Do you remember when summer meant long, lazy days filled with relaxation, sun and fun? Or maybe our summer was full of adventures like traveling, camps, and family reunions. Whatever we did, we cherished every minute. We had a break from reality and were able to reset and recharge to prepare for the next school year. While we remember those days fondly, they are sadly a distant memory for us. For many of us, summer now equals stress. We are doing more with less. We often work harder and longer hours without the childcare, support or staff we regularly depend on at work or at school. We may see our friends and neighbors taking trips and we feel guilty or disappointed that we are not able to do the same for ourselves and our families. We find ourselves counting down the days until summer is over instead of enjoying this special time of the year.
Summer does not have to equal stress. We can find our own ways to reset and recharge. Here are some tips to make the best of the summer season!
1. Start a new activity or intention. New Year’s doesn’t have to be the only time of the year for resolutions. What is something you can do for yourself over the summer? Maybe it’s checking out a new book at the library every week or starting a new exercise class or routine. Enjoy local fruits and vegetables at your neighborhood farmers market and incorporate them into fresh salads for lunch or new dinner recipes. Longer summer days provide the opportunity to spend more time outside where we can be active or just enjoy the fresh air and Vitamin D. Find a way you can doing something kind for yourself this summer!
2. Plan a ‘staycation’. A big trip may not be in the budget this year but perhaps you can take some time off and enjoy some rest and relaxation in your own backyard. Explore local parks and museums or just catch up on sleep and Netflix! Our time off is typically used for family events, holidays and traveling, which are all fun, but can be exhausting. A staycation is an easy way that you and your family can slow down and enjoy your summer.
3. Take a break from social media. While social media is a great way to connect and keep up with friends and family, it may also make us feel sad or disappointed with ourselves or our circumstances. While scrolling through our social media, we may find that we compare ourselves to others. We may feel jealous or inferior to those we see on summer vacations and adventures. We see pictures of families who appear so happy and healthy and wonder why our family doesn’t look that way. We see lifestyle or fitness accounts of people who are eating healthy and losing weight and beat ourselves up that we don’t have the willpower to do the same. Any of this sound familiar? If so, consider taking a break. Take a day off from social medial or reduce the amount of times you go on during the day and notice how you feel. It may be worth deleting that social media app!
4. Therapy. Is therapy something you have wanted to do but never have the time? You may keep saying, I’ll schedule an appointment when things slow down. But as we know, life never slows down and today is best day to take that step for you, whatever the season. A therapist from our team would be happy to speak with you about getting started with therapy.