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7 Ways to Beat the Summertime Blues

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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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    More by this author

    Charlene Tops

    Charlene is a certified life coach who is passionate about writing, speaking and teaching.

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    Last Updated on January 27, 2022

    5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

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    5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

    Food plays an integral role in our lives and rightfully so: the food we eat is intricately intertwined with our culture. You can learn a lot about a particular culture by exploring their food. In fact, it may be difficult to fully define a culture without a nod to their cuisine.

    “Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are.” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1825).

    Don’t believe me? Here’s why food is the best way to understand a culture:

    Food is a universal necessity.

    It doesn’t matter where in the world you’re from – you have to eat. And your societal culture most likely evolved from that very need, the need to eat. Once they ventured beyond hunting and gathering, many early civilizations organized themselves in ways that facilitated food distribution and production. That also meant that the animals, land and resources you were near dictated not only what you’d consume, but how you’d prepare and cook it. The establishment of the spice trade and the merchant silk road are two example of the great lengths many took to obtain desirable ingredients.

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    Food preservation techniques are unique to climates and lifestyle.

    Ever wonder why the process to preserve meat is so different around the world? It has to do with local resources, needs, and climates. In Morocco, Khlea is a dish composed of dried beef preserved in spices and then packed in animal fat. When preserved correctly, it’s still good for two years when stored at room temperature. That makes a lot of sense in Morocco, where the country historically has had a strong nomadic population, desert landscape, and extremely warm, dry temperatures.

    Staples of a local cuisines illustrate historical eating patterns.

    Some societies have cuisines that are entirely based on meat, and others are almost entirely plant-based. Some have seasonal variety and their cuisines change accordingly during different parts of the year. India’s cuisine is extremely varied from region to region, with meat and wheat heavy dishes in the far north, to spectacular fish delicacies in the east, to rice-based vegetarian diets in the south, and many more variations in between.

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    The western part of India is home to a group of strict vegetarians: they not only avoid flesh and eggs, but even certain strong aromatics like garlic, or root vegetables like carrots and potatoes. Dishes like Papri Chat, featuring vegetable based chutneys mixed with yoghurt, herbs and spices are popular.

    Components of popular dishes can reveal cultural secrets.

    This is probably the most intriguing part of studying a specific cuisine. Certain regions of the world have certain ingredients easily available to them. Most people know that common foods such as corn, tomatoes, chili peppers, and chocolate are native to the Americas, or “New World”. Many of today’s chefs consider themselves to be extremely modern when fusing cuisines, but cultural lines blended long ago when it comes to purity of ingredients.

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    Black pepper originated in Asia but became, and still remains, a critical part of European cuisine. The Belgians are some of the finest chocolatiers, despite it not being native to the old world. And perhaps one of the most interesting result from the blending of two cuisines is Chicken Tikka Masala; it resembles an Indian Mughali dish, but was actually invented by the British!

    Food tourism – it’s a whole new way to travel.

    Some people have taken the intergation of food and culture to a new level. No trip they take is complete with out a well-researched meal plan, that dictates not only the time of year for their visit, but also how they will experience a new culture.

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    So, a food tourist won’t just focus on having a pint at Oktoberfest, but will be interested in learning the German beer making process, and possibly how they can make their own fresh brew. Food tourists visit many of the popular mainstays for traditional tourism, like New York City, San Francisco, London, or Paris, but many locations that they frequent, such as Armenia or Laos, may be off the beaten path for most travelers. And since their interest in food is more than meal deep, they have the chance to learn local preparation techniques that can shed insight into a whole other aspect of a particular region’s culture.

    Featured photo credit: Young Shih via unsplash.com

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