Recharge and Reflect: Navigating Transitions During Summer Months
Now that we’re squarely in the midst of summer and mid-way through 2023, many of us may still be adjusting to new routines, jobs or other expectations for ourselves. Summer is often thought of as a time for relaxation and vacationing, and while this can be true for some, it’s also a period of significant fluctuation due to things like travel, summer opportunities like short-term jobs, fellowships or other programs, moving into a new apartment or home, etc.
Some of us might be experiencing more available time, whereas others are suddenly busy with seasonal commitments. Whatever your situation, here are some tips and questions to ask yourself in navigating the next month or so:
As with all transitions, adjusting into and out of summer can stir up feelings of anxiety, uncertainty, apprehension, excitement and more. There can also be pressure akin to FOMO, i.e., a need to see, do, be in connection with others - “do it all” - in the span of just 10-12 weeks. Remember that you’re human and we all have finite time and capacity. Rather than trying to “make the most” of summer, what are 1-3 tangible things that your future self might be glad that you did (or didn’t do) this summer? Is it getting back into yoga, spending time near the ocean or other open water, reading a book or listening to a meditation that you’ve been meaning to get to for ages?
While summer often brings more sunlight and longer days, it can also be the beginning of seasonal shifts that for some people trigger increased anxiety or depression. The things that have been challenging for you up until this time of year - e.g. grief/loss, managing chronic health conditions, becoming a new parent, a recent breakup with a partner — are still going to be hard, and that’s ok and to be expected. Try to give yourself some grace in moments when you find your self-critical voice coming out in full force.
What opportunities can you seek out in order to recharge - emotionally, physically, mentally, intellectually, spiritually? Even if you can’t take little or any time off, what small practices can you create or re-introduce in your life to feel more grounded?
Jen Brown, LICSW is a licensed independent clinical social worker who has been in clinical practice since 2014. She received her MSW and Certificate in Urban Leadership in clinical social work from Simmons University School of Social Work. She has worked in outpatient mental health and integrative settings in community health centers, college mental health, and in affordable housing. Jen has experience working with depression and other mood disorders, anxiety, trauma/PTSD, substance use and addiction, ADHD, identity shifts/adjustment issues, chronic illness, body image concerns, and relationship issues.
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