Summer is often a time of year most people look forward to. Warm weather, vacations, and more social activities begin to fill everyone’s calendars. However, for a person with anxiety, the summer can become stressful and overwhelming. Here are some tips to make summer more enjoyable for those who tend to feel overwhelmed by all that summer has to offer.
Challenge yourself to try something new this summer. Whether it is participating in a race or starting a new hobby, show yourself that you can do new things. Trying something new can help you to feel purposeful and proud of your accomplishments. Recognize each step you take and celebrate any small progress that you make while working on your goal.
2. Make a Plan
If summer for you means less structure and more free time, create a new summer schedule. Try to create a new routine you can follow throughout the summer that will keep you busy and your mind occupied. If having too much free time is overwhelming for you, find activities you can participate in and add them to your daily routine to keep you from feeling unbalanced.
Colorado has a lot to offer with an abundance of hikes, pools, and running trails. Take a new hike to see a sunrise or start running outside. Try out a new gym membership. Any physical activity will help to get endorphins pumping through your body.
4. Go Outside
Fresh air and sunlight are great tools for increasing serotonin levels and lowering anxiety. This summer, make an effort to be outside more. Take walks around the neighborhood or start gardening to make an effort to get some of those rays. Find pleasure in doing things in nature and recognize the calmness that being outside brings to you.
5. Mindfulness & Meditation
Focus on the present. Do not worry about what’s coming up next month, take some time every day to be still and focus on what is going on around you. Pay attention to the sound of your feet hitting the pavement as you run, the taste of a meal you have made, or the feel of the sun on your face as you spend time outside.
If you, or someone you know, is struggling with anxiety, do not hesitate to seek for help. There are many resources available to those in the community.
- The Center for Family and Couple Therapy is a Commitment to Campus partner that offers services for individuals, couples, and families. If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment, call (970) 491-5991.
- Students can make an appointment with a CSU Health Network counselor at (970) 491-6053. You can also visit counseling services at 151 W. Lake St. on the 3rd floor of the CSU Health and Medical Center.
- SummitStone Health Partners provides services for those in Fort Collins. They can be reached at (970) 494-4200.
- The Moving to Mindful group will be running during the last summer session on Mondays and Wednesdays. Contact CHSS-HDFS_M2M@mail.colostate.edu for more information.
Reference: Wiener, Elizabeth, Brookman, Lisa. (2018). 6 Ways to Take Care of Your Mental Health This Summer. Reader’s Digest Best Health.
By Rachel Miner
Rachel grew up in Buffalo, NY and got her Bachelor of Science degree in family life and human development from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. She enjoys reading, doing things outside, and being with her friends and family. In the past, she has worked with children and teenagers with behavioral problems. Rachel is excited to explore Colorado and to start her first year in the Marriage and Family Therapy program at CSU.