It's official, summer has arrived and the wonderful weather in Ireland is reflecting this appropriately (for a change!). Summer just seems to spell happiness- Well for most people that is…
It turns out that Summertime Sadness is something other than that awesome song by Lana Del Rey. In fact, plenty of people don't find bliss during summer. From vacation envy and arm-flab anxiety to actual summer-onset seasonal affective disorder (yes, it exists), here's what may be dragging you down during the dog days of summer and some advice on how to beat these blues.
The idea of a "perfect" summer
If you build up something up in your mind the 'gap' between the glamour of what your expectation is and the reality of what actually happens can cause minor disappointment, major stress especially if you feel you're the only one who's not having as much fun as expected.
Summer solution: Summer is no different. Expect perfection and you're bound to be bummed. Nothing is ever perfect. Your attitude is everything – that and your expectations have a lot to do with how much the "gap" will effect you.
Social media envy
There's no doubt about it; Everybody on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat has a better garden, nicer dog, and cooler parents than you. So, of course, they have a better vacation (30 days long, really?!) and summer too. It can be demoralising.
Summer solution: Pick your head up off your keyboard and take off the rose-coloured glasses. You're merely seeing the highlights of a person's life on social media. They're not going to post the fight they had with their boyfriend/girlfriend etc. You can feel bad about social media or use it to inspire you. No one has a perfect life but some people do have more resources, time, and money. If you like what you're seeing on someone's Facebook, ask yourself ‘How can I create that kind of fun within my budget?' or 'How can I make that happen my way?'. But if it's not possible at all remember, you are not those people and comparison is the thief of joy.
Body- image blues
If you're already a bit uncomfortable with your body (and more than half of us aren't happy with certain body parts), skimpy, warm-weather fashions may send you running for cover.
Summer solution: Given the unrealistic media expectations of how we're supposed to look, it's not surprising that body image is a something lots of people are more aware of in the summer. But instead of feeling bad about it, focus on being the best possible version of yourself. You can even be strategic about it and wear clothing that hides your not-so-favourite parts and makes your best parts stand out for that confidence boost.
Okay, I know summer is for de-stressing and relaxation. However, speaking from recurring personal experiences, I can tell you that relaxation can quickly become 'moping around' and end up being very counterproductive. Days go by where you've sat in bed all day and you begin to feel like crap.
Summer solution: Keep busy! Make plans; Go to the cinema, meet your friends, get a summer job, plan a family beach day, paint a picture, take a walk. Just do something productive that keeps you occupied so your brain doesn't start thinking about the likelihood of your dog dying or what if the world spontaneously combusts!
Most of all just make the best of your summer!