Summer is the time when the fun begins! Outdoor gatherings and vacation plans all seem so nostalgic. Yet, not all people have this feeling. Many people can suffer from summertime blues. Depression or mild blues are tough to deal with, especially when the world around us seems so bright and inviting. There are many reasons why summertime may be tough for some. With all the sun and festivities that come along during the warm summer months, there’s also a lot of expectations. So how can we beat these summertime blues? Try these 7 ways to pick you up and shift your focus to a more positive place.
1. Host a “ME” Party
What is a “me” party? No, we don’t invite lots of guests and throw ourselves a party. A ‘me’ party is basically a pamper yourself date! Schedule a time once a week where you are totally focused on yourself and your own needs. Often times, we get caught up in our to-do lists and fail to nurture ourselves. Plan a day or even an evening where you spend time doing things you like. Take a candlelight bubble bath with soothing music playing or watch a movie that you want to see. If you schedule this ‘me’ party, it can give you a little something to look forward to each week!
2. Go to the Library, Read a Book or Join a Book Club
Find a topic that you enjoy and pick out a great book to read. Get lost in the fictional world of an author’s words. The beauty of books is that you can go anywhere and do anything inside of books. There are countless topics worthy of reading. Fiction is great when you need a break from the everyday world and memoirs and biographies take you deep into the lives of others which can help you readjust your feelings about your own emotions. Many libraries have ongoing book clubs, which gives you an opportunity to interact with people outside of your circle. Meeting new people and having fresh insight to the world around you always makes you feel better.
No, I am not a photographer either! Yet, I find that I love taking pictures of things around me. Most smartphones have a built in camera, which makes it easy to take pictures. Expand yourself; go into the world and snap pictures of things that strike you as beautiful and interesting. Taking pictures of trees and flowers are soothing. Looking at the immense beauty that surrounds us every day lifts our moods. Taking pictures takes you out of your current viewpoint and puts you in a place to see the world from a different angle: The angle of the photographer. Surprise yourself with what you can discover behind the lens!
4. Take a Nature Walk
Vitamin D is important for our moods and the general health of our bodies. By going for a nature walk, you are exposing yourself to more sun and increasing your intake of Vitamin D. In addition, when you’re walking through nature, you connect with the world around you. Don’t just walk, be mindful of the things that you see, smell and hear. Engage your senses to make the most out of your time connecting with nature. Where I live, there are numerous nature paths. Explore what is available in your area. We are part of this glorious Earth but so often we close ourselves in our boxed houses and work cubicles, missing the element of connecting with the incredible beauty around us.
5. Find a Hobby
Sometimes we just need to do something different. Finding a hobby that you enjoy is a great way to do that. A hobby should be something that is engaging and enjoyable. Spending time doing a hobby releases stress while also allowing you to feel accomplished. What types of activity do you enjoy? Hobbies help you connect with others and boosts your knowledge and feelings of accomplishment . Spending time on your hobby also redirects your thoughts to the project at hand, relieving any feelings of sadness you may be experiencing.
I love to write. I write when I am happy, when I am sad, when I am confused and when I have fresh ideas. I always recommend writing to anyone and everyone. There is something magical that transpires when you put your thoughts out in front of you and make them visible. You will be able to see the patterns of your moods and understand where your emotions may be stemming from. When you write down things, you are able to unleash pent up feelings and thoughts. The beauty of writing is there is total freedom! You can express anything. There is no limit as to where your writing can take you. Go beyond keeping a journal and let your imagination run with you. Write poetry, short stories, lists, recipes, or even letters to people. Just write!
Volunteering is a marvelous opportunity. When most people think about volunteering, the first thing that pops into their minds is soup kitchens. While that is a wonderful volunteer position that certainly is needed, there are countless other prospects available. Many businesses and groups need volunteers. Hospitals, libraries, Habitat for Humanity are just a few organizations needing volunteers. If you Google “volunteer opportunities,” you will be provided with a host of places seeking volunteers. Volunteering helps you occupy your time while helping someone else. For a person that is feeling blue, there is nothing better than to offer your time and assistance to someone else needing it. When we are focused on others, our mindset and our perspective on life is changed for the better.
The 7 ways to beat the summertime blues is just a short list of many ways to redirect your emotions. Most importantly, find something that interests you. As you begin to involve yourself, your feelings of being blue will begin to dissipate. As you nurture yourself and begin to see the beauty in the world around, a peaceful feeling will begin to transcend your emotional struggles and you’ll find that you’ll be able to enjoy the summertime once again!