We are in a “new normal'' this summer. Understand that it is okay to feel a sense of loss around the change and the loss of normal life and life events: The “new normal” we are navigating means things we looked forward to during the summer months may have to be postponed or canceled. Graduation looked different, the wedding you’ve dreamt of your whole life will have to be different or postponed. Children are coping with the loss of summer camps and birthday parties while also missing friends from school.
All of these things are a form of loss. And with loss comes grief. You may find yourself in one of the five stages of grief—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. During this time, remember a few things:
○ No one can tell you how to grieve
○ The grieving process has a purpose
○ The grief will end
○ Ask for help
One of the most frustrating things about this time is that so much is out of our control. However, there are things that you can control, and focusing on those things can provide you with some comfort. Some of the things you can control include:
○ Your mind and body
○ Your immediate environment
○ What information you consume
○ How you prepare
○ How you protect yourself and others
While things may look different this summer, you can still create memories, have fun, and make it a summer to remember. This summer go back to the basics—some of the best memories are made in the simple moments.
Focus on slowing down rather than the usual summer hustle. Take time to soak in the beauty of summer and spend time with the people that matter the most to you. Simple doesn’t have to mean boring. We’ve put together a list of fun ideas to motivate you to create a Stress-Free Summer Bucket List. You can also download a free copy at https://mytherapyworks.com/stress-free-summer-bucket-list
How can you make this summer special and one to remember regardless of the change and uncertainty?
● Do yoga or meditate outside
● Play tourist in your own town
● Make infused water (add lemon, mint, cucumber, etc.)
● Pack a picnic and take lunch outside
● Make homemade popsicles
● Say “no” to an obligation
● Camp in the backyard
● Choose one thing each day to let go of
● Try a new summer cocktail or mocktail
● Watch the sunrise
● Every day write down 5 things you are thankful for
● Have a water balloon fight
● Make a summer playlist
● Buy yourself or someone else flowers
● Take an extended break from social media
● Call a friend or family member you haven’t connected with in while
● Do a random act of kindness
● Make your favorite meal or try a new recipe
● Compliment a stranger
Change is inevitable and never easy. Right now change is happening constantly and in all areas of our lives. We are dealing with drastic changes to our daily lives, our work lives, family dynamics and more. Along with this comes stress, worry, anxiety, and grief.
Know that you are not alone in your worry and stress. There are things you can do to help you and your loved ones through these changes. If you are looking for extra help, reach out. Reach out to friends, family, or a professional. You don’t have to do this alone.
ABOUT MAALIEA WILBUR & THERAPYWORKS
Maaliea Wilbur is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Executive Director of TherapyWorks. With 10+ years of experience, Maaliea’s broad-level expertise allows her to successfully support kids, teens, adults, couples and families. Maaliea is passionate about providing top-notch care as a trusted resource in her community.