I've recently been dealing with something I like to call the 'summer scaries'-- and I've found out I'm not the only one! As a fairly anxious person, there's not much that stresses me out more than waiting: specifically, anticipating something that I can't do a whole lot to prepare for. In this case, it's waiting for the fall semester. Intimidating classes, interviewing for internships, new professors, new responsibilities, etc., etc., etc.: all things that I know are coming but can't act on yet.
These worries are compounded by being stuck working for the summer while watching so many people I know excel in various summer adventures and jobs--and constantly seeing it all over social media. SO: if you're dealing with the same issue, I've developed a simple system that alleviates some of that stress that may be helpful to you.
Disconnect, disconnect, disconnect. Make an active effort to put down your phone and just spend time with yourself. Try not to let social media be the way you start and end your day, especially if it's part of what's causing your anxieties.
2. Take time to recharge
Force yourself to get 8 hours of sleep: even if it means earlier nights during the summer. Your body will thank you and your mind will too. You're not 'wasting' a summer by just being at home; you're prepping yourself for the coming semester.
3. Be present
In everything you do. Multi-tasking has its benefits, but so does focus. When you eat meals, for example, JUST eat meals. When you have a conversation with someone, really listen. Be. Fully. There.
4. Take advantage of your mornings
Part of the benefit of getting enough rest is being able to get up earlier. I LOVE my mornings. I don't like to feel rushed: I like to be able to sit down, drink my coffee, eat my breakfast, and read the newspaper. Starting your day off relaxed and in control will improve the rest of your day, too.
5. Find a routine and stick with it
With summer comes a lot less structure than the school year--and that can be surprisingly stressful. Invent one for yourself! It can be as simple as scheduling exercise after work or coming up with a nighttime ritual. Figure out what works for you!
6. Make lists
When I'm feeling overwhelmed by something, I find that the best way to deal is by visualizing it. Write down what's causing you stress and what you need to do to overcome it. I do this almost daily: by putting a number to what I need to accomplish in the day, it makes it seem a lot more doable.
7. Spend time outside
Even if it's just a walk around the block or sitting out in the sun! Breathe in that fresh air and let yourself feel refreshed.
This one is upper simple: write out your worries! It doesn't have to be daily: just when you need it. Venting--even if it's just to a piece of paper--can take a huge weight off your shoulders.
9. ME TIME
'Me time' can mean whatever you want it to: if you love reading, set aside time at night to get in a chapter. If you're really into art, carve out an hour or two to work on a new project. Give yourself the space to do the stuff you love.
10. Be forgiving to yourself
The most important step on this list is simple: don't be too hard on yourself. Will these things be helpful? Yes. Will they always alleviate those feelings of worry and stress? Probably not. It's okay to feel those things: just remember that they don't control your life; you do.