Stories of high-profile, successful celebrities committing suicide, and news about immigrant families being broken up at the U.S. border, are the tip of the iceberg, when it comes to the things that can give you the summer blues.
Do you ever feel frustrated when you watch the Instagram Stories of people who are jet-setting throughout Europe, or spending days on the beach with their significant other, because you’re still just on your regular, 9-5 grind this summer?
Well, you’re not alone. Although the summertime can bring feelings of joy and excitement for many people, for others, it’s something completely different. It’s easy to see why the summer blues can hit you head on, and get you in a funk (not to mention the unbearable heat and humidity).
As they say, comparison is the thief of joy. So if you are constantly looking around at other people’s lives, and thinking, “Wow, their life is so much better than mine. I wish I could be like them!”, stop it right now. We all have our challenges, and we all have our struggles, and no matter how perfect people’s lives may seem on online, no one’s life is perfect.
I shared the message below on Facebook and Instagram recently, because I was going through a really hard time personally, and wanted to encourage someone else who might be dealing with similar issues.
How To Beat The Summer Blues As A Busy, Working Mom
1. Get clear on what you’re feeling and why. It’s important to understand what you’re feeling, and where those feelings are stemming from. Are you feeling irritable and sad because you’re just overtired, and need to rest, or are you dealing with depression? Are you constantly in a bad mood, and feeling frustrated all the time, because your partner is not supporting you the way that they should, or do you need to start saying no more often, to free up more of your time and energy? Write down your thoughts, and your feelings, and then dig a little deeper to discover what is the root cause of those feelings. From there, you can determine what you need to do to resolve them, and get on a path to feeling better.
2. Make your mental health and wellness a top priority. It’s crazy how we think we can spend every second of our daily lives taking care of other people, while neglecting ourselves, and not experience any consequences of those actions. As a busy working mom, you are responsible for taking care of many other people, besides yourself. That means, it is crucial that you are in optimal health, mentally and emotionally strong, and prioritizing your self-care every day. Typically, in our care for others, we automatically put ourselves on the back burner, and sacrifice our mental (and physical) health, in an effort to make sure that everyone else is okay. If you’re guilty of doing this, please stop today! It is not healthy for you, and it is not sustainable. You deserve better. You deserve more. You deserve to be a priority in your own life.
3. Get up, and get moving. It’s been scientifically proven that physical activity improves your mood, and gives you clarity of mind. In my experience, I’ve found that the times when I am feeling at my lowest, are also the times when I’m least physically active. That’s no coincidence! Incorporate physical activity into your weekly schedule, by any means necessary. Depending on your situation, this can look very different from your average work-out. You may need to get off a train stop before your normal stop for work, and start walking those extra blocks every day, in order to get more exercise. You may need to consider adopting a dog, so that you will feel more obligated to be more active, and get out and go for a long walk twice a day, because someone else is depending on you to do that. You may need to stop working so late, so that you can dedicate some time in the evenings to working out. On the contrary, you may need to go to bed earlier, so that you can wake up earlier in the morning, to work out, before you go to work. Whatever you need to do to get more active, make it happen. Your life and well-being depend on it.
4. Talk to someone. Sometimes you just need to vent, and get out of your own head. Talking to a trusted friend, family member, or even your significant other, can help you work through your feelings, and get out of a funk. Other people will provide you with a perspective that you may not have even considered, and may see solutions that you were unable to see. Heck, sometimes just the act of talking to someone about how we’re feeling makes us feel better, even if they don’t offer any actual solutions. What you don’t want to do is keep everything bottled up inside, and deal with these feelings on your own, because you don’t want to be a burden to anyone, or appear to be weak. You are human! It’s okay to be sad sometimes, and it’s normal to struggle, and go through these difficult periods. Just don’t go through it alone. People can’t help you and support you, if they don’t know what’s going on, and what you’re going through.
5. Create a positive, inspiring environment around you. You’d be surprised how much your surroundings impact how you feel. Your “summer blues” may be the result of you feeling stagnant, and uninspired because you’re looking at the same four walls every day, or the same stores, in the same neighborhood, the same subway stop, etc. every day. It’s time to shake it up! Here are a few ideas:
Redecorate your home by adding some new pictures, throw pillows, rugs, and beautiful decor pieces (Home Goods is great for this!) to your space.
Post inspirational and motivational quotes on your walls, on your desk, or in your cube at work.
Put pictures of beautiful places you hope to travel to one day (or have already traveled to and loved) around you, to keep you inspired, and remind you of exciting adventures to come.
Post positive affirmations, cards from loved ones, and other positive imagery throughout your home, work, and work-out spaces.
Take the scenic route when commuting home from work, to discover some new, beautiful places you may have forgotten exist.
Get outside more! During your lunch break, go outside, and go for a walk, to simply take in the scenery, and take time to day dream, and let your mind wander to beautiful memories, or beautiful experiences you want to create.
Take a day trip on a Saturday to a farmer’s market, the beach, a farm, a water park, a friend's pool, etc., and have some fun, in a different environment from what you’re used to.
So just in case you’ve been experiencing the “summer blues”, and feeling bad about it, now you know that you’re not alone, and you have some tools to help get you through to the other side. Every season of life brings challenges, but it also brings with it many opportunities for enjoyment, and positive reflection and experiences. Take things one day at a time, and find something good in every day.
Now it’s your turn. Have you ever experienced the “summer blues”? How did you get through it? Which of these tips resonated with you the most?
Tell me in the comments below. Let’s keep the conversation going!
If you need to vent, or need a place to share your thoughts, this is it! Post a comment below, and please share this post on social media, to help encourage someone else.
Also, don't forget to join me for my upcoming Jump Rope Classes in NYC and Philly. Click HERE for more details and to sign up for class!