Ah, summer. Hanging out with friends, staying up late and sleeping in, going to the beach and swimming, and absolutely no responsibility! It is every teenager's dream. Unfortunately, it is not that way for everyone, especially not me.
How could anyone hate summer, you ask? Well, coming from someone who is an anti-social butterfly, there is a lot to hate.
First of all, social interaction can become limited when you are not forced to see people every day at school. I get into the comfortable habit of curling up in a cocoon of blankets, binge-watching shows on Netflix, and not seeing the light of day for what seems like weeks at a time. Being someone who does not ask friends to hang out very often, they eventually cease to reach out to me and I find myself in a slump.
As someone who also suffers from depression, you can see how this is not a good thing for a mind like mine. I'm a person who needs structure, schedule, and something to keep me accountable. If I have nothing to do, why even get out of bed? Of course, this does not make me happy in the grand scheme of things, and I find myself longing for school to start by July.
So the cycle begins. Not seeing friends, sleeping for 12 hours at a time, literally not doing anything all day, which all results in an anxious, depressed mess that is my mind. As I become so lazy, I get angry with myself for being this way. I put myself down for doing what a teenager does. I feed off stress and busy days, and when I don't have that, my brain takes it and runs.
This happens every summer, ever since middle school, without fail.
Now, I bet you're saying, "okay but why should I care? I'm having fun in the sun with my huge group of friends. I love being lazy, and sleeping is my favorite activity!" Don't lie to yourself. I know someone out there feels the same way as me, so I am here to discuss solutions!
One thing that has been helping me survive this summer is forcing myself out of bed at 7:00, so I can make the 8:30 work out class at my local gym. I get home after a good sweat before 10, I feel good, and the day seemingly has endless possibilities! Even if you scoff at any exercise more intense than walking to the fridge to get a snack, I encourage you to challenge yourself and your physical limitations. You will only grow stronger and more motivated to do something with your bundles of time.
After my work out, I attempt to plan out a day of mild responsibility to get my fix of productivity. Whether it be going shopping for something I know I need, cleaning up my room, or doing laundry, just doing a small chore or two can make me feel like I'm not completely useless.
After that, the day is yours to seize! Don't plop back down on the couch and turn the TV on. If you do, try to limit yourself to one or two episodes of Netflix. A full-on binge will pull you right back into your old habits. Step out of your comfort zone- ask your friends to do something fun, go somewhere new by yourself, create something!
I'm probably preaching to the choir and I definitely should take my own advice. I want to have fun just like everyone else this summer, but in my own, type A way. I'm still dreaming of school and "busy-ness," but maybe I can have some fun with my remaining weeks of summer while I wait.