Thursday, July 12, 2012

5 Ways to Beat the Summer Blues


Are you feeling a bit down today for some reason? 
Annoyed at something that happened at work or school, tired with the frustrations of life, weary over some problem or question that still remains unsolved?
It's super tough to resolve the stress in life on your own sometimes, even if you keep turning those thoughts over and over by yourself. If you find yourself in that kind of state at the moment, then here are five things to try.

1. Start by noticing and appreciating the small things.

We tend to focus so much on the problems right in front of us that we lose sight of everything else, even the small surprises we would normally marvel in if we weren't feeling as bad. Have you looked up at the sky, down by your feet, around at the world, really looked? What have you been missing, and what new things have you noticed?


2. Indulge in your interests and hobbies.

When I get very busy, sometimes I forget to dust off the ol' camera or guitar. Imagine how sad and lonely they feel, just sitting and waiting to be used. Chances are, there are also interests that you've set aside just to get through the day to day rush, or ruminate over your worries. Sure, problem-solving is also important, but it's vital to give your mind a break once in a while. You'll feel refreshed and extra fulfilled by taking that time to do the activities you love.


 3. Keep the big picture in mind.

When we're in the depths of despair, it's easy to think, "Why me? What did I do to deserve this?" or "If only..." or "I'll be happy when I..." But sometimes it helps to remember that everyone has their problems. Some people are just better at covering it up than others, and some are better at releasing their negative energy and focusing on the present moment. You have so much potential, and you still have tomorrow, and the day after that. It all depends on what you choose to do with your time.


4. Go somewhere or do something new.

While a daily routine can be very comfortable and productive for many, it is also an easy trap for boredom or negative feelings to develop. That's why it's a good idea to take a trip if you're feeling down - it doesn't have to be a long trip, or extremely far; a short walk nearby down an unfamiliar path will work just as well. Being in a different environment from what you see every day will stir new feelings in you, and it may also inspire you in new ways. It can be daunting to take the effort, but keep an open mind and give yourself a push. The stimulation will make you grow.


5. Eat well and make your body happy.

Happiness starts from the inside out. Rather than waiting for external factors to come along and make things better, try filling yourself with healthy foods and enough rest. We tend to push ourselves too hard and dismiss the necessities, but actually, your mental well being is definitely affected by your physical state too. Most people these days don't get enough sleep. Have you noticed how instantly refreshed and relaxed you feel after a good night's sleep? Also, try taking in some juicy fruits high in vitamin C (such as this lovely orange), plenty of green vegetables, potassium-rich foods such as bananas and sweet potatoes, and an adequate amount of protein and fiber. Watch the amount of sugary, starchy, and fried foods you eat, and try decreasing the amount. Drink plenty of water, especially during the hot summer months when it's easy to get dehydrated.
Your body will thank you, and you'll instantly feel more alert, ready to face the day!

These are just a few simple tips I have for beating the blues this summer. Of course there are plenty of other ideas, and I might add more in coming days if it's helpful. It's a challenge to practice each of these steps, but take it one at a time - that's why it's called practice! 

All right then, let's get out there and make it an awesome summer!!