Using Summertime to Reflect, Renew, and Recharge

By Carrie Jones, LCSW

Do you ever feel bored, stuck in a rut, or like you’re simply going through the motions, just doing what it takes to get from one day to the next without much thought or energy directed to what you really want to do with your life?  In some ways it is ironic since as expats, we all well know that change is the one thing that is constant.  Plus, we live in a city full of life and energy, bustling with non-stop activity of all kinds.  Sometimes though, it is easy to feel like it all boils down to the same old, same old, day-to-day grind.

Summer, a season that many of us travel home for some much needed vacation time, and others of us repatriate and look at starting a new life, can be a strategic time to focus on rejuvenating yourself so you can once again feel excited and passionate about what you are doing and what each day holds.

So how does one go about this?  Here are a few ideas to consider.

1.  Take time to rest and reflect.

To be healthy both physically and emotionally, we all require rest to restore our bodies and our spirits.  In theory, summer seem like the perfect time to do this.  Though for those who travel home, it’s easy to get caught up seeing everyone and catching up on all the things that can only be done back home, that you don’t have time to relax and think about big picture thoughts.  Whether you stay here this summer or travel home, be intentional about carving out some quite time for yourself to reflect on what really matters to you, and how to center your life more around this.

2. Try something new.

As humans, we tend to be creatures of habit.  Sometimes though, we need to change things up to keep them fresh.  Use summertime to try some new things, whether fun activities or experiences, learning opportunities, or even just changing up your day-to-day routines and habits.   And don’t regard these changes just as temporary – if you see good results, try to find ways to keep them up, or incorporate them into your schedule even when fall hits and you go back to “normal” life.

3.  Balance solitude with support.

Deciding how you can make daily life feel more enjoyable again requires times of solitude for deep soul-searching as well as just for rest and renewal.  It’s also good though to let others help you.  Friends and family can be valuable resources for giving you feedback on gifts and abilities they see in you, and ideas for how you might use them in ways that feel meaningful to you.

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