By Amy Brightman, LCSW
The first day of summer is June 21st, but with this recent weather, it feels like we completely jumped past spring and landed right into the heat waves of summer. Summer’s reputation is that it is a time to relax and enjoy the outdoors. As kids, it marked the time of no school, a break from daily stresses, and a time to be with friends. As adults, we face the reality that we don’t get summer break anymore and work can continue to be just as busy as it has been. So, with the arrival of summer, take time to think about how to embrace it and feel like a kid again.
Move Outdoors: Get outside and get moving. The combination of exercise and Vitamin D will be great for your mood. Go on early morning runs or evening walks to avoid the heat. Try renting a Citi Bike and ride along the Hudson River or explore new paths in Central Park.
Take a Day Trip: Get out of the City for a day. When the summer heat hits, the concrete jungle can feel extra hot with no escape. Give yourself time away from the City for a day to feel like you can get some space and cool off. New Jersey and Long Island can offer great day trip options. Try the beach getaway deal at Penn Station and go to Long Beach.
Ignite Curiosity: Remember that assigned reading list for school every summer? Give yourself a summer reading list of guilty pleasures. Read fun books you can curl up with and give yourself a break from reading you may have to do for work. If work does get quieter in the summer months, take a class in the evenings of something you’ve always wanted to learn, such as an art or a language. Check out your local library for free classes - it’s also a nice cool, quiet place to get away from the hot, busy City.
Freshen Up: Go for a fresh, new look for the summer and eat fresh, local foods. Go shopping for comfortable, lightweight clothing for the summer, treat yourself to new sunglasses, or get manicures/pedicures to have fun with your summer look. Explore local farmer’s markets and get fresh produce, grow fresh herbs on your apartment windowsill, and snack on refreshing fruit.
Just because we don’t get summer break anymore, doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the summer. Plan some things you want to accomplish this summer that are fun and relaxing. You deserve a break from working hard all year, so chill out with some of these suggestions and let your stress melt away. Happy Summer!
Amy Brightman, LCSW is a therapist at Cobb Psychotherapy. If you would like to work on finding balance and time for self-care this summer, visit cobbpsychotherapy.com to learn more about how therapy can help.