Summer has a reputation for being a happy and exciting time, but spirits don’t lift automatically with the temperature. Often while some people are having fun in the sun, others are experiencing a fear of missing out or feeling a little down. The reason it feels that way for many people is that you need to engage with the environment to feel its effects.
It’s not your fault if you lack energy. Sometimes you have to try something new as the seasons change. Look through some of these ideas to grow your reserves and boost your mood this summer.
1. Talk About Your Feelings
Getting an outside perspective will help you see things in a different light, which is why therapy is so beneficial. Even if you aren’t feeling depressed, per se, you’d be surprised what can come of it. Still, no matter your dialogical efforts (internal or external) to improve your mood, biology has the final say. Surrounding yourself with joyful experiences, unfortunately, can’t fix a chemical imbalance in your brain, for example.
The ideal course of action is often a combination of talk therapy and medication prescribed by a medical professional. But any kind of professional mental health treatment can be helpful. In the end, you’ll have to do some experimenting to narrow down the sources of any issues. Then, you can get the appropriate treatment and make the day-to-day a little bit easier.
2. Switch Up Your Routine
The swing of summer doesn’t mean that work is over, but it can provide an opportunity to rework routines. Whether you work in the office or from home, you likely understand the need for variety each day. Maybe instead of eating lunch in the kitchen, you could take your work to a nearby cafe or restaurant. Schedule new breaks throughout the day to help you put your mind elsewhere.
Allow yourself to pause from the routine as well, should you have the desire to do so. Even if you’re in the middle of a task, you might need an escape from stress by taking a walk. As long as you’re still productive in the end, there’s nothing wrong with playing video games while you have a moment to decompress. Find what energizes you while keeping you productive to make something new out of the day-to-day.
3. Take Advantage of the Weather for Recreation
The weather itself won’t solve emotional problems, but the warmer days are conducive to trying new things that can help. You can dust off the old bicycle and take a ride around the neighborhood without the wind numbing your face. It’s the perfect time to try a new sport like soccer or baseball through a recreational adult league. Outdoor pools will also be open for leisurely or active swimming.
Even just sitting at that cafe is nicer in warmer weather, as is going out for drinks with friends. The world outside will be much livelier and open to opportunity on a beautiful sunny day. You don’t have to do anything too intense — lay your towel down on the beach and grab a nice book. Just sitting outside is all that is necessary to feel the difference.
4. Begin Exercising
Take your warm-weather recreation to the next level by combining your favorite activities with a fitness plan. At-home workouts have become increasingly popular as of late, but not everybody has the space or motivation to do them. But exercising can be a leading factor in the improvement of your mood as well as your physical health. Now, you can get started in the open air or at a nearby gym with the motivation of the summer.
You may be familiar with the condition called seasonal affective disorder — colloquially known as seasonal depression. Its causes center around the environmental shifts (shorter days, cooler temperatures) brought about by the change of seasons. Essentially, the outside world can seem less inviting during this time, but exercise can do a lot to mitigate it. At the very least you’ll likely need to travel to a gym or venue, which will get you outside.
5. Keep in Touch With Loved Ones
It’s easy to retreat into yourself during the winter months and forget how valuable it can be to socialize. The busier you are, the less time you have to focus even on simple text messages or catch-up calls. Don’t worry if this is the case because everyone goes through something like this at some point. Just do your best to stay in touch with people; a little conversation goes a long way for mental health.
Try to make plans at least once a week, perhaps on the same day, to see your loved ones. As hard as it can be, they are there to support you as you are them. There’s nothing like a family dinner or a party with friends to remind you how loved you are. If you don’t have many people to hang out with, look for meet-ups where you can find people with similar interests.
It’s okay if you don’t feel good right away because these things take time. All of the positive surroundings you can muster won’t always fix your mood. But it’s worth trying to do what you can, and these ideas aim to help you find what works best for you.