The weather is perfect, the flowers are blooming, and while that's good news for some, there are people who feel a bit downcast this time of year.
Don't worry. Summer blues can happen to anyone. Maybe it's the end of a big vacation getting you down, maybe you saw the first back-to-school ad of the year, or perhaps you're a bit testy because it's just too hot. Here are a few great ways to beat the blues and enjoy the next few months until it's time to haul out the scarves and the pumpkins:
Find yourself a pen pal
Friends both near and far? Drop them an old-fashioned line. Make a list of the people you've fallen out of touch with, and write each of them a note. Most importantly, ask for a reply. Letters and cards are a great, personal way stay in touch, and receiving a nice card such as this one will give the recipients of your notes a boost. Plus, you'll feel great about doing something nice for people you care about.
Give journaling a try
If writing to friends isn't what you need, then write to yourself. The act of writing a note by hand can be great for your mental health; get yourself a journal and go on a journey of self-reflection. Journaling may help you figure out what exactly is keeping you down and find ways to improve your state of mind. Another method is to write notes you either leave or mail to yourself to receive on specific days. Small encouragements may be just what you need to feel like yourself.
Get a good night's sleep
With light lingering long into the night, many people will be staying up later, but that can contribute to throwing off your mood. If you're not feeling quite like yourself this summer, take a good look at your sleep schedule. An out-of-whack circadian rhythm could be the culprit behind your altered state. Fight back by giving yourself a bedtime, powering down electronics a few hours before and keeping distracting materials such as books and cell phones out of reach. If too much light keeps you awake, then invest in a good set of blinds or curtains that keep your bedroom nice and dark, and help you stay asleep.
Shut off social media
Do your friends' and family's vacation photos have you green with envy? Take a break from social media for a few days and give yourself a little time to reset. Browse the local library instead of Facebook, visit a bird sanctuary instead of Twitter, or go on a hike rather than spending hours on Tumblr. You may be surprised by how much your state is altered by your break from the internet – some people even choose to make it a permanent change.
A summer funk may be caused by too little physical activity. Get active in summer and give your body a jolt, which can help reverse your gloom. Join a gym, train for a 5K, or take a class you've always been curious about. Who knows; trying out a new physical activity could turn you on to a new hobby.