How to Avoid the Summertime Blues

It seems like everywhere you look, people are pumped about summer. There are pictures of happy beach-goers, and parties with friends, and fun trips all over our social media timelines. Upbeat music plays in stores and on the radio. Everyone keeps talking about how great it is to be off of school!

For some people, this can be isolating; a break from normal routine and a lack of class/study/extracurricular time may make many individuals–especially students–feel depressed, anxious, purposeless, etc. If you’re one of these people, you’re not alone. It’s okay to experience some summertime sadness, and you’re not a total weirdo or outcast. However, it’s important for you to take care of your mental health during the holidays. First, I’m going to summarize a quick little list of things that I think would be helpful, then share a bunch of links that can hopefully be helpful [Ps: thanks to my mom for sending me the first link and giving me the idea for this article].

Here are a few things that might help you enjoy summer!:

  • Make plans! Think of it as a sort of summer bucket list (example below), and cross the things that you do off of your list. For example, I’ve already gone to Wonderland twice, had a picnic with my boyfriend, exercised with friends, made good homemade meals, etc. Planning not only allows you to more clearly decide what you want to do, but it helps you follow through with some of your summertime desires, which keeps you busy. Other ideas for your summer bucketlist could be…
    • Planning a staycation or a vacation
    • Reading a new book
    • Watching a new movie
    • Exploring your city (going to a museum, park, etc.)
    • Volunteering
    • Writing more
    • Learning a new talent/hobby
    • Plant a garden
    • Visit an old friend

  • Take advantage of the warm weather! Water parks aren’t open year-round. You won’t have as much fun feeding the birds in the wintertime.Try to do a few things that are best done in the summer, and get some vitamin D from the sun (hint: in moderation, this can help boost your mood).
  • Relax near the water! Have a beach day, or take a stroll near the lake. Float in the pool, or ocean if you can. Water is soothing and it’s actually meditative to just chill out listening to the waves.
  • Eat summery foodsThere’s just something great about barbecues and fresh salads. Try to limit the burgers & hotdogs if you know that it will make you feel bad about yourself, but don’t deprive yourself of them! Enjoy the yummy foods of the season.
  • EXERCISEI know I’ve been pushing this in, like, every blog post lately… but seriously. It will help. Try to exercise for a little bit indoors, in the mornings/nights (if it’s safe to do so), or in the pool so as to avoid the sweltering heat.

(Some ideas inspired by these sites: 1, 2)

1. http://activemindsblog.org/summer-self-care-tips/

“We all have those DIY projects we’ve been meaning to get to, tasks we want to accomplish, and list of things we want to do when we have free time. Well, guess what? Summer = free time!

Read those books. Learn to crochet or knit. Make a piece of clothing. Make some art. Write a book. Re-purpose that chair. Plant those flowers. Dye your hair. Seek inspiration on Pinterest if you need it.”

2. http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/06/21/6-tips-to-help-summer-depression/

 “It’s important to maintain good sleep hygiene in the summer. That is, even though the day’s events are changing from week to week, make sure to keep your sleep schedule the same: go to bed at the same time every night, wake up at the same time every morning, and don’t sleep much less than 7 hours and no more than 9 hours a night. When depressed, it’s common to want to sleep as much as you can, to kill the hours. However, extra sleep does increase depression.”

3. http://womenonthefence.com/2015/06/23/10-tips-to-stay-healthy-and-happy-this-summer/

“Yes. People who are socially active get fewer colds! Research shows that social and sociable people tend to be more positive, which is tied to happiness and strengthened immunity. Don’t isolate. Summer is a great time to get out there with friends, family and your partner.”

Overall, remember to self-care! Take some time out of every day to do something that makes you HAPPY. Keep busy and mindful, and I hope you really do avoid the summertime sadness. xo

(click on each image for photo source)

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