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7 Things You Should Start Doing To Make This Your Best Summer Yet

7 Things You Should Start Doing To Make This Your Best Summer Yet

Summer is right around the corner. We want to make sure that we’re fully prepared to have the best few months ahead of us. Most of us are too busy finishing off our work projects or exams to think about what needs to be done beforehand, which usually leaves a lot of opportunities and experiences on the table.

Luckily, we’ve accumulated 7 things you should start doing now to make this your best summer yet.

1. Plan Ahead For Travel

The best prices for summer vacation packages was 2 months ago. But don’t worry, it’s never too late. As long as you’re not leaving in the next week, you can still find a lot of great deals online by taking some time to look.

Check out Hipmunk’s 90-Day price chart, which gives you the round-trip flight prices for your desired locations for the next 90 days.

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     2. Try Out A Foreign Language

    If your goal it to travel to a foreign country, it only makes sense to learn a new language. Whether your goal is to travel to South America, Asia, Europe, etc., your experience can be much more enhanced by being able to communicate with the locals in the city. They can show you hot spots, you can build relationships, and live from the point of view of the locals, instead of depending on what journalists from the media outlets share online.

    Check out this free Learn a Language Challenge, which offers you 10 new most common words in your target language every morning (5 mins/day), or if you want to improve your speaking skills, check out Rype.

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      3. Get Your Finances In Order

      With all this talk of travel, we should naturally discuss getting your personal finances in order, because none of what we want to do in the summer can be done without it.

      If you’ve been going out every night to eat and overspending on things you don’t urgently need, it’s probably time to start saving. This isn’t us trying to sound like naggers, but it’s just reality. If you want to travel, enjoy new experiences, and have the best summer yet, it’s going to take money.

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      Check out Mint.com which integrates all of your bank accounts for you, and gives you a visual analysis of your expenses, income, and investments in one place.

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        4. Get Your Health Right

        Nothing works without your health. If you’ve been putting off getting in shape and eating healthy, it’s time to reconsider.

        One incentive is to be able to hit the beach this summer without shame, but the bigger incentive is to have more energy in your daily life. Energy gives us motivation to take on new challenges, learn new skills, and continue to be active throughout our day, week, and month ahead.

        Check out the 7-minute workout, which helps you go through over a dozen different exercises within a span of 7 minutes. Now everyone has the time to get in shape, no matter how busy you are.

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          5. Make the Most Out of Networking Opportunities

          With summer coming around the corner, the opportunity to network with the people you want to meet is shrinking – at least until the end of summer. It’s likely that whoever you want to meet is also going on vacation or taking time off networking to spend time with family and friends, so you should reach out to whoever you need to beforehand.

          Take 15 minutes a day in the morning, afternoon, or evening to reach out to someone you respect, and ask them for a quick coffee while you still can.

          6. Learn a New Skill

          The best part about summer time is not just rejuvenation, but recreation. Recreation of your goals, your knowledge, and skillsets to increase your chances of advancing your career and becoming more valuable in the marketplace.

          Time is always of the essence, so check out these tips on how to learn faster. In summary, we just have to make sure that we’re not multitasking, modeling the best out there, and being persistent with our daily practice habits.

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          Learning how to code? Code something everyday.
          Learning a new language? Practice everyday with a native speaker.
          Learning how to write? Get up and write everyday.

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            7. Re-Connect With Old Friends

            Even the best experiences can’t be fully enjoyed without friends and family around us. Is there an old friend that you’ve lost touch with due to work constraints and other obligations? It happens to all of us, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of, as long as you can take action.

            Before summer kicks off, message or call up an old friend, and use the next few months to connect together.

            Which of these tips will you take action on to make this the best summer yet?

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            Sean Kim

            Sean is the founder and CEO of Rype, a language learning app. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

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            Last Updated on March 30, 2020

            What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

            What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

            Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

            You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

            This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

            What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

            According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

            Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

            There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

            How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

            When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

            Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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            1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

            One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

            The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

            Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

            2. Be Honest

            A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

            If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

            On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

            Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

            3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

            Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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            If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

            4. Succeed at Something

            When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

            Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

            5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

            Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

            Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

            If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

            If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

            Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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            6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

            Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

            You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

            On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

            You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

            7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

            Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

            Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

            Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

            When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

            Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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            In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

            Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

            It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

            Final Thoughts

            When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

            The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

            Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

            Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

            Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

            More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

            Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
            [2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
            [3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
            [4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
            [5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
            [6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
            [7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
            [8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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