Yep. Its summer again.

Schools letting out, graduations are happening, more daylight is here and maybe even time for a vacation or two. Lots of exciting things happening…

Now most of you are probably like “heck yes, finally I love the warm weather” and then the other half of you are out there like “wait, wtf why do I still have to be at work when it’s so nice out”. Uh reality. I know, it sucks sometimes. Now, we can usually alter our schedules a little and maybe take off a little early on a Friday and go to the park and enjoy the weather or use some of our time off to take a vacation to the beach. But we don’t always have control of how our bodies naturally adjust to the season changes.  

So much good can come with seasonal changes, and maybe you are one of the lucky ones who transitions smoothly, and if so, rock that out and enjoy every moment of finding your perfect summer work – life balance. But for those who struggle every couple months when the seasons change, and can identify with how frustrating these times can be, keep reading. 

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The transition may be frustrating because you feel a change in your emotions or overall mood, and don’t know why. I have a lot of clients express a dip in their emotions during seasonal changes, but I also have clients who express an elevated mood and feelings of spontaneity during the summer. Though this boost can be refreshing after the dark of winter and the rain of spring, it can also be difficult because you are SO eager to get outdoors and stay out to enjoy ALL the activities and soak up ALL the sun. 

But reality check, you can’t do it all, you’ve got to prioritize! 

Here are some tips that might help you adjust to the “boost” summer might bring and how to maintain some balance in your day to day.  

Sleep 

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Over the coming weeks, take note of your sleeping patterns and ask yourself: Am I sleeping more than usual? Less than usual? Am I napping and usually don’t? Am I feeling like I can go without sleep some nights in order to not miss out on the summer nights activities? Dependent on your answers, maybe you need to find more balance within your sleeping habits. It is important to note that if you wear yourself out in June, you might not be able to partake in the end of summer festivities as you originally planned. Our bodies have quite the memories and with age they don’t recuperate as nicely as they did in our younger years. This leaves you feeling drained and therefore less present and effective in your day to day life.  

Drink

Drinking should always be a thing, all four seasons of the year, all day, erryday. An importance to drinking more during seasonal transitions though is that your body can adjust more quickly to heat and activity when you are well hydrated. This should go without saying, but I’m not talking about drinking more coffee here, or more beer, or more soda. I am talking about water, drink more water! If you are into drinking caffeinated drinks or alcohol, then even more reason to drink more water (after your beverage of choice of course). 

I’m no cop, and I’m not here to tell you to stop drinking alcohol, to track the number of drinks you have or to change your relationship with alcohol. I am here to question and bring awareness to how your alcoholic intake might change with the seasons. Do you notice any changes during the summer with how much you drink? Where are you drinking? Are you drinking on the weekdays? Just on the weekends? Are you drinking alone? Socially? Just take some moments and answer these questions and truly evaluate if the answers align with your summer goals.

Exercise

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Be creative with this one. I mean if you have a gym membership, by all means go there to get your sweat on! We all know how pricey those can be and don’t want you wasting your money. But maybe on your days off get outside and relieve some stress through different activities. Some examples are to go for a hike, play some volleyball, or rent a kayak. These can be great physical workouts to do alone, or with a group, as well as something that you can’t do year-round (like going to the gym) so try switching it up and see how you like it. 

Bring your focus this summer into maintaining more balance, loving yourself, and relying on your community for nurturing and support. 

Written by: Shannon Gonter, LPCC, NCC

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I specialize in working with men and young adults. I am passionate about my career and want to work with you to create positive change. I also strive to create a counseling environment where men and young adults can relate, feel heard, and find new solutions to their negative patterns. Some issues that I most commonly work with are stress, relationship issues, difficulty saying “no” to others, difficulties recognizing emotions and emotionally connecting to others, anger, and intimacy issues, among others.