8 Ways to Stay Grounded and Calm Amid Summer Excitement
By: Tajiya Holland
As grains of sand tickle your toes, a gust of sea breeze carries the scent of sunscreen to your nose, confirming that summer has arrived. Summer is the season when we all want to do, see, and experience everything the world has to offer. However, while going to the beach, picnicking, attending festivals, and late-night gatherings, when will you be implementing self-care?
As children, summer was about having fun and taking a break. As adults, we rush off to events after working long hours and jam-pack our weekends to make the most of the season. Amid all the excitement, however, it’s not uncommon to feel drained, overwhelmed, and even lonely.
Here are a few ways the summertime can cause you to feel ungrounded and overwhelmed:
- Having a chaotic schedule
- Overwhelmed by nostalgia
- Too much heat and humidity
- Body image issues
- Feeling alone
Being grounded means feeling centered and balanced no matter what’s going on around you—and in the summertime, a lot is going on. Therefore, contrary to popular belief, “summer depression exists and affects four to six percent of the U.S. population,” according to Smitha Bhandari, MD
If you are dealing with depression, it’s best to consult a doctor. If you’re feeling hyperactive or a bit down due to the essence of the season, keep reading for a few summer activities that can help you feel more grounded, calm, and content.
Spending time with yourself pushes you to be more self-reliant and present in your life. If you’re not familiar with dating yourself, it may be uncomfortable at first. You may feel out of place if you’re accustomed to being in social settings. Whether you take yourself on a hike or a trip to a museum followed by brunch, solo dates are great for self-reflection and a better understanding of yourself. Going on solo dates will allow you to better recognize your boundaries and desires, which can help you enjoy the thrills of summer and everything it has to offer.
While immersed and present in your surroundings, looking through the lens provides a positive focus on life’s moments. Whether with a disposable film camera, your smartphone, or a professional DSLR, you can create something beautiful and capture new memories. Choosing your subject, lighting, and angles is a calming practice. Whether you want to photograph nature to appreciate life, take portraits to combat social anxiety, or process grief by capturing heartfelt reminders, try it out and discover new perspectives.
Leave all your worries at home and pack only the essentials you need to live off of for a few days. Camping doesn’t have to be like an episode of Survivor. With the right preparation, you can find bliss and adventure outdoors. Forget about your work inbox and abandon the digital screens, gather your friends or family and reconnect in conversation around a campfire. Exercise by hiking on a nearby trail—the awe-inspiring view at the top will be worth it. Stargaze at night as you connect with yourself and the world. Realize how large the universe is, and feel your troubles diminish as you gain peace and mental clarity. As you end your trip, not only will you bring home memories but you’ll also gain confidence and independence.
DIY Happy Hour
When you and your friends are off the clock, enjoy quality time around a bit of food and drinks. Prepping, mixing, and cooking can be a meditative experience of its own. Direct your attention to the senses on display. Listen to the crunch of the lettuce shredding, the fizzle of the carbonated water, inhale the fresh smell of mint and citrus, and observe the bold color of sangria. Your kitchen can provide a fun and calming ambiance. Ultimately, mindfully preparing dishes will make the experience of eating them more enjoyable!
If you have a garden bed or a bit of countertop space, this is a hobby that rewards either way. Planting a seed, nurturing it, and watching it grow provides a boost of vitamin D while interacting with plants outside and promotes happy feelings and thoughts. When harvesting your crops, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and a boost of self-esteem. If you have a strong green thumb, consider joining a community garden to meet others and create a sense of purpose.
Whether commuting from one place to another or just for joy, all senses are attentive and indulged while bike riding. Feel every bump and dip beneath the tires, hear the whooshing of the wind, and swiftly observe your surroundings. You will find yourself fully aware, yet not overwhelmed, and reactive to everything around you.
Dip your brush or your fingers into your favorite colors and go at it! Painting is a great way to express yourself, and there is no need to be skilled at it. The saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words” is true. Release your worried thoughts and feelings onto the canvas! By giving your emotions a physical space and making them tangible, the agony of keeping them internal will disappear. Positively distract yourself from day-to-day struggles and paint your way to a clearer perspective.
Watch the Sunset
There is a reason why watching sunsets never gets old. The satisfying, stress-relieving feeling is worth experiencing each day. As the clouds move and reshape, find yourself daydreaming and making them out to be shapes of different objects, people, or animals. Get lost in the moment and be inspired as the colors paint the sky. Take a bit of time to give the sky your undivided attention. You don’t have to travel to the best viewing point—enjoy the sunset from the comfort of your home if you can.
Current events can send people into states of caution, fear, and even panic. Taking the time to participate in these grounding activities can help ease some anxiety. Perform these by yourself or in a group setting, at home, or while traveling. Your summer doesn’t have to go according to others. Make the best of your situation and have fun—you deserve it!