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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 March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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