The sun is officially out for the summer here in south Texas! I have spent every day by the pool and have a hardy tan line across my shoulders. I am in my zone and relaxed.
Most people can agree that summertime is a season everyone looks forward to all year long. How couldn’t you be excited! Going to beach and pool parties, music festivals, and general relaxing from the school year. At least that’s what I see on Instagram…
The sad reality of summer is there is extra time to be quiet and think, overthink, and wallow in your depression. Depression and Scoliosis go hand-in-hand from the chronic pain, unfortunately. I can attest to this! I have been on anti-depressants for exactly 2 years from this weekend. I didn’t even realize that it was the two-year anniversary of my last and worst suicide attempt where I spend the entire summer at an inpatient and then outpatient mental hospital (while I also took a summer college course that I made an A in).
This weekend was very hard for me mentally, but I have come a long way. This weekend, I was happy and had a lovely time, but down deep I felt something was off, but I powered through and self-reflected on why I felt that way! I can be proud of myself that I am a stronger person now!
I find weekends, holiday breaks, and summer breaks to be very stressful for me since I began college in 2014. I would be on such a mental high from college with a jam-packed schedule. I went to school full-time, played club Ultimate Frisbee, was an officer in the honor’s society for teachers KDP, and the treasurer for my sorority, AOII.
Along with homework, I never had downtime! So, when the semester is over and my friends go home, I panic with all my free time. I remember sobbing on many occasions because I had nothing to do. This made me feel unimportant, unproductive, and so very lonely!
After graduating and having a better perspective now, my feelings came from the fact that I cared about what people thought of me. A whole lot.
I thought, “if her social life is trash, she MUST be a weirdo.” With social media showing every second of people’s lives, I felt like I couldn’t hide and had to portray a certain persona. That pressure paired with my perfectionism and anxiety, is a recipe for disaster, sis.
This is a lot of personal information, but I feel like I can’t be the only one who feels this way! Just to save you the hassle of having to go through that alone, here is what I have learned about keeping the summer blues away.
Learn to Enjoy Your Own Company
Being around friends 24/7 can lead to a slight co-dependence in some cases because many people struggle to enjoy being alone. It all boils down to not liking yourself. If you think X, Y, and Z about yourself, that amplifies when you are alone and brings down the mood in an instant. Instead of thinking, “I am all alone and I am so bored”, think about what you would do if you had a friend with you…. But then just do it alone. If you want to go see a movie, go to an event, or take an art class don’t wait around for someone to be available to go with you. Have a day where you can journey out with a positive mood and maybe even meet new people with a common interest.
Get Your To-Do List Finally Done
If you do have a busy-body mentality like me, then being complacent for more than a day is not fun. Set a goal for yourself every day to still achieve that feeling of accomplishment. Maybe, you can schedule in a small specific chore for yourself to do every day to make sure your house is always nice and tidy. You can set a workout goal for every day, also! Whatever is important to you that you have been wanting to achieve, take it in small bites each day and it will happen! As long as you complete one thing each and every day!
I know it’s a wild concept, but practice relaxing! Personally, the best way to do this is through mindfulness! Mindfulness is like a muscle and you have to practice! A great way to start is to look up on YouTube, “mindfulness meditation”. Pick literally any of them, put your earphones in, and lay down in your bed. You will feel so refreshed and relaxed afterward! I learned this trick in college when I would try to sleep in my car on breaks between classes for a recharge!
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