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Summertime blues exist even for those of us with family and friends. As lonely as the feelings are, in reality you are not as alone as you think. Continue reading to learn 10 powerful ways to help yourself deal with, and perhaps even beat your summertime blues.
Why do I have summertime blues?
When we think of summertime, we often think of pool parties, barbecues, and long sunny days. In reality though, sometimes summertime isn’t as exciting as our imaginations make it out to be. For many of us summertime blues is our reality, as our days are accompanied with feelings of loneliness, boredom, sadness, and isolation.
There are many reasons summertime blues may be your experience. Your friends and colleagues may go on extended vacations, people may be moving away for a new job, and acquaintances may go back home when school or work is out. From one day to the next it can seem like everyone has exciting and endless summer plans, while you’re left without anything exciting going on. You may start to wonder if there’s something wrong with your life – if you still feel like you have one!
Whatever the reason for your feelings, please don’t worry! Many people feel this way. Fortunately, there are things you can do to try to ease the feelings of sadness, loneliness, boredom, and/or isolation that accompany your summertime blues.
How can I deal with my summertime blues?
Here are my top 10 tips to help you deal with & perhaps even beat your summertime blues:
1Examine why you are feeling this way:
Do you feel lonely because you actually have no one to spend time with, or because the people in your life aren’t meeting your needs? Both are valid, but it’s important to examine the cause of your feelings so you can pinpoint how to deal with them.
Are you bored because you have no plans, or because the things you have to do are not interesting to you? Knowing where you stand in the present circumstance will help you determine how to move forward. Try to get clear on what’s missing so you have an easier time filling it. Solving the wrong problem won’t get you where you want to go, so first get crystal clear on what the issues and feelings are.
2Get comfortable reaching out:
If you have people you want to spend time with this summer, you might have to leave your comfort zone a bit and reach out first. Yes, FIRST! This seems intimidating, especially if the people you want to spend time with aren’t close friends. You need to trust that reaching out will get easier with practice. Also, remind yourself that rejection is a normal part of life and although it will hurt, it won’t kill you.
3Find things you enjoy doing alone:
Are you interested in any new hobbies? See if you can find a YouTube tutorial and jump in! Learning something new is rewarding and it can be a good way to get your mind off of your current feelings. If learning something new doesn’t excite you, make a list of activities you enjoy doing alone. Items can include, reading, walking, hiking, a new exercise class, or experimenting in the kitchen. Having activities you enjoy in your own company is a healthy tool to cultivate in adulthood. If the mere thought of alone time frightens you, perhaps it’s time to practice doing things ALONE. Here again, the more you practice the easier and more enjoyable it will become.
4Explore your area:
Have you ever really explored the city or town you live in? Give yourself permission to go on a Google binge and find out what your city has to offer. Google “things to do in [ YOUR CITY]” to see what people from your area recommend to visitors. Chances are you’ll find something exciting that you didn’t know existed! Remember, tourists likely come to your city and leave feeling as though there wasn’t enough time to explore all the things it has to offer. Dig deep!
If there are people you want to spend time with, but can’t due to the distance, set up a regular time to video chat or to simply speak on the phone. Having a regular FaceTime session scheduled will tide over your feelings of isolation. It will also help you stay in touch with the feelings of a deep and satisfying connection to someone you love.
There are also apps you can use to find social connections. Meetup, which has different groups for a variety of interests, and Facebook groups are a good place to start.
6Get off social media:
This may seem counterintuitive to the previous suggestion, but it’s not. Tip #5 – connect digitally, explored using social media for meaningful connection when distance is an issue, and preferability as a way to find real-time / in-person connection.
Tip #6 – get off social media is for you if you go on social media to connect with people and leave feeling empty. When this happens, it’s probably time to take a break. Go through your social media feeds and mute or unfollow those accounts that make you feel less than.
If you’re already only following accounts that make you feel good and you still leave social media feeling rotten, consider limiting your screen time. Limit your screen time on all apps that make you feel worse after use. If you need some extra help restricting your screen time try an app that restricts screen time for you.
7Get real in your journal:
Do you feel like you have no one to talk to? Get it all out in your journal. Pretend you’re talking to someone you can be most yourself with. Is that your best friend, your therapist, or yourself? Whomever it is, spill it all out to them in your journal. Don’t worry about sounding a certain way, just write all that comes to you. The act of writing your feelings down will help you let go of their intensity and also process the important messages they hold.
Nothing builds a community like helping others. Is there a cause you’re passionate about? Google it and see what organizations are involved with it in your area. Not only will you have something to do, but you will likely meet many people who are also passionate about the cause. Ding, ding, you now have an extended social circle.
9Make plans you’re looking forward to:
Summer can seem to drag on forever when you have no plans on the horizon, so make some plans that get you excited! You don’t have to spend a fortune and go on vacation, but you could take a road trip, visit a museum, see a show, or visit someone who lives a bit more North or South for the day or weekend. Having something set to look forward to can be uplifting.
10Know when it’s time to call in extra help:
Sometimes summertime blues, chronic feelings of loneliness, isolation, sadness or boredom can actually be a symptom of something greater. The hectic hustle bustle of regular life leaves little time to think and deal with underlying issues of grief, trauma, and/or depression. With the time and space a lighter summer schedule provides you may be reeling from this underlying pain. If you think this may be the case, summer is the perfect time to call in the help of a professional. A therapist will help you understand and deal with your feelings in a way that will leave you feeling stronger and more alive as you get ready to embrace the New Year.
What’s your favorite way to beat loneliness, boredom, and isolation in the summertime?
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