Have An Emotional Fit Summer Jeanine DeHoney
Now that summer is here and your endless responsibilities from school, extracurricular and other commitments have wound down, it’s the perfect time for some fun. Whether you’ll be spending the upcoming weeks at the beach, an amusement park or checking out the latest outdoor festivals or concerts in the city, this is a time to recapture joy and relax.
AAlthough this season is often referred to as, “The lazy days of summer,” that phrase shouldn’t be taken figuratively. The summer months can also be a time to get yourself emotionally fit, to revive your spirit and craft your best self so that you never lose a beat when it comes to living the kind of life God has destined for you. Here are some tips how: 1 *Don’t skip that first meal of the day. Now that your schedule is more relaxed and you can sleep in later, continue to eat breakfast. Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day and it jumpstarts your body, giving it the necessary fuel to do whatever else is on your agenda. 2 *Make a top ten list. What do you most want to do this summer? Write it down no matter how big a challenge, or small a feat. Maybe you want to try your hand at spoken word poetry at a neighborhood café, learn a new language, take an advanced swimmers class, or start taking photographs with your new camera. Write your goals down, post them on your fridge and don’t forget to check them off after you accomplish them. 3 * Exercise your mind. Do a crossword or Sudoku puzzle. Expand your vocabulary. Take a college prep class. Memorize a play. Read The New York Times or National Geographic Magazine. 4 * Create a summer reading list. What are some books you want to read that you haven’t had a chance to? Who are your favorite authors? This is your time to read for pleasure and not because you have a class assignment or school report due. So head over to Barnes and Nobles or your neighborhood library and check out the latest titles. Try your hand at something creative. Paint a mural or a self-portrait, write a poem, a song, a screenplay, design a video game, etc. 5 * Spend as much time as you can in the great outdoors. Studies have shown that being outside in the sunlight is restorative. Sunlight tends to elevate your mood, increase your concentration and make you feel happier. So bike, jog, hike, take a leisurely walk and follow the golden sunshine.
6 * Let go of something that has kept you stuck or held you back during the past year. Do some soul searching to figure out what or even who it is. Remember sometimes you may have to release something or someone to give yourself wings strong enough to soar. 7 *Add a new friend to your circle of friends. If you are in some kind of organization, or taking a class this summer, introduce yourself to someone new, maybe from a different culture, religion, or ethnicity, or someone who is like-minded concerning your pursuits. You are a person worth knowing so start with a simple hello and see where the conversation goes. 8 *Make a difference in someone’s life. Summer is the perfect time for you to give back to others. Volunteer to help at your church, or a community center or shelter. Helping others, even just doing a random act of kindness is a gift that keeps on giving, both to the recipient and yourself. 9 *Nurture your familial relationships. Summer is the best time to correspond with your extended family members--those who have been, supportive and a positive force in your life. Send an ecard, text, or plan a visit to whom you appreciate. 10 *Be inspired. Seek out people, events, music, motivational books and other things that will inspire, empower and add wisdom to your life.
As Pastor Tarran Carter proclaims, “This is your best day and your blessed day.” Make a conscious decision this summer to embrace those words and carry that assurance into Fall. DT