After all the stresses of the past year, the thought of relaxing and just enjoying the summer months can feel unfamiliar. You can reduce anxiety and let yourself go with this advice from the University of Colorado website:
1. Let yourself feel everything. Don’t try to force happiness. Allow yourself to feel a full range of emotions— excitement, anxiety, joy and everything else, including multiple emotions at the same time. You can be excited about traveling, yet nervous about flying on an airplane, for example. Learn to balance your emotions so a single feeling doesn’t overwhelm you.
2. Take a proactive approach. Confront your fears openly. This can be as simple as brainstorming summer projects or just making a packing list for a trip.
3. Accept what you can’t control. Things happen. Don’t try to take on everything. For example, you don’t know what the weather will bring on a day you’ve planned for a hike, and rain is a possibility. You can’t always predict what will happen in life, but you can take steps to maintain control.
4. Find ways to cope. Practice meditation and mindfulness; try journaling. Spend time with friends and family you care about, and don’t forget to celebrate the small victories after a long year of unusual limitations.