How To Prioritize


By Dr. Debra Brosius / Integrated Psychology Associates of McLean, LLC

Prioritizing your mental health is an important goal, and summer can be a great time to focus on your psychological health, self care and well-being. Using this opportunity to build skills and develop good habits will allow you to make these strategies part of your daily life beyond just the summer months.
Because of the warmer weather, sunshine and outdoor time become an important part of self-care. With the longer days, it is brighter longer, allowing for more opportunities for walks, runs, and just enjoying nature. For many young people, summer is a time for taking a break from the normal routine of school and activities. It can also be an opportunity for growth and maturation. It may be a good time to take a “personal inventory” of all things positive in your life as well as things that bring stress/toxicity. Perhaps try new activities that you did not have time for before, allow for new experiences and new people to enter your life. Likewise, if there are things you don’t enjoy anymore or have outgrown (including friendships) this could be a time for purging or reorganizing your priorities. Due to a more relaxed schedule, sleep becomes another area of priority and self-care. Summer schedules allow for longer sleep hours and the opportunity to rest and rejuvenate. Quality sleep is critical for mental health. Finally, summer allows for an abundance of foods to include fresh fruits and vegetables. Eating whole foods as often as possible allows for optimal gut-brain health and as a consequence, stronger cognitive and
emotional regulation.
One of the main ways to build psychological and emotional regulation skills is by working with a trained professional. A
mental health clinician has a set of skills that can help provide emotional and interpersonal stability as well as accountability. If you are interested in learning how to: set stronger boundaries, build resilience, adaptive coping skills and emotional regulation skills, our team is here to help.

For more information, contact Gretchen, our scheduling coordinator at 703-288-3300. You can also visit our website at

In sum, your mental health deserves attention and care all year round so that you can function optimally. The summer can be a time for building skills that will last all year long.

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