By: Grace Hudgins
July is the month of the summer blues.
It’s the middle of your summer break, which means these blues are contagious. There are two bugs that cause the summer blues. 1) Ultimate gut-wrenching disgust caused by the thought of school starting up soon OR 2) Infinite boredom — you can only watch so much Netflix — so, in your opinion, school couldn’t start fast enough.
Whichever type you’ve diagnosed yourself with, there are plenty of cures that you could choose from to get yourself back on track. Check them out below.
1. Be (physically) active
Catching up on your favorite show is always the ultimate go-to summer activity. However, it gets boring real quick. I know after I spend a day binge-watching “Grey’s Anatomy,” I feel sluggish and unmotivated. I usually make myself go on a run or spend an hour at the gym after 24 hours of trauma drama.
Being physically active over summer takes up a lot of time and can either make time go faster (if you have diagnosis No. 2) or fill up your day with new activities (for those with
diagnosis No. 1). Try an exercise class! There’s usually a variety of yoga, cycling, strength conditioning, and/or cardio classes at local gyms. They’re sometimes more fun than working out alone, too.
The ultimate benefit, though, is being healthy. I mean, what’s better than getting in shape over summer? Try balancing your Netflix-watching hours with your active hours to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
2. Pick up a new hobby
Everyone has a hobby they never got the chance to pursue or an interest they recently discovered. Take the extra time you have this summer to give those interests a try. It could be a dance class, baseball team, sculpting — you name it. Think about the next time you’ll have the chance to pursue this newfound hobby during the school year. Most likely, you won’t have time.
Summer is all about trying new things (in my book), so give whatever you’ve thought about a try! It’ll take your mind off boredom and give you something else to do other than ‘X’ out days on your calendar.
3. Try new foods…or cooking
If you don’t know how to cook, now is the perfect time to learn. Start with something simple, like eggs. You’re probably thinking, “What? I know how to make eggs.” Well I didn’t before I went to college, so eggs were as simple as it got for me.
If you know how to make eggs, or full meals for that matter, then challenge yourself and attempt new recipes. Google is awesome (if you weren’t already aware), and food blogs and recipes are endless on the internet.
Try new foods, too. If you’ve wanted to eat healthier, try new veggies and look up recipes that include healthy ingredients for cooking them. Vice versa for desserts! My sister loves to bake, so over summer, she’s always trying new cake/pie/cookie recipes. That way, when the holidays come around, she’s well prepared and can whip up any tasty treat the day before Christmas dinner.
4. Try a new book genre
(I’m an intern for a publishing company, so of course I’m going to suggest reading.) I’ve mentioned this before, but try reading a genre you never have before with your extra time in July. There are multiple avenues for fiction if that’s your thing. Romance, Sci-Fi, and Adventure — the possibilities are endless. Nonfiction may be boring in school, but you can always pick up an autobiography from one of your idols or a how-to guide book about a topic you’ve been curious about.
Don’t be afraid to spend lots of time in a bookstore. It’s a great time-killer and blues-ender. You can learn a lot about the types of books you prefer, and you can find new ones to read, too.
5. Spend time with people you don’t see often during the school year
Despite your friends, try spending time with people you don’t necessarily hang out with much while school is in session — family, for example.
Take a day to spend time with your grandparents, uncles, aunts, siblings, mom and dad, etc. When I’m in town or on a break, I always make time for my family members. I know living with your brothers and sisters is kind of like hanging out, but taking time to actually go out with them can mean a lot, especially if they’re younger than you.
Go on a picnic, movie date, or beach/water trip. The opportunities are endless! You’ll get to connect with your family members more, which is always an added bonus. I know it sounds lame, but trust me, when you’re in college, you’ll miss your mom. It’s just natural. So spend time with her (or any family member you’re close with) while you still live near.
So yes, the summer blues are a real thing. I’ve been getting over my diagnosis (No. 2) for the past few weeks. I decided to cure myself and do things I’ve always wanted to do but couldn’t because of my schoolwork. I’ve tried all of the five cures I just talked about above. And they truly kicked the blues right out of my system, like Vitamin C. And look at that! I only have a month left until I head back to campus for my senior year in college.
So, stop moping and babying your “sickness.” Do something about it. Try new things, because it’s so worth it in the long run. Trust me, Netflix will always be there when you get home.