Once the school year ends and you don't have as many obligations taking up your time, it's easy to start overthinking and getting anxious.
It's ironic because summer break is supposed to be the time to relax. The key to avoid getting stuck inside your own head is to keep your positive momentum up, continue learning new things, see life from new perspectives and plan something to look forward to.
Here are seven tips to help you squash your summer blues and have the time of your life instead.
Plan a trip.
Traveling is an ideal way to refresh your spirit and revitalize your perspective.
Why sit on the couch reading travel books when you can get out into the world and spontaneously wander? There are seven continents on this earth, and unique cultures and wonders inhabit every one of them. Like pasta and "The Godfather"? Go to Sicily. Like turtles? Go to Ecuador.
Of course, not everyone has the privilege to jet-set across the world. That doesn't need to stop you from traveling. There are tons of beautiful, free campsites in the United States. Borrow a tent from a friend and go camping on your day off work. Just get out there however you can.
Learn a new hobby.
Don't let today's achievement-oriented culture brainwash you into believing that the only skills you should learn are the ones that lead to money and jobs.
Undertaking diverse activities broadens your point of view and improves your intelligence and wellbeing. The path to happiness and success is not linear; side tangents can be useful. There are infinite hobbies to choose from, and you should choose the ones that you feel drawn to.
Learning a new song on the guitar and belting it out unapologetically like Stevie Nicks is an amazing way to overcome your inhibitions. Music is so closely connected to emotion that playing a song can reconnect you to yourself and help you work through your feelings.
Yoga is a wonderful way to let go of anxiety.
Stretching your muscles and going through yoga poses feels good if you have tension in your body. Yoga also encourages you to meditate and let go of the constant stream of thoughts that hinder your ability to enjoy the moment.
Seriously, yoga is awesome and healing.
Being stuck in your own head causes you to feel isolated.
Volunteering is a great way to remind yourself that you are not alone, and you are connected to other human beings. It is so rewarding to make a positive impact on another person. For example, try helping at-risk kids graffiti in a constructive and creative place or taking care of your local beach.
Choose a cause that you care about, and get involved.
Get a daily schedule.
Having certain activities that you do on a daily basis can prevent you from becoming immobile.
It doesn't matter whether the activities are easy or difficult. Maybe it's cleaning the dishes every morning after you wake up. Maybe it's waking up at 6:45 am and running three miles every day. The point is, it gets easier once you make a habit of it. You might find yourself thinking, “I don't feel like exercising today,” to which you can respond, “But it's part of the daily schedule, and so I have to do it.”
Humans are subject to inertia -- the more you move, the easier it is to stay in motion. At the same time, don't be too harsh on yourself. If you wake up one morning and genuinely cannot bring yourself to do anything, then save it for tomorrow.
It's summertime; you're allowed to be lazy and do nothing some days. Forgive yourself!
Connect with other people.
Do you feel lonely? Spending too much time indoors watching TV or playing on your cellphone can have that effect.
Make a point of reaching out to someone else. It's easy enough to connect; all you have to do is send a Facebook message asking someone if they want to go to the beach or get lunch.
People can be flaky sometimes, getting stuck inside their own insular existences and not interacting with others, which is why you are the one that needs to take the first step. Choose a person you want to get to know better and ask him or her to hang out!
Hopefully we can all use these tips to get out of our egos and expand our perspectives this summer. And, most importantly, have fun!