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Summer Lovin'

Ah, the summer. It’s no secret that the majority of us are happier in the summer than at any other time of year. The combination of longer days, sunshine (even in the UK!), and time off to enjoy with family and friends mean that summer, and summer holidays, hold a special place in most people’s hearts, long after the autumn chill has started nipping at your flip-flopped toes.

[photo above by David Lezcano on Unsplash]

So why does the summer season inspire such a feeling of enjoyment? And how can we carry that feeling around with us all year, even when wrapped up in jumpers and coats? Well, here are my top 3 reasons why we love summer so much, and some ideas of how we can keep that holiday vibe going all year round.

1. We are outside more – whether it’s at the park, at the beach, in a beer garden or just in your own garden, traditionally we are outside more in the summer. Being outside in the light stimulates the production of vitamin D, and this vitamin is crucial for our health. Spending time in nature can also lower blood pressure and help with anxiety.

Keep it going – Schedule in time every day to be outside – rain or shine. It could be actual exercise, or just getting off the bus a few stops earlier, or a walk around the block. What about getting outside in your lunch hour for a few minutes?

2. We try