement of school’s end and the promise of carefree days ahead. Yet, for some, this season of supposed relaxation can trigger anxiety and stress. In this guide, we’ll explore three holistic approaches to manage summer anxiety, helping you recapture that youthful summer spirit while nurturing your mental health. You’ll discover practical mindfulness techniques, community engagement strategies, and nourishing self-care practices tailored for the unique challenges of an Orlando summer.

At HMH Counseling, we understand that the rhythm of the seasons affects our mental well-being, and summer’s intense heat and social expectations can disrupt our usual routines.

The long days and balmy nights of an Orlando summer bring unique challenges and opportunities for mental health. Whether it’s the pressure of social events, travel plans, or simply feeling overwhelmed by the heat, it’s important to approach this season with mindfulness and intention. Let’s explore how we can recapture that youthful summer spirit while nurturing our mental health in holistic, integrative ways.

Jennifer Sierra, LMHC Anxiety therapist, orlando

If you find your anxiety becoming overwhelming or it is interfering with daily life, remember that professional help is available. At HMH Counseling, led by Jennifer Sierra, LMHC, we specialize in anxiety therapy and assisting individuals in managing anxiety through personalized coping strategies to restore balance and well-being. As a licensed therapist, I am committed to supporting you through these challenges.

1. Embrace Mindful Moments in Nature

Practicing mindfulness is a powerful tool for managing anxiety, and Orlando’s lush environment offers perfect settings for this practice. Start your day with a mindful morning routine:

  • Step outside to watch the early sunrise.
  • Listen to the sounds of Florida’s diverse birdlife awakening.
  • Feel the relative coolness of the morning air before the day’s heat sets in.

In the evenings, as temperatures begin to cool, engage your senses fully:

  • Watch summer rainstorms from the safety of your porch, noting the patterns of raindrops and the fresh scent in the air.
  • Practice bubble-blowing as a meditative exercise. Blowing bubbles forces you to pause and be mindful of your breathing, helping to relieve tension and bring back positive stress relieving childhood memories.

These mindful practices not only ground you in the present moment but also help regulate your nervous system, reducing anxiety symptoms.

2. Stay Active and Connected with Orlando’s Community

Discover the joy of summer gatherings with our health-conscious barbecue tips! Host a cozy evening with locally sourced ingredients from East End Market, fostering community connection and relaxation. Dive into our holistic guide at HMH Counseling for more seasonal wellness insights.

Physical activity is a proven anxiety-reducer, and Orlando offers numerous opportunities to stay active while beating the heat:

  • Take advantage of cooler morning hours for a walk or jog around Lake Eola Park.
  • Join a sunrise yoga class at Mead Botanical Garden.
  • Explore indoor rock climbing at your local rock-climbing center for a full-body workout in air-conditioned comfort.

Maintaining social connections is equally important for mental well-being. Revive the spirit of summer gatherings with a modern, health-conscious twist:

  • Host a small, evening barbecue featuring locally sourced ingredients from East End Market.
  • Organize a movie night under the stars at your local community center or backyard.
  • Plan a group visit to the Orlando Museum of Art on a hot afternoon, combining culture with social interaction in a cool environment.

3. Nourish Your Body and Mind with Seasonal Self-Care

Integrative mental health recognizes the profound connection between physical health and emotional well-being. Adapt your self-care routine to summer:

  • Stay hydrated with infused water using local citrus fruits and herbs.
  • Incorporate relaxation techniques like deep breathing exercises or aromatherapy using pure lavender essential oil
  • Maintain a consistent sleep schedule, using blackout curtains to manage Florida’s extended daylight hours
  • Experiment with cooling, nutrient-rich meals. Try this summer-friendly overnight oats recipe: Discover a refreshing summer treat with our nutritious overnight oats recipe. Packed with gluten-free sprouted rolled oats, chia seeds, coconut, and a hint of semi-sweet chocolate, this cool and creamy breakfast is perfect for a healthy start to your day. Visit HMH Counseling for more holistic wellness tips!


  • 1/3 cup One Degree Organic Foods gluten-free sprouted rolled oats
  • 1 tsp to 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp to 1 tbs of shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tsp Lily’s semi-sweet chocolate style baking chips (45% cacao)
  • 1/4 cup Chobani Greek yogurt (vanilla, 0% sugar)
  • 1/3 cup light organic coconut milk, unsweetened

Instructions: Mix all ingredients in a jar, refrigerate overnight, and enjoy a cool, comforting breakfast.

