by Olivia Dangas, Registered Psychologist

Summer: longer days, warmer temperatures, and a break from the long winter. While it is a season so many of us wait for and look forward to, there is often pressure to make the most of these short but sweet months.


Whether it’s planning the perfect vacation, achieving those summer fitness goals, or simply embracing a carefree attitude, the expectations we place on ourselves during this time can sometimes lead to stress and disappointment.


So how can we navigate these expectations in a way that allows us to fully embrace the season’s potential while honoring our own needs and limitations?


1. Remember that summer is not a one-size-fits-all experience. What brings fulfillment and joy to one person may feel overwhelming or unattainable to another. Take some time to reflect on what summer means to you personally. Is it a time for adventure and exploration, or do you find peace in quiet moments of reflection? By tuning into your own desires and values, you can create a summer experience that aligns with who you are.


2. Practice setting realistic expectations. We can feel the pressure to make every moment of summer picture-perfect, but this mindset can quickly lead to burnout and disappointment. Instead, focus on setting achievable goals that prioritize your well-being and happiness. Maybe that means scheduling regular self-care rituals, avoiding overcommitting, or embracing spontaneity.


3. Cultivate a mindset of presence and gratitude. It’s easy to get caught up in chasing after the next big adventure or comparing our experiences to those of others, but the best moments are often the simplest ones. Whether you’re savoring a scoop of ice cream, or watching the sunset, make an effort to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the moment.

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