"There ain't no cure for the summertime blues. " - Eddie Cochran
Just the other day, I came up with what I think is the perfect metaphor to describe this terribly hot summer:
“It’s like standing next to a bonfire in a sauna. ”
With that in mind, is it any wonder that so many of us get some version of the summertime blues?
So let’s look at some of the various types of summertime blues, and then what to do about them.
The Plain Ol’ Summertime Blues
Kids don’t seem to be bothered by the heat as much as adults. For many adults, the heat saps energy and motivation, wears them out, and keeps them inside. Spending too much time inside is not only unhealthy physically and emotionally, it severely limits your perspective on the world. Many people end up moving only to go from the house to work and back again.
What to do
1. Get up and get outside! Be sure to take the necessary precautions, just get outside.
2. If the heat is just too much for you, gyms, malls and theaters are air-conditioned, and get you out of the house.
3. Go do something! How long can you watch other people live on TV?
We behave strangely around vacation time. Somehow we believe that cramming a year’s worth of leisure and living into a few days or even two weeks is going to be a relaxing thing. Then we come back exhausted, stressed out, and needing a vacation from our vacation.
Another strange thing we do is make sure the house is immaculate before we leave. When my dad did this as I grew up, I always wondered if we were getting it clean for the burglars. Now I do the same thing.
Why do we do this?
What to Do
4. Don’t try to cram too much into each day.
5. Think small, aim low, go slow. Relax.
6. Leave the schedule at home. Dump the itinerary and just have fun.
7. One of the most relaxing vacations can be one at home. It’s restful and inexpensive.
This is what psychologists call “post-reinforcement pause. ” That’s just a ten dollar phrase for getting back to reality after lots of good stuff.
What to Do
8. Take several small vacations instead of just one long one.
9. Come back early enough to have enough transition time between vacation and work.
For some of us, the summer brings with it times of transition. Life changes such as a graduation, a move, or beginning something new can be bittersweet.
What to Do
10. Allow some room for the sadness that naturally comes at the end of one phase of life.
11. Celebrate the accomplishments and memories of the phase of life that is ending.
12. Make room for the excitement that a new phase of life can bring. What are some things you can do now that you couldn’t do before?
The “We’ve Got It Backwards” Blues
Remember when we were kids and had the whole summer off from school? The problem was we were kids, didn’t have much money to spend and didn’t know what we wanted to do.
Now we are adults, hopefully have some extra income and some idea of what we would like to do, and we have to work all summer. It’s just backwards, methinks.
What to Do
13. Do something child-like. That’s child-like, not child-ish. Having a squirt gun fight in the yard could be a lot of fun and amuse the neighbors, too.
14. Do something you’ve always wanted to do. Fulfill a dream.
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