Summertime sadness is totally a thing. Here are some ways to shake it off.

For many, summer is a welcomed and awaited season. It holds the promise of freedom and vacations, swimming and cookouts, long afternoon naps, extra time to be spent with family, and the chance to relax and refuel before the carousel of holidays and a new school year begin once again. Sounds lovely, right? But if you’re an adult, some of those things no longer apply. The rise in temperatures no longer signifies the release of jobs, bills, stress, or other general responsibilities—much less three months dedicated to sprouting new roots into the family couch.

In fact, that summertime sadness? It’s not just a Lana Del Rey song. Once the realization sinks in that summer is no longer a time for laying around with your siblings, watching mindless television, eating junk, extended sleepovers with best friends, and waiting for mom and dad to finally take you on vacation are over, it’s easy to get a little melancholy. How do we avoid letting our tears salt the rims of our pool safe margarita glasses? Here are a few ways that might help.

Get out of town, even if it’s just for the night

It may be a little too late to plan a European backpacking excursion. A temporary breather from your everyday surroundings could only be a few hours away. Seek out some fellow pals or family members that are also looking for a quick vacay, and make it happen. Get your oil changed, pack your duffle bag and snacks, and hit the road. Seeing the world with fresh eyes is totally worth the effort, and it can shake you right out of the doldrums.

Can’t get out of town? Plan a special staycation

Whether it is your job, your funds or travel that is restricting your vacation, don’t let it stop you from taking some proper time off to relax. Staycations are the perfect remedy for anyone stuck in their hometowns for summer. You can plan an excursion on the town that you’ve always wanted to take, or even check into a hotel for the night. (In fact, many hotels and resorts offer discounts for locals.) You can still sip on that umbrella-clad cocktail by the pool in the place you live, too. Vacations are as much about taking a break from your routine as they are about going places.

Do the summer things you loved as a kid 

What did you do during summer as a kid? Slip and slide? Spend time with cousins? Throw pool parties? Night swim with friends? You can still do these things! Nothing will make it feel more like summer than enjoying your family, friends, and a Popsicle at a backyard BBQ. The only difference now is that you can spike the punch if you want.

Do your summer reading

Dive into all those books that are collecting on your shelves, or hit up your local library. A summer reading list is one of the greatest escapes that is available to us all. In some ways, a great book is better than a vacation. They have the ability to take you places that can’t be traveled to on good ol’ planet Earth. Let your mind wander in the pages of someone else’s story and you just might find some new ways to inspire your own.

Learn to do something you’ve always wanted to

Make your summer feel more productive by picking up a new hobby or sport. Or choose to improve one you already enjoy. Begin learning a new language! Like to write? Enroll in a summer online course. Always wanted to learn how to sew? Look into some local workshops or buy a how-to book and teach yourself. Whatever your interests are, you can make this summer one for the books by remembering it as a time you learned a new skill or had a major breakthrough doing something you love. Plus, it will give you something to brag about during the holidays when your uncle corners you to talk about your cousin’s ninth master’s degree. You mastered knitted scarves and now know more than just how to ask for uno mas cerveza in Spanish. So, there.

Look for ways to help out other people

What better time than summer to help others in need? If you don’t know where you’d like to donate your spare time, you’re in luck! This crazy thing called the World Wide Web is FULL of options for just about every cause you can imagine. If you don’t have the extra time, that’s OK: You can still simply make a commitment to random acts of kindness when possible. You’d be surprised how often the opportunities present themselves once you are actually looking for them. Buying an ice cold water bottle at the gas station because it’s hot outside? Buy a couple extra and give them to those who are less fortunate but just as thirsty. Make the decision that this summer will be a time for creating the kind of warmth that cannot be measured or predicted by any channel about the weather. Double bonus: Making other people feel good makes you feel good too.

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[Image via “Summertime Sadness” by Lana Del Ray on Youtube]

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