Be In­spired

DREAM TEEN Magazine - - Content - Jea­nine DeHoney

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

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