It’s summer time, and last week I shared tips on how to savour your summer and get the most out of it. Because we all deserve happiness.
Especially in a pandemic, many are comparing these times to pre-pandemic lives, pre-pandemic summers, full of festivals, clubs, bars, travel… freedom.
It does not mean just because this summer is different than other summers, that it is less than other summers.
It is so important to practice mindfulness, because if we keep comparing the present to the past, and we keep looking at the present with lenses of the past, we become sad because we only see what is now gone.
We should make the best out of these times,without being held back by others.
Whether you are going on a holiday or not, these tips will help you beat summer blues and gently, mindfully, navigate through the summer and low moods.
Dealing With Summer Blues
– Practice gratitude for what’s here right now – instead of comparing to the past
We are champions in focusing on what is not here. That festival that’s cancelled, that trip that you took before covid that your brain made up to be the most amazing time- not only do we tend to romanticise our memories, and only remember and focus on the good parts, we lose sense of what’s in front of us right now.
That is why it is so important to take off those glasses with lenses of the past, and put on our new glasses, with lenses that show the present moment.
By realising what we are grateful for, we automatically bring ourselves back into the present moment and train our brain to focus on the good and positive things, instead of what’s missing.
– Schedule in time to do things you love
When in doubt, always choose yourself. Plan in enough time to pour into your cup and recharge yourself. This can look like me-time, alone time, a walk, a run, going to the hairdresser, going to the movies (which I did this week, for the first time alone, and it ws not at all so scary or lonely as you would think it is!)
– Greet blue moods with self-love & compassion
If there is one thing mindfulness teaches us, it’s that everything passes, you are never alone and compassion is key.
Next time you find yourself in a blue, down, dark mood, accept it. Accept it and show yourself compassion as you would to a friend who would be feeling the same. You would not let them feel bad for feeling bad, would you? Or immediately try to do something to make them happy again? No, you would be there for them, patiently, and accept in whatever mood they are.
We don’t judge the clouds for being there. So, why should we judge ourselves for feeling moody, down, or blue? It’s not your fault. After accepting and moving to gentle self-compassion, see if there is something you need right now. By this, I don’t mean drink your feelings away or eat your feelings away, but maybe journal about, have a good cry, or talk to someone about how you feel.
As I said before, an emotion is temporary. It is passing through. All you need to do is process it properly – instead of suppressing it.
I hope these help you. If you experience low moods for a long period of time, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional. Your mental health matters!
– Discover a new place or activity
Novelty, experiencing new things, has great benefits on our wellbeing. Physically, in our brain, there is some activity that has a direct correlation on our happiness. Our dopamine system in our brain stem, sends our dopamine transmitters to parts of the brain, which have a positive effect on our mood.
So, it is actually proven to improve our mood, and it’s also fun to get out there and try out something new. Even if it is trying a new type of food or drink, going to a museum, or travelling to a part of your city/country you have never been to before. Your brain will thank you, because it loves to absorb new information.
Dealing With Post-Travel Blues
– Journal during & after the trip
The mindful practice of journalling during or after your trip looks like documenting the highlights of your trip, your feelings and everything you want to put from your mind onto paper. It has a lot of benefits, as it allows you to get to know yourself better, see what is on your mind, and helps you remember the good moments.
– Go through souvenirs & photos
Here’s a tip: scroll through photos or souvenirs of past trips and see how your mood shifts. Spoiler alert: you’ll feel full of joy and gratitude for the beautiful experiences you’ve had and the moments you experienced. It will also remind you that good times have come, and bright times are ahead.
– Connect with others & share the experience
There’s nothing like human contact. While most of the activities I shared are done solo, definitely don’t hesitate to reach out to your close ones to tell them about how you feel, talk about your past trip – overall, schedule some quality time in with them. It will remind you of that part of home that is always there for you – family and friends. If you went on a trip with others, stay in touch! Maybe you will end up planning the next trip or simply savour the fun times you had.
Traveling is not only about the moments during the trip. The real savouring and good memories are the sweetest after the trip.
– Greet post-travel blues with gratitude for the good times
As mentioned before, definitely take your time to reflect back with gratitude. As the saying goes: “don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” Cheesy, but true – and hey, what harm can one do with looking up flights online to scout for future trips, or dig into a travel guide to get some inspiration for the next trip?