Managing Summer Change
Depending on where you live, summer months may either bring you out of the house from a long winter, or send you into the house with the oppressive heat. Either way change is in store and this means there are benefits and pitfalls. How do you maximize the benefits and minimize the pitfalls?
- One of the benefits that summer offers is an increase in daylight hours. The relationship between increased exposure to sunlight and improved mood is well established. While too much heat and sun exposure can have detrimental effects, make sure you plan daily to get out of the house. You may still avoid hours of between 10 and 2, when the sun risks are highest, but make sure you create time for yourself. You can read a book, take a walk, or just sit under the tree, but commit to getting out for at least an hour a day.
- School is out of session. If you don’t have children, or work in a school system you might not think that matters, but summer break affects all. Traffic patterns change – some get lighter, trips to recreational places could get longer. There may also be less stress and urgency to get to places. Whether you are in school or on break, use the summer as a time to “slow down” and “relax”.
- Can’t take a big vacation? Take mini trips! What is a vacation, after all, but a break in the routine and a chance to do something pleasant (have fun, relax). So think outside the box. On a day off, disconnect from electronic devices and take a ride or go for a walk somewhere you don’t normally travel. Have a special treat. Read a book that takes you away from your everyday world. Whatever you do, focus solely on that activity and enjoy it fully in that moment.
- Set a goal. This is the start of the second half of the year. Think of it as a second chance to make goals and resolutions for 2019. Was there something you want to accomplish? Is there something you want to learn about? A habit you seek to change?
Think of summer as a time to shed. In the warmth people (and animals) shed clothing and outer layers of fur. I’m suggesting one can shed some of the weight that drags you down. Not pounds, but thoughts. Shed guilt. Shed responsibility for things you cannot control. Shed stress.
Lifestyle changes can be powerful forces. But sometimes, you need professional help. If you are unable to utilize strategies, or they are not enough to help you through your difficulties, reach out for help. Call the professionals at Ketamine Wellness Centers and start the changes you need for a happier more fulfilling life.
Dr. Ellen Diamond is the Clinical Psychologist for Ketamine Wellness Centers