This recipe combines ingredients that support mental health through the powerful gut-brain connection. The complex carbohydrates from oats provide steady energy and support serotonin production, potentially improving mood and reducing anxiety. Chia seeds offer omega-3 fatty acids, crucial for brain health and reducing inflammation. The probiotics in Greek yogurt nurture beneficial gut bacteria, which play a vital role in neurotransmitter production and mental well-being. Coconut provides medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) that can boost brain function, while dark chocolate offers flavonoids that may enhance cognitive function and mood.

Need more personalized strategies to manage your summer anxiety? Don’t hesitate to reach out to HMH Counseling. We’re here to help you create a tailored plan for your mental health needs.


By implementing these self-care practices and nourishing your body with mood-boosting foods, you’re laying a strong foundation for mental wellness. Now, let’s take this a step further.

Take a moment to reflect on your favorite childhood summer memories. Was it building sandcastles at the beach, having water balloon fights, or catching fireflies at dusk? Find ways to recreate that joy and incorporate it into your wellness routine. Perhaps it’s an early morning walk, organizing a friendly water gun battle in your backyard, or simply sitting outside in the evening to stargaze.

By mindfully engaging with Orlando’s natural beauty, staying active and connected within our community, and nourishing your body with seasonal self-care practices, you can transform potential summer anxiety into an opportunity for joy and restoration. Remember, wellness isn’t about perfection—it’s about adapting to your changing needs and savoring the simple pleasures of the season.

At HMH Counseling, we’re committed to supporting your journey towards holistic mental health. If you’re finding it challenging to manage summer anxiety on your own, we’re here to help. Together, we can develop personalized strategies that honor your unique experiences and needs, helping you fully embrace the healing rhythms of the season.

Don’t let anxiety overshadow the magic of summer. Contact us at HMH Counseling, and let’s work together to create a summer filled with joy. 

FAQ: Managing Anxiety in Summer

Q: Why does my anxiety seem to increase during summer? A: Summer can bring changes in routine, increased social expectations, and physical discomfort from heat, all of which can trigger anxiety. Additionally, longer daylight hours can disrupt sleep patterns, affecting mood and anxiety levels.

Q: How can I manage anxiety during outdoor summer events? A: Practice deep breathing exercises, stay hydrated, and don’t hesitate to take breaks in quieter, cooler areas. Remember, it’s okay to pace yourself and leave early if needed.

Q: Can diet affect my anxiety levels during summer? A: Yes, diet plays a crucial role in mental health. Stay hydrated, avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol, and opt for mood-boosting foods like the overnight oats recipe mentioned in the blog.

Q: How can I maintain my mental health routine while traveling during summer? A: Prioritize maintaining a consistent sleep schedule as much as possible. Plan ahead by creating a modified, flexible self-care routine tailored to your travel needs. This might include portable relaxation techniques, scheduling brief check-ins with your therapist if needed, and identifying local resources at your destination for support.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Embrace mindful moments in nature to ground yourself and reduce anxiety symptoms.
  2. Stay active through early morning and evening activities when temperatures are cooler outside.
  3. Nourish your body and mind with seasonal self-care, including hydration, relaxation techniques, and nutrient-rich meals.
  4. Recreate joyful childhood summer experiences as part of your wellness routine.
  5. Remember that professional help is available if anxiety becomes overwhelming.

By implementing these strategies and seeking support when needed, you can transform potential summer anxiety into an opportunity for joy and restoration. At HMH Counseling, we’re here to support your journey towards holistic mental health throughout every season.

Visit www.hmhcounseling.com/services/ to learn more about how we can support your mental health journey.

Disclaimer: The content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The information shared is based on our understanding and interpretation of various mental health topics. It is important to recognize the complexity of mental health issues, and the advice provided here may not address the specific needs of every reader. The content on this blog should not be considered a substitute for professional advice from a qualified mental health professional. Always seek the advice of a licensed therapist or other qualified mental health provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your mental health or well-being. The recipe provided in this blog post is for general interest and is not intended as a prescribed dietary treatment; please consult with a healthcare professional or nutritionist for personalized dietary advice.


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