When we think about summer, we often think about long days at the pool or being on vacation, laughter, cookouts, and time spent with friends and family. We picture ourselves feeling carefree.
For many people, summer can actually be a stressful season. It’s a time of transition. Kids are transitioning out of their school routine. College grads are feeling the pressure to find jobs. Parents might have more to coordinate because their children are out of school. There can be tension and stress in getting into a new routine, finding a new way to live.
- Practice relaxation. It’s VERY hard to be truly relaxed and experience stress at the same time. Add a relaxation practice into your daily routine and you will notice a difference! Here are a few ideas from Harvard Medical School.
- Practice self compassion. When we are stressed we often are also critical of ourselves. Intentionally practicing self compassion can help! This might be as simple as giving yourself a break, if you mess up. Dr. Kristin Neff offers some meditation practices and creative exercises to help strengthen your self-compassion.
- Practice goal setting. Sometimes we’re stressed because of everything we have to do or want to do. Setting goals can help clarify where we want to go and what we have to do to get there. Summer can be a great time for re-evaluating the year and spending intentional time planning how we want to live in the coming year. Mindtools.com has some Golden Rules for goal setting to help get you started.