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7 Ways to Beat the Summertime Blues

7 Ways to Beat the Summertime Blues

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!

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    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.

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    3. Photography

    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.

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    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.

    6. Write

    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!

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    7. Volunteer

    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!

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    Last Updated on January 21, 2020

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

      Why You Need a Vision

      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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      How to Create Your Life Vision

      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

      What Do You Want?

      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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      Some tips to guide you:

      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
      • Give yourself permission to dream.
      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

      Some questions to start your exploration:

      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
      • What qualities would you like to develop?
      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
      • What would you most like to accomplish?
      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

      A few prompts to get you started:

      • What will you have accomplished already?
      • How will you feel about yourself?
      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
      • What does your ideal day look like?
      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
      • What would you be doing?
      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
      • How are you dressed?
      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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      Plan Backwards

      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
      • What important actions would you have had to take?
      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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