I think I read on twitter that august is the Sunday of summer. You're realizing that time is running out and start to feel badly. The cocktail of sadness, remorse and disappointment, that you didn't do enough or that summer is over and the fact that we have to return to school is painfully obvious and hard to swallow at times. While I don't feel upset about going back to school (God bless my family but I am more than ready to back on campus at my beloved Ohio University). I still feel sad about summer ending, especially thinking about everything I wanted to do in three months that I didn't do. I think it's normal to feel as if you didn't do enough in today's culture of overachievers and insta flexing. Sometimes a simple scroll on social media like Twitter can end up hurting your feelings. It's important to know that you are not alone in the battle against the end-of-summer-blues. Here is a small list of tips for when you're feeling icky about the end of summer.
- Don't Panic!
Personally, the end of summer sends me into a craze. I start berating myself because I made an unrealistic list of goals that I did not accomplish. If you can relate, don't freak out. It's okay to not do everything you intended too! The essence of summer is being lazy and relaxing. It's okay if all you did was work, sleep and eat all summer. It's okay to take a break and simply do- nothing. Aside from that it's important to remember that you can't change the past. Whatever you did, or didn't do, this summer, you can't change it. My advice would be to focus on the positives rather than the negatives. So what if you didn't do anything during summer and gained 10 pounds! You're enjoying yourself and the wonders of being lazy. Appreciate where you are now, not where you want to or should be at. At the end of the day, what you have is what you have. Wishing and feeling guilty that you are not somewhere else doesn't fix anything.Learn to accept that what you have is what you have and that's good enough because it's all you could do. I was very bummed to see how many people just vacationed all summer, traveling to beautiful beaches or across the world! But at the end of the day, I’m broke and that’s where I’m at right now. So instead I’ve settled for my backyard, which is pretty beautiful.
- Start Getting Your Shit Together for School
Preparing for something that you have been dreading can be surprisingly helpful. By starting to get supplies and making lists of the things you need to do before school, you can be productive, better prepared for school, help manage the stressed out feeling of returning to the Grind, as well as feel better in general about yourself!
- Take a Social Media Break
- I am incredibly guilty of going online only to compare myself to the seemingly amazing lives of everyone around me and end up hurting my own feelings. This is definitely not(!!!) healthy. Comparing yourself to others does nothing but harm yourself. It's important to remember that what people present online is not the full story. Sure that vacation looks amazing but they probably didn't mention the costs of all of that or the hours spent traveling to get there either. Try not to get to in your head of the lives as others. I recommend deleting the apps from your phone and not checking social media for a week or two! It will ground you and make you focus on yourself!
- Reach Out to Loved Ones
Chances are you are not alone in your feelings of summer ending. Talk to your friends and family about how you feel! It is a great opportunity for connection and understanding which can alleviate some anxiety. Simply knowing that you are not alone in this can help you feel better!
Journaling is something that, I feel, will fix many problems. It's a healthy outlet to vent and release icky feelings. You can spend time connecting to yourself and ground yourself. I recommend physically writing in a journal. Something about writing with my hands and paper rather than typing on a computer makes me feel much calmer. Another tip to try is writing down all of your fears, insecurities and anxieties then destroy that paper. It sounds simple but it can be a very effective way to remove the physical effects of worry!
- Believe in Yourself!
You got this! You've done this for over a decade now! You can do this! Although the thought of returning to school full-time or the blissful warm nights of summer leaving can be straight-out dreadful. Take a step back and put things into perspective. Every year these icky, bad feelings begin to fill my head as soon as it turns August. But I always try to to think bigger than my anxiety, I know that I can do this, because time and time again I do! It all starts with trusting yourself and believing in your abilities.
In addition to this list, here are a few resources if you're struggling with mental health and need to reach out for more help!
- Fenway Health Helpline (888-340-4528)
Fenway Health provides a toll-free LGBT-friendly information, help, and referrals to people 25 years or older. They are available from Monday to Saturday, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
- Peer Listening Line (800-399-PEER)
An LGBT-friendly toll-free option for those under 25. Available from Monday – Saturday 5:30 p.m. – 10 p.m
- Trevor Lifeline (866-488-7386) / Trevor Text (1-202-304-1200)
This is an LGBT- specific helpline that is free and based in the United States. Trevor Lifeline is 24/7 while Trevor Text is available Monday - Friday, 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline: (1-800-950-NAMI)
This is a free helpline trained on a wide range of mental health issues, including anxiety and depression. They are available Monday -Friday, 10 a.m. -6 p.m. NAMI provides free information, referrals to treatment programs, support groups, and educational programs, as well as help for family members, information about jobs programs, and connections to legal representation in your area.
- The United Way's 211.org: (2-1-1)
The 24/7 hotline is for anyone living in North America who has any type of crisis or who needs help locating specific resources, such as information and referrals for eating disorder treatment in your area.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Helpline (1-800-662-4357)
If you think that you are in need of or ready to seek medical care for your anxiety, SAMHSA's offers a free locator service to help you find a mental health facility near you that specializes in anxiety, as well as support groups, substance abuse treatment and even community- based organizations. SAMHSA helpline is available in English and Spanish, 24 hours a day.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255)
Your call is toll-free and confidential! Your call will be sent to the nearest crisis center in the Lifeline national network. These centers are there to provide crisis counseling along with referrals to mental health professionals, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.