Summer is usually a time of rest and relaxation — taking family vacations, unplugging from the to-dos, spending time with loved ones in the sunshine. Seeing everyone’s images of their summer adventures on social media or hearing that poppy playlist curated for the perfect road trip can unintentionally make us believe that we’re always meant to be happy and upbeat during this time of the year.
Especially now, as we’re still in the middle of a pandemic and protests are bringing everyone’s attention to painful realities, this summer probably looks nothing like what you imagined it would when we were clinking champagne to bring in the new decade just a few months ago.
I’m here to tell you that it’s okay if your inner season doesn’t reflect the outer season. And, it’s also okay if it does! There’s a lot happening around the world and information overload is real — so taking some time to tune in to your emotional needs might be the exact summer plans you didn't know you needed.
Here are a few ways to embrace your emotional season and give room for feelings to rise up:
If you can, take a stay-cation. Whether it’s camping in your backyard, or renting an Airbnb near your home, this can be a great way to find some set-apart rest and relaxation. This week, I’m staying at the Griffintown Hotel in Montreal to be near my family and it’s been such a rejuvenating break.
Include an affirmation in your morning routine. How we speak to ourselves is powerful and can change our beliefs. At some point after you wake up, affirm yourself in whatever you’re feeling. Something like, “It’s okay to feel big feelings. I don’t need to compare myself. I honor the season I’m in.”
Try a free-writing journal session. Journaling can feel so intimidating sometimes, can’t it? Try sitting down for 5-10 minutes every day and just write for the entire time — no editing or planning. Just let everything out without judgment.
Be intentional about your language. Instead of calling certain emotions “bad” or “negative”, try calling them “difficult” or “uncomfortable”. Instead of trying to avoid harder emotions, get attuned to them. They’re trying to tell you something.
Try a breathwork or yoga session. There are so many great virtual breathwork events and videos. Pick one and give yourself space for it. Our bodies hold onto memory and store emotions, so breathwork and yoga can release certain emotional responses. If you’ve been disconnected lately, this could be a great way to get grounded in your body and let the feelings come as they may.