• Joanna Pantazi

10 Tips to Keep the Summer Vibe Alive

Updated: Sep 29, 2019


Summer is over. This simple sentence might already bring a melancholic, nostalgic feeling with it. The days are getting shorter. You definitely already notice the drop in the temperature. Long sunny days gradually become the exception, rather than the rule. And your cheerful summer mood may also be withering away.

Summer is a symbol of renewal, regeneration and relaxation. It offers us all a break into unknown, exciting, refreshing new experiences and activities, reconnection with our romantic partner, family and friends, new love stories or simple summer adventures, exploration and discovery of both new places and new “old” parts of ourselves, that we may tend to push aside once the “real” life starts all over again.

Summer is generally regarded as a period to be cherished and celebrated. It is a beautiful memoir that we look back to during the darker, busier and colder days that lie ahead of us, that keeps us going, provides us with energy and hope- something to look forward to. Until the next time.

Perhaps that’s the root of this problem; that we consider summer a period of pausing from our regular, normal lives. A peaceful break, a stop from what we normally do- a hectic work schedule, vigorous return into intense studying, countless responsibilities that sooner rather than later we will be rushing to meet successfully. Typically, we consider summer something different than our regular lives.

Therefore, a huge mental gap is created between summer and the rest of the year. We put summer up onto a pedestal, and struggle the rest of the year, just waiting for it to start all over again. But what if we could keep the positive qualities of summer long after it bids us farewell?

If you’re like me, you may wonder how to keep this vibrant, exciting, fresh summer energy well into the beginning of autumn, instead of letting it fade away, just like your proud tan lines. “Is it even possible?” – you may silently ask yourself, as you’re reading these lines. Well, everything is possible if you believe it is!

Let’s explore how you can keep the summer magic longer.

1. Spend Time Outdoors

Ok, the warmth and long days of summer may be over, but that doesn’t mean you immediately have to turn into a hibernating grizzly bear into your den right at the start of September.

After all, the change in the length and warmth of the days is gradual- so make the best use of it! One of the main reasons we love summer so much, is because we tend to spend a great deal of time outside, and enjoy the energy of the sun. So simply keep this up!

Be outside at every opportunity you can. Walk, cycle, explore. Appreciate the slow change of seasons. Enjoy as many sunsets as you can. Have open eyes and an open heart, to everything the beginning of autumn has to offer you. Keep summer alive in your heart, by further exploring your city. The weather still allows for longer outdoors expeditions, so why not figure out a series of places in your close vicinity you would still like to discover, as the days get colder?

2. Have Things to Look Forward To

Many people like to plan their next holiday right after they are back from their summer break. There’s logic in that; they keep the excitement flared up and they plan ahead for pleasant new experiences to look forward to.

Most of us humans need this structure actually; it is the main reason our year is divided by public holidays in regular intervals. We need the security and hope of good things ahead.

So yes, your elevated mood is a great baseline to plan your next holiday. Structuring your life around pleasant activities to await does not have to cost you lots of money or vacation days; you can simply plan short weekend escapes, even one special activity per month, to keep your levels of enthusiasm flowing.

3. Stop Procrastinating

Procrastination is your enemy. It is the fuel that feeds the circle of low self-effectiveness, productivity, avoidance and negative self-image.

It is likely that in the summer you weren’t leaving so many things to do for later (probably because you didn’t really have that much work to do). A friend would invite you out for a cocktail- you’d go. There was a picturesque new beach to discover- you’d run to it. Drinks after work- why not. A delicious restaurant suggestion- say no more.

You were living in the Present, and not leaving things for later- at least not as much as you’re normally used to.

But let’s keep the focus on the process of procrastination, rather than on the content! Do you have some big deadline coming up? Do it NOW. That the spirit is still high, that the energy is still vibrant and positive. And most importantly- do not procrastinate on pleasant and fun activities. Because that’s where you will sow your pleasant mood from later on.

4. Keep Physically Active

In the summer you both relax a lot, and you move much more than usual. This goes hand in hand with what was mentioned earlier; that you tend to spend more time outdoors overall. By keeping a steady routine of physical exercise as the autumn days become winter, you will be looking after your precious endorphin levels, thus staying happier and more energized for longer.

5. Spend Time Offline and Be Present

I personally found this to be one of the most extraordinary gains of the summer. I was enjoying time much more and being offline much more than usual.

This helps to feel truly Present into your life and relationships. While it may not be possible to continue this exactly like you did in the summer, it is surely worthwhile to try your best shot at being disconnected from social media and your smartphone, and really connected to all that goes on around you.

6. Stay Connected to Significant Others

You are probably more social and outgoing during the summer. This may be one of the reasons why summer seems so magnificent- you meet new people and reconnect with your loved ones. So keep this fire burning by committing to nurturing those social connections with meaningful others.

It is very easy to fall back into well-known busy patterns and routines, but it is up to you to keep the time aside just for the cultivation of your relationship, friendships and family.

Schedule in separate time if that helps you be more structured, as long as you invest some effort and energy to your important relationships. You will most definitely enjoy the benefits of doing so, as your loved ones will be likely glad to reciprocate.

7. Eat Healthy and Introduce Novelty

Overall we tend to eat better and healthier in the summer. That’s probably because eat lighter meals because of the higher temperature, and there is more fruit and vegetables to choose from. We also tend to try new tastes, cuisines and dishes.

Our relationship to food is a very important one, that is in our best interest to further nurture. You can keep the summer vibes alive by continuing to keep a close eye on what you eat.

Keep up with the light meals, and commit to introducing something new to your belly in regular intervals. Should that be discovering a new restaurant, or experimenting with an exciting tasty recipe at home? That’s your call.

But the point is that by keeping a healthy, balanced and delicious diet filled with new tastes now and then, you will also be keeping that summer feel up and running.

8. Start on New Ventures and Projects

Most people are refreshed and rejuvenated after the summer, inspired from all that they experienced. So instead of getting straight back into a rut of boring, lifeless, mundane usual activities, you may make the best use of this fresh, optimistic and vibrant energy by leaping into new ventures, goals and projects to challenge you and keep you motivated.

Enter a period of new beginnings, no matter what they are. A new diet? A new job? A new relationship routine? A new self-discovery project?

It doesn’t matter what it is exactly, as long as you notice the word “new”. Anything new will help keep you moving smoothly and energized into autumn. We love summer because of its novelty in a series of different aspects. We discover and experience new things. Therefore, this newness is something to hold on to. Just find a novelty factor and give it a go!

9. Be Mindful and Reflect

Since summer is such a precious and unique time, a fantastic idea is to make the summer effects more enduring and present by setting them in stone.

What do I mean by that?

That you can realize and absorb the meaning of these past few summer months better, if you take a moment now, that the memories are still fresh, to be mindful of them and introspect on them.

For example, you may think of journaling about all the gains and losses that occurred to you this summer.

Possible questions to reflect on:

  • What did you learn about yourself?

  • What inspired you?

  • What are those moments and images of your summer days and nights, that you most deeply cherish and feel grateful for?

  • What did you learn about your significant others?

  • How are you a different person this autumn, after the summer experiences, than you were exactly one year ago?

  • Are there things you regret doing or not doing?

  • What made you most happy and blissful in the summer, and what was your biggest concern?

Any new beginning is a great opportunity for self-awareness, self-discovery and introspection. To aid you in this process, you may want to print out your favorite photos from this summer.

How we deal with the moments and memories of our lives is probably our single most significant project. So now that the energy is still here, make the best use of it and look back, in order to let it all sink into your being.

Relive those little moments that made your heart sing, and put to rest the ones that did not serve you as you would have wished for. The power lies solely on you.

10. Appreciate What’s Next

It would be unfair to you to only pine for what you left behind. Our life is a puzzle of infinite moments, each of those having something to teach us.

Summer is often magic, but there are people that look forward for it to be over, so that the colder days with all their frozen and cozy promises may start to unfold. There are people that suffer from actual summertime sadness, and are in love with the winter, or others who get quite anxious around the summer vacation, because they find it to be a very stressful period filled with expectations of how wonderful everything is ought to be.

Regardless what category you belong to, what is absolutely true is that each season and period of life has really spectacular and beautiful gifts to shower us with. Therefore, if you feel blue now that summer slowly fades away, perhaps the best practice is to get all wired up about what lies ahead of you and appreciate all that’s next.

Yes, it won't be summer anymore, but... aren't you looking forward to the cozy moments of autumn?

Consider rainy weekends, where you’ll be reading your favorite book laying cuddled up on your sofa while listening to the soothing sound of the raindrops on your roof.

Think of all those comforting hot cocoas and teas you’ll soon enjoy in the coziness of your home.

Imagine the orange and yellow colours that nature will dress itself in, while you are witness to the magic of autumn during a walk in a park or in nature.

A few steps forward, and the frostiness of winter will embrace everything.

And even in the stillness of winter, there is still way too much enriching and breathtaking to enjoy.

Stay enthusiastic about the season that is just now starting.

The secret of happiness and bliss

is really gratitude and appreciation.

Appreciate all that is now, all that is gone and all that’s to come.

#summer #mindfulness #gratitude #personalprogress

+31 (0) 644 333 494

joanna@youniversetherapy.com

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Psychology Practice for Internationals in The Hague.

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