Summer is supposed to be a time marked with warmth, making memories, and well….plentiful relaxation not afforded to us during other times of the year. Summer is supposed to be that much-needed break from the hustle & bustle of juggling what seems like a thousand responsibilities and tasks at once. Our planners are no longer overflowing with homework assignments, sports practices, club meetings, and extra-help schedules. Instead, our biggest task to accomplish during the summer is to focus on self-reflection and growth and to simply embrace the present moment through spontaneity and leisure. A seemingly easy task to accomplish, right? Wrong. For some reason, although we always talk about how much we “need a break” from the business of the everyday routine, when it comes down to it, it can be extremely difficult (and even uncomfortable) for many of us to simply pause. For some, guilt may even be the emotion concomitant to relaxation. However, we should never feel guilty for taking some time to concentrate on ourselves and our own needs. To diminish such guilt, we need to reframe and redefine boredom as a therapeutic break to revitalize. Here are 5 important things that everyone should remember this summer:
1. Reserve a portion of your time everyday to focus on yourself.
Whether this means sleeping in some days for rejuvenation, painting as a means of catharsis, or engaging in an activity you truly enjoy, don’t forget to take care of yourself and maintain a healthy mindset this summer. For we can’t help others without helping ourselves first.
2. A so-called “bikini body” is merely any body with a bikini on.
This summer, we will all inevitably encounter firsthand ads, social media posts, or magazine covers promoting the much coveted “bikini body.” I don’t think I will ever truly understand this foreign, deluded concept….literally the only distinguishing criteria between a bikini body vs. a body is that one is wearing a certain style of swimwear. You don’t need to be a certain weight or look a certain way in order to wear a bikini….instead, being confident in your own skin is the most admirable trait.
3. Do things you can’t otherwise do the rest of the year.
Whether this means picking up a towel and going to the beach with friends, taking photography or cooking classes with the extra free time, or reading (wait for it….) for fun, take full advantage of this overwhelming-planner-free season.
4. In more cases than not, social media does not reflect reality.
It can be really easy to fall into an endless cycle of comparison and shame when looking at a ceaseless Instagram feed of people exploring breathtaking places, going to different restaurants everyday, and having the time of their lives with friends at music festivals. However, just remember that although someone’s life may look a certain way online, it may not actually be so perfect or glamorous. Don’t beat yourself up for not having all these adventures lined up. Instead, focus on you without using others in the same equation.
5. Don’t obsessively scroll through social media to see what others are doing. Instead, use this time to experience life for yourself.
Why obsess over the activities and engagements of others when you could be delving deeper into this world of infinite possibility? Don’t live vicariously through what you see on the screen—experience your life through your own eyes.