The transition from spring to summer brings more than just warmer temperatures. For some it means graduation, moving, starting a new job, or having more social and family commitments. Although these things can be exciting, they also are an adjustment. Transitions can be difficult and warrant more self-care. It can be helpful to plan ahead to implement a different self-care plan as summer approaches. Three things to consider are practicing self compassion, prioritizing stress management techniques and your health, and effective boundary setting and communication skills.
Sometimes we can be a little hard on ourselves during transitions. We may tell ourselves we should be able to function the same way now than we did before the change. However, change brings more stress onto our minds and bodies. If we can speak more kindly to ourselves, practice patience, and recognize that we need more self-care now to compensate for the added stress, the transition can go more smoothly.
Prioritizing Stress Management and Health
Regardless of change, taking care of your physical and mental health are important. Often during times of high stress we can put our health appointments or relaxation techniques on the back burner, feeling that we are too busy to take care of those things. However, this is the most appropriate time to put your health first. A transition is when you should definitely make that therapy appointment, meditate, or go for that half hour walk! We function at our best when we have maintained our health.
Boundary Setting and Communication
The social calendar fills up in the blink of an eye in the summer. It is okay to decline some invitations if you know you are scheduling too much of your time. Take an honest look at a typical week of what you would like your time to look like and decide how many social commitments are a good balance for you. If you know you need one day or afternoon every week for yourself to decompress, add it to your calendar and make it a priority. When boundary setting with friends, communicate your needs and that you value the relationship, and try to make time to show them you care in other ways. If boundary setting is challenging for you, consider exploring it with your therapist.