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Summer of Self-Care: What if You Still Have the Blues?

As temperatures rise and the days lengthen, many anticipate the joys of summer: BBQs, beach trips, and lazy afternoons in the sun. However, for some, the transition to summer can bring unexpected challenges, including the onset of the “summer blues” or the winter blues that never really went away.

Whether it’s due to changes in routine, increased social expectations, or even the pressure to feel constantly happy during the sunniest season, the summer blues can cast a shadow over what should be a time of joy and relaxation.

If you find yourself struggling to shake off the summer funk, here are eight ways to try and beat the summer blues and reclaim your peace and relaxation:

Acknowledge Your Feelings: The first step in overcoming the summer blues is to acknowledge and validate your feelings. It’s okay not to feel happy all the time, even when everyone else seems to be loving the summer and sunshine. Take a moment to reflect on what you’re feeling and give yourself permission to experience those emotions without judgment. This is why we love mindfulness and the tools it provides, such as noticing our thoughts/feelings without judgement.

Evaluate for boredom: Believe it or not, being bored can also cause people to feel depressed, especially highly sensitive people. Most people like a good challenge, and when they start feeling like things are mundane or too repetitive, this can lead to feelings of depression. Be curious about your job, your hobbies or your relationship and see if boredom could be creeping in. If so, take some time to figure out ways that you can bring more creativity to these areas or make a change!

Connect with Nature: Spending time outdoors can work wonders for your mood and mental health. Take advantage of the longer days by going for a walk in the park, hiking in a nearby park, or sitting in your backyard and soaking up the sun. Connecting with nature can help alleviate stress, boost your mood, and provide a much-needed dose of vitamin D.

Stay Active: Exercise is a powerful antidote to the summer blues. Whether it’s swimming laps in the pool, going for a bike ride, or practicing yoga in the park, staying active releases endorphins, which are natural mood lifters. Find activities that you enjoy and make them a regular part of your routine to keep those summer blues at bay.

Practice Self-Care: Self-care isn’t just for the colder months – it’s essential year-round, especially when you’re feeling down. Treat yourself to a relaxing bubble bath, indulge in your favorite summer treats, or spend a day pampering yourself by reading your favorite book, or getting a pedicure or manicure with a friend. Taking care of your physical and emotional needs is key to feeling better and enjoying the season to its fullest.

Stay Connected: Summer can sometimes feel isolating, especially if you’re spending long hours indoors or away from friends and family. Try to stay connected with loved ones, whether it’s through phone calls, video chats, or in-person visits. Surrounding yourself with supportive people can provide comfort and companionship during times of loneliness.

Self-Evaluate: Many of us don’t like thinking about how we might be contributing to a problem, especially when it’s something like anxiety or depression but it is a step toward feeling better. See if you can discern whether there is a contributing factor for how you’re feeling. Is there a life circumstance that is difficult and you’re also grieving? Do you know what drives most of your reactions: trauma, anxiety, control, attachment style? Do you know your Enneagram type? Answering these questions can be helpful in determining next steps to feeling better. Click here for more information on attachment styles or here for more information on the Enneagram.

A few other thoughts that might be helpful as you work through your summer blues:

Set Realistic Expectations: It’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing your summer to the highlight reels of others on social media. Remember that not every day has to be perfect, and it’s okay to have moments of boredom or sadness. Set realistic expectations for yourself and focus on finding joy in the simple pleasures of summer, whether it’s watching a sunset, enjoying a meal outdoors or ending the evening with a campfire.

Try Something New: Break out of your routine and shake things up by trying something new. Sign up for a cooking class, learn a new hobby, or embark on a spontaneous road trip. These will also help you if you’re feeling like you need a challenge in your life. Stepping out of your comfort zone can help you feel challenged and give you something to look forward to and make a plan.

Seek Professional Help if Needed: If your summer blues persist and start to interfere with your daily life, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. A therapist or counselor can provide support, guidance, and coping strategies to help you navigate through difficult emotions and find relief.

Even though it doesn’t seem all that common, because no on talks about it, but summer blues are a common experience for many people, but they don’t have to overshadow your sunny days. Remember, it’s okay to not feel okay sometimes, but with the right tools and support, you can find happiness and fulfillment even in the heat of summer.

 

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