By: Linnea Sieh, MA, LPC
Summer: a time for beach trips, family vacations, ice cream (my favorite part,) and spending time with friends and family. Living in Michigan makes it even more special, since we seem to only get summer weather for maybe a few days at a time. What people don’t realize about summer is how much of a toll it can take on our self-esteem. Even though everything seems better when it’s sunny, it does have its own pitfalls.
Think about it, there you are, minding your own business and you see something that makes you stop and doubt yourself. Maybe it’s someone wearing something you wish you were confident enough to wear, eating an ice cream cone when you’re concerned about your weight, or even going on a trip you think you might never be able to afford. Any of those things can make us feel down about our lives.
The important part is how we respond to those situations. Do you hide inside, not have the experiences you want to have, or get stuck in a negative cycle? These might be the easier ways to go about our lives, but definitely not the most productive.
Instead of focusing on the situations you can’t change, try focusing on the things you can change. Maybe you feel you don’t look good in that particular swimsuit, but you feel awesome in one with a different style or pattern. Maybe you’re nervous about going to an outdoor concert by yourself, but if you asked a friend to come along, it could help. As for a glamorous looking trip, you might be seeing only the good side. You might not see strange foods, bug bites, or hard hotel beds. There are lots of things to do in the summer that are free or low cost. Try looking into local events that could be just as fun, while you get to sleep in your own house!
My hope for you this summer is that you won’t let yourself get in the way of making and keeping those summer plans. Try something new, or something that scares you, just a little.