The summer solstice is almost upon us. Summer usually brings along associations with sweaty sunny days, cooler leisurely evenings, melting ice cream, lazy beach days, more time outdoors….. and we recall things almost with that hazy, sunny halo around events. Many times, especially if you are in school, have school aged children or are just used to the school routines from childhood, we cannot wait for summer to come…. and then once it comes, we don’t know what to do with it.
At the very least, summertime brings about changes in routines. Sometimes that means that you take time off from work/school to go on vacation/”staycation”, sometimes it means longer/shorter work days, sometimes it leads to having a lot more time “off”…. Don’t we all count down to the days when we have free time…then we get it and can feel a bit lost as to how to use it. We finally have all of this time to do whatever we want….and then may feel anxious, sad and almost paralyzed with what to do now. If you have had these experiences, here are a few suggestions for what to do with yourself during those times.
Accept your feelings.
You have spent alot of your time and life rushing from one thing to the next. It makes sense that your mind, body and spirit would be at a loss with what to do when there is nothing specific that has to be done. Accept that these feelings are reasonable and normal…and feelings begin and end, they don’t last forever.
Do something with your feelings.
Sit with your feelings…feel them, accept them and then use that energy for something. Do you feel anxious? Do something to express that feeling like writing in a journal. Do something to utilize that energy such as enjoying a short yoga sequence from a free YouTube channel or a 10 minute guided meditation from an app, like the Calm app.
Set a routine.
Anytime you feel overwhelmed, paralyzed or lost, one of the first things that helps is to find a way to feel grounded. The first step can be to set a routine. It can be something as simple as setting a set sleep/wake time daily, setting aside 5 minutes to meditate, taking out your clothes for the day, etc. Anything that makes you feel productive and grounded works.
Make a list.
Make a list of things that you enjoy and always say you want to do, but don’t have/make the time to do them. Include everything from small tasks like setting your coffee maker to brew your coffee when you wake up in the morning to taking a walk in the park or something more involved such as plan a vacation, take a dance class. Make a long list and keep it handy. Anytime you feel lost, pick one thing and do it.
Sit with mindful moments.
You have waited with baited breath for this moment…the time to actually have TIME to do whatever you want…so pay attention to how you feel, what you are thinking… ground yourself by focusing on your experiences with your 5 senses…how does the air smell, what do you feel on your skin, what can you hear, etc… Just BREATHE IN AND OUT… take in those moments…and somewhere in the midst of your breaths, some clarity will come and you will take your next steps