It’s summer. Finally the time everyone has been waiting for. There is no school thus no responsibility. All day your only main goal is to relax and have fun. If you are anything like me then you spend this time doing two main things: hanging out with friends and working. Both of which can be extremely draining on my social battery. At times I find myself overwhelmed and stressing over the two tasks. With graduation in the past and college fast approaching, the need to spend every second with friends who will be halfway across the country in one month is relentless. On the other hand, working is a necessity to cover the loaning costs of higher education.
Needless to say, summer is neither relaxing nor stress-free. When I begin to feel anxious and stretched too thin, the one thing that always grounds me is to spend time with my favorite person: ME! A few hours in your own company is the trick everyone needs to recenter themselves. And I am not talking about the mindless alone time you spend binging Netflix. I am talking about the quality time you spend with yourself doing stuff that either relaxes you or brings you joy. If you need some ideas, here are some of my favorites.
The first is reading. I know. BOOOOOO BORING! But hear me out. As someone who grew up with weekly trips to the public library, books have always been my safe haven. They are a way of escaping reality into a better world. I strongly believe that if you don’t like reading you just haven’t read the right book yet (or maybe you should try audiobooks). Furthermore, books provide me with a healthy distraction from my own mind. A few of my recent favorites are Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston and The Deal by Elle Kennedy. Sometimes all I need is to escape for a few hours into a different, more perfect, world.
Now I wouldn’t call myself a baker per se, but I do dabble in the art. I like to bake from the box or pre-bought dough. Hey! I know my strengths. Even though I’m not kneading dough from the start I still find joy in following a recipe and making something delicious as a result. When you bake you are told exactly what to do and if you follow the instructions you are guaranteed a successful batch of baked goods. And honestly, I can’t resist baking a lemon cake at least once a week.
Music is the easiest way to escape the outside world. Whether it be discovering new artists or relistening of albums you know and love music and some sort of power over everyone. Personally, I am a fan of the former. In my day-to-day life, I often find myself behind on new releases in the music realm. One way I can destress and find a new artist to follow is through Spotify’s new releases. I normally just pick an album that I haven’t heard yet, put in some headphones, and lay in my bed. This is the best way to fully engross yourself in the music COMPLETELY forgetting the outside world.
These three ways of relaxing are not exclusive to summer but can be used any time of the year. Taking time to yourself is very important. It is the time you spend with yourself that you discover your likes and dislikes. Frankly, what makes you YOU. Through trial and error, everyone needs to find the few things they can do by themselves that allow them to properly decompress. After which you will be equipped and ready to face your plans for the week.