Getting the Most Joy Out of Our Hectic Summers

By Jessica Glynn, LMSW

Most of us New Yorkers get very excited at the thought of summer and the three months of nice weather and sunshine it brings to us. We can get so excited that we jam pack our weekends with plans. Before we know it, all of our weeks are booked through until the end of August. While it feels great at first, some of that excitement fades when we recognize that it is all easier said than done.

The desire to get the most out of summer can quickly become days of stressful travel, squeezing ourselves into small spaces in shore houses and summer getaways, or packing ourselves into crowded rooftops and outdoor spaces in the city. This leaves us with limited alone time for relaxation, rest, and reflection (which many of us need to stay present and fulfilled). Here are few things to keep in mind to stay present and satisfied at the end of each of our weekends:

Plan alone time.
Decide to make a plan in the morning, the afternoon, or evening to set aside some time for yourself. Whether this is taking a walk, run, or a coffee break in a park, it is important to have an escape for yourself to relax and just breathe. Reflect upon the parts of the weekend that have past and enjoy thinking about what you would like to do with the rest of it to feel fulfilled. Since most of our days are filled with family, friends, and even many strangers around us, this is a time to quiet the mind and spend some time getting to know what you want.

Limit alcohol consumption.
Although summer’s motto may be “Rosè All Day,” this may not be the best way to fill your day. Drinking clouds our minds and it can feel like we aren’t as present as we could be. In addition to the chemical and physical anxiety consuming too much alcohol can bring the following day, it can also leave us feeling like we lost time. We might feel like the weekend got away from us and feel down on Monday. 

Take time to be active and engage with nature.
We often connect with others on a deeper level when we are bonding through physical activities like walking, hiking, kayaking, or stand up paddle boarding. This also gives us the opportunity to take in the beauty of nature. Planning these types of activities can make us feel more accomplished and happy with our decisions.

Jessica Glynn is a therapist at Cobb Psychotherapy. If you would like support in prioritizing and taking care of your mental health, contact Cobb Psychotherapy and see how therapy can help.