3 Ways To Beat The Summer Blues
Summer is traditionally a time of relaxation and festivities. Summer break typically involves taking time off from work, going on family holidays, and travelling to exotic destinations.
In fact, pressure to make summer as fun as possible can have the opposite effect by causing too much performance anxiety, and feeling like you have to make the most of every moment can take all the fun out of your activities. Here are mindfulness tips for surviving and thriving through those notorious summer blues
Avoid Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO)
When friends and family post photos of their fabulous holidays on social media, we may feel a sense of envy or jealousy upon seeing them. These feelings can create the thought that other people have lives that are more interesting and fun than ours. Such feelings and thoughts are collectively known as FOMO—or fear of missing out.
Remember not to give in to this distorting thinking. Identify what you truly enjoy and what you do not; sometimes, we find ourselves envious of things that really don’t interest us in the first place. Learn to question your reactions, and turn your feelings toward gratitude for what you do you have instead.
Practice delayed gratification
There’s social pressure to make the summer months as fun and exciting as possible. The harsh reality, however, is that summer travel can be stressful, crowded, and expensive. Why not delay those holidays until the fall instead? You’ll likely have better weather and pay much less for the same experience.
The process of putting off something you want to do now until a later time is known as delayed gratification, and it’s a good technique for being grateful in the now while still planning future dreams and goals.
Be still and enjoy today
Try not to be so consumed by what others are doing that you forget to appreciate the life you’re living. Social comparison is not a useful mental exercise; there will always be people who seem to be living better lives than you, while simultaneously there are others living much more difficult lives.
When you feel pressure to “make the most” of summer and see everyone else enjoying themselves living the “high life,” just remember that your time will come- but it may not be here yet. In this between-time, make the most of what you have; you might find more than you think.
So, to enjoy the summer months without the social pressure to make them as amazing as possible, practice the above techniques until they become automatic. You’ll feel a sense of relief and also be better able to appreciate the life you’re living now without comparing it to the lives of others.
Dr. Michael Eason is a psychologist and US licensed therapist practising at MindnLife in Central, Hong Kong.
See also: 3 Mindful Ways To Overcome Procrastination