Summer can be a difficult time for recovery because often everything changes. School closes, maybe you begin working full time, youth groups and clubs stop, you move back home, friends travel, the days are longer, clothing changes, and there seems to be an added pressure to “get out and do stuff.”
For me, summer was always a lonely time. All my friends would go to work full time or take summer classes and I would be stuck in my basement suite working from home – all alone.
Friends would travel and go places and I would stay. Until I decided to go home to Zambia for a bit (I know, how exotic! Well not really…), which would come with its own set of adjustments and difficulties.
Yes, sometimes summer just isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
I really wish I could offer a formula for surviving the summer from all aspects, but unfortunately, I can’t. The good news is, though, that this month we will be talking about nothing else here on our site. We’ve got you covered whether your concerns are with your depression recovery, meal plan, social anxiety, or body image in bikini season.
“Preparing for summer” is a theme we consider a necessity – so even though I don’t have all the answers, hopefully, you will find much of what you’re looking for in the weeks to come.
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I can offer this to you, though:
Lauren Bersaglio’s Summer Survival Guide for the Outgoing Introvert
1. Get out and get involved NOW.
Yes, often groups and clubs shut down or slow down over the summer months (lame, I know – don’t get me started…) so the key is to get involved now. Because even though the organized activities may stop, the people don’t magically disappear, and often they still do “unofficial” things during the summer – so get plugged-in now, get your face out there, and remind people you exist and want to be involved.
2. Be a “See you there!” person.
This is a continuation of #1. When trying to get yourself out there and get involved, here’s the ugly truth: you’re probably going to have to show up to some things you don’t really want to do. But that reality is, if you always say no or are a no-show, people will stop inviting you.
So in the weeks when you are really trying to get connected, show up to everything. I’ve learned when it comes to having a social life and a community, in a way you sort of have to “earn the right” to say no – simply because you want people to know you want to be involved, and in order to build that reputation you just need to be there.
3. Show up anyways.
OK so apparently this list is going to keep building on itself. Even once you’ve “earned the right” to say no sometimes, I encourage you to still try your best to say yes and to get out and do stuff. This is especially important if you are new to a community or are just getting connected or if like me you work from home to spend a lot of time alone during the day.
The truth is, even if it’s not your favourite thing to do in the world, you probably will still have more fun than if you sat at home alone and [possibly?] depressed. The other thing is, often when you show up to one of these events you’re not the only one who went “just to get out” – so find these people and hang with them – there you go, new BFFs!
4. Take up a new hobby or join a new club.
Yes, some clubs shut down, but not all clubs do. Consider taking up a new hobby that can be social – whether that means joining an amateur sports team, signing up for a fun (emphasis on “fun”!) fitness class, taking an art class, etc… Not only will this give you something to look forward to each week, but it will also help build a community of people who may not be your “besties” (but who knows!) but will still be a part of your life – like coworkers or classmates.
And hey, maybe even invite one of your new (or old) friends to join you – what a great opportunity to bond!
5. Be the one to make the call.
There comes a time when it’s your turn to initiate. And believe me, I know sometimes initiating sucks, especially when you feel you’re the only one doing it – but some people just aren’t of the personality type to pick up the phone and say “hey let’s go for Frappuccinos!” and yet if you called and invited them they’d be thrilled!
6. Unplug sometimes, please!
Social Media is becoming less and less social and is more like “anti-social media” these days. Yes, there is good that can come from connecting with people on Facebook – that’s the main way I make plans with friends – but the key is to not leave it online.
Get out, be around people, and when you’re with them be present. Don’t spend the time you have with your friends head-down, sharing it on Instagram with your other “friends” or (even worse) “followers.”
You have friends right beside you – engage with them. The others can wait.
So in short, don’t get in your own way.
Don’t let insecurity, laziness, shyness, bitterness, depressing thoughts, or even Facebook get in the way of you doing what you can to create a great summer for yourself!
I hope you all have a wonderful summer! And if you have any tips for how you’re going to make this summer and happy and healthy one, please share below!