Summertime! That part that you anticipate the moment Christmas is done, and yet when it finally arrives it's very easy to slip into those classic "summer blues". The crazy thing is, nobody wants to admit they're feeling a bit on the down side because Summer is the "best season", the time to do stuff, go on holidays and spend every day hosting BBQ's, playing beach volley ball and having water fights with your friends...right? Well no, because even in in this season life goes on. Over the years there's always been some point where I've had a bit of a tip and felt the sadness of Summer - so here are my tips on keeping happy and embracing the season we all love the most!
1. Fuck what everyone else is doing
We are all aware that we all have the social media bug, and it's easy to dream away your days scrolling on Instagram or stalking people's Facebook to look at their holidays and trips. I love looking at people's travel photo's as I find it gives me inspiration and new ideas on where I'd like to visit in the future - but when it gets to an unhealthy envy of why are they there and I'm stuck here, it's time to sign off.
People only post the good bits on social media and this is something we need to start remembering every time we get on to Twitter or Facebook or whatever else. For example, in June I went interailing with my boyfriend which was one of the most incredible experiences of my life, but I only posted the amazing sites we saw and incredible things we did. I didn't talk about the stress of getting lost, the tiredness of long train and coach journeys, the panic when running low on money or even divulge the terrifying experience of getting pick pocketed our passports just twenty minutes before going home. Yes, shit happens, and just because I didn't post it on Instagram doesn't mean it doesn't.
2. Fill up your days
If you're lucky enough not to be spending your Summer working full time, try and fill up your days with different things to do. This doesn't always have to mean spending money. There are loads of things you can do on a budget - go on a country walk, chill in the park, find a spot to sunbathe with your mates, get a disposable BBQ and some food and beers from Aldi and chill in a field somewhere soaking up the rays. You could also look at smaller festivals that might just be on a for a day that you could attend, head to a beer garden or grab a pub lunch one afternoon, take a visit to the zoo or even fill up balloons and get your friends round for a water fight. Hitting the beach if the weather is alright is always a good idea too, just grab a bit of a picnic and jump on the train. The picture at the top of this post features the beautiful Formby beach, North England.
3. Don't rely on the weatherman
If the weather is bad or your friends are busy, don't just slump around. There's loads of other ways to keep busy like making a blog, scrap book or learning something new. And don't be afraid to go it alone. A country walk alone (as long as it's not too secluded or in the dead of night) can be really relaxing, and you can even take a camera along and practice your photography skills!
4. Plan ahead
There will be something else after Summer - it's called Autumn, and it's hectic and you will suddenly hear that dreaded C word (Christmas) and wonder where your life is going. Autumn always seems to be a crazy time of year, so get the stuff you want to get done now and focus your time achieving things rather than being sad over other people's achievements. If you need a job for when you go back to university, or you've graduated, Summer is the time to look - not Autumn, especially if you're just looking for something quickly like a Christmas temp job. Also, if you've got stuff to do in Autumn, like reading or projects for school try and get a head start. You will thank yourself come October!
A great way to use your extra time in Summer and boost your CV is to get involved with voluntarily work. During Summer 2013 I volunteered for three months at my local charity shop - I made friends, got an extra set of skills on my CV and increased my prospects of getting a job. It also gave me more confidence in the retail sector (which I now work in) and most importantly I found my passion in volunteering and making a difference in my community - something that in my eyes is priceless!
5. Remember what Summer means to you
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, Summer implies we should be out 24/7 with our friends or finding someone to hook up with, but it's just not the case. British Summertime is hardly gonna present Caribbean weather every day, nor are you gonna have the funds to travel and do everything what you want, but that doesn't mean your Summer is a waste. Remember that Summer is your time - even if it means you are working full time, know that you need that money and you're not "wasting" your Summer by going out and getting it. Some years you have to sacrifice going on holiday, but as long as you use the Summer to do something then it doesn't really matter what that something is.
I hope this post may give you a boost and reaffirm that we do all get Summer blues, we just might not admit it! Keep yourself happy, active and in touch with friends over the Summer months, and if they are busy focus on the things you want to do. There's tonnes of stuff you can do to better yourself and avoid having a full blown marriage with Netflix. And if you are one of us stuck at work over the Summer, know that whatever you need that payday for is put to good use and it will be far from a wasted season.
How do you keep happy over Summer? Post your tips below! And tweet me at @sweetsevenfive.