Summertime Sadness Solutions: How to Enjoy Summer Your Way
Do you dread bikini season? Do you get anxious about the social activities surrounding the summer months?
The long days of summer can make us feel like we need to be out doing the same things as everyone else. Whether it’s parties, taking vacations, sunbathing, or wearing a string bikini, you may feel a pull to be doing more. And that pull may take you in various directions that you might not be too keen on.
In part, you can thank social media for that feeling known as “fear of missing out.” You do these things because everyone else is doing them. You do them because you don’t want to miss out. But let’s just take a moment to acknowledge that we don’t have to do any of that stuff. Just because that’s what most people are doing, it doesn’t mean you have to do it too.
Like my dad used to say, “If they jumped off a cliff, would you go jump off the cliff too?” No!
Taking time to enjoy yourself can be on your terms. Approach life as a mindfulness practice. Be present in the moment.
It doesn’t have to be about how sculpted your abs are or how tan your bum is or capturing that perfect shot for social media. Shed these layers and do things for you (we all could use a little more of this!).
So, how can you utilize summer your way? How can you grab hold of the summer months, rid yourself of self-sabotaging thoughts, shed the summertime sadness, and improve your mental health this sunny season?
First off, let’s quit comparing ourselves to others.
There’s a higher law of the Universe that states energy flows where attention goes, so we are going to push your extra emotional energy toward positive things - instead of just following the crowd!
Buying new bathing suits, hanging out by the pool, and surfing on warm beaches are sold to us through marketing campaigns, making us feel like we should be spending our money on resorts and new trendy sunglasses. But we don’t have to!
Alternatively, become more mindful. Look around. What mindfulness benefits are there? By becoming more present in the moment, you’ll improve your mental health. You’ll become happier. You’ll become better. And you’ll enjoy your life more.
How can you do this, this summer? Let’s find out.
Your Guide to Finding Fun Summer Sadness Solutions
Step 1: Love your body, just the way it is.
One way to do this is by an act of self-love, such as getting a massage or enrolling in a friendly, non-competitive yoga studio. These places are often welcoming, despite your flexibility, athleticism or whether or not you’re skinny, or buff! Yoga is not about abs and handstands, it’s about self-love and health. It’s a great way to keep you from comparing your body to others. And it helps remind you that your self-worth is not tied to your looks. You’re more than that!
Other ways to love yourself a little more? Actively diving into some positive self-talk. Squish that little critic in your head. She or he isn’t helping you. Focus on what you love about yourself. You are worthy and great. Narrow in on your strengths!
Step 2: Choose a topic you want to learn about and immerse yourself in it.
Maybe you’d like to dive into a new genre of films, like old movies, sci-fi, or kung fu? What do you want to learn about that you can use those extra daylight hours for? Maybe you want to enroll in a college entrance exam class for grad school or try your hand at a new craft or instrument?
Find something new to emerge yourself in - something that interests or fascinates you or something you’re passionate about. It can change your perspective and give you that fulfillment and meaning you’ve been looking for.
Step 3: Think of ways to give your extra daylight hours back to the community.
Instead of indulging in social activities and parties that are often not good for your health, find volunteer opportunities and meaningful events that are contributing to the good of your community. These types of events will feed your soul and help you make meaningful connections with people.
Send out those positive vibes. In turn, you’ll get some back.
Decide To Swim Upstream
There’s no question that most of society is in a popularity contest. We are constantly comparing bodies, fitness, makeup techniques, and fashion. But we don’t actually gain happiness from the ideals that our society has painted the season of summer to mean. We get anxious about having to have the perfect body or being the third-wheel at a dinner. It makes the summer season less fun.
Instead, it’s better to keep the focus off of your looks and on your health. How does an activity make you feel? If it doesn’t make you feel good, maybe its time to find a new hobby or summer hobby.
You can also re-focus your thoughts toward helping others. Again, these mindfulness benefits will ripple across your life.
Take this as a personal growth opportunity or a way to help with your personality development (we all have something we can probably work on). What can you do to make this world a better place? It doesn’t have to be huge. A small helping hand goes a long way!
Volunteer, offer to help a neighbour tend to their garden or yard, help a friend move, contribute to a local fundraiser - whatever works.
Notice where you feel like you’re being pressured to do the typical summer things and notice how that feels in your body. Then you decide how you want to use the hotter months of the year.
Make This Summer Your Best One Yet!
Often people don’t talk about how they are really feeling because they don’t want to burden their friends or they don’t want to look like they don’t have it all figured out.
The truth is, people often bury the more difficult emotions, that even something as subtle as the change of seasons, can make us feel. We may be so used to dealing with that sadness that we don’t realize it’s not necessary! Those shallow people who are looking for validation based on how many likes they get on their bathing suit shot are seeking a fleeting sense of satisfaction anyway!
Find satisfaction and fulfillment that lasts. It’s more worthwhile.
And live from your heart, make things special for others, and seek out community classes or activities where nice people are going to be giving their time as well. Do away with summertime sadness, and find ways to bring a mindfulness practice and peace into your life.
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