Sailing through Summer!
June 28th 2018
We spend all year thinking about and longing for the freedom and fun of the summer months, so why is it that when we get there, some of us find ourselves more than a little discontent and even sometimes willing the start of another school or academic year. In reality, the summer months can feel daunting and unsettling, with the loss of structure or routine, the loss of contact with friends or maybe the stress of trying to find a part time job. None of this is helped by the fact that everyone around us seems to be having the time of their lives (at least that’s how it looks on Snapchat!). It’s not surprising that many of us feel bored or even lonely. But there are some things that we can do, not just take us through the summer, but to help us to really make the most of it;
Routine is key- Deciding on a regular wake up time and scheduling in some activities (both ones you need to do and ones you like to do) within the week can help to give you a rhythm and a sense of achievement.
Connect with yourself and with others- Make the effort to keep in touch with friends and even if they are living far away, get a date in the diary when you can do a day trip together or visit each other. But also remember that summer is a time to reconnect with yourself, so take advantage of the rest period and spend time doing things you love.
Get Active- A healthy body is a healthy mind. The summer can be a great time to invest in your physical health. Do whatever works for you, whether that’s simply getting out for a walk or maybe joining a local sports team.
Take notice of the world around you- In summer we have the luxury of slowing down. We have time to get outside (weather dependant!), connect with the world around us and enjoy the little things. Travel will be a luxury afforded to some but if this isn’t possible maybe plan a day trip to somewhere new, or be a tourist in your own city or town and get out and explore. Discover Ireland is a great website if you are looking for fun things to do.
Give your time, energy or talents to help others- It feels good to do good, and we have all the time in the world during summer to help those around us. This could be something formal, like volunteering through your local volunteer centre or it might be as easy as offering to help your elderly neighbour with their shopping.
Keep learning- This idea might seem off-putting at first when you spend all year learning but the summer is a chance to learn something new that is of interest to you. This might be gaining new knowledge about something, and there are a range of free online courses available, or it might be picking up a new skill like learning a new language or musical instrument.
But if you feel that all these things aren’t working for you and you find yourself struggling this summer then please talk to an adult that you trust. There may also be a Jigsaw near you who can provide guidance and support if you are between the ages of 12-25. You can find out more about Jigsaw by clicking here. Alternatively, you can log on to yourmentalhealth.ie and search for mental health support services near you or talk to your GP (General Practitioner) about supports in your local area.
For more ideas, check out our 45 Fun Things to do This Summer list:
1. Draw up a list of books you want to read and work your way through it.
2. Pick up a musical instrument.
3. Pack a picnic and go to the park.
4. Plan a surprise for someone.
5. Have a bath- candles and relaxing music included.
6. Cook a new recipe.
7. Learn a language.
9. Go to the beach.
10. Visit a new café.
11. Visit a museum/gallery.
12. Lie out under the stars.
13. Camp out with friends-even in the back garden!
14. Organise a games night with friends.
15. Make a Spotify playlist to share with friends.
16. Get your green fingers going and do some gardening.
17. Write a letter to a friend (snail mail style).
18. Research your family history.
19. Upcycle a piece of furniture.
20. Do a walking tour.
21. Declutter your room and bring what you don’t need to a charity shop.
22. Knit or crochet.
23. Record a song or music video.
24. Go fishing.
25. Go to an open mic night.
26. Pick fresh berries and bake something with them.
27. Go to an outdoor gig/festival.
28. Start a 1000 piece Jigsaw puzzle.
29. Make homemade ice cream/ice pops.
30. Movie Marathon with friends.
31. Try a new hairstyle.
32. Have some fun with nail art.
33. Draw a self-portrait.
34. Do a summer course or camp.
35. Pick wildflowers.
36. Play pitch and putt.
37. Go on a hike or climb a mountain.
38. Learn a magic trick.
39. Learn a dance.
40. Fly a kite.
41. Write a story or poem.
42. Take an outdoor yoga class.
43. Plan a dinner party for friends.
44. Host a home spa with friends; manicures and massages included.
45. Try a water sport.
Written by Joanna Burke, Senior Clinical Support Worker in Jigsaw Dublin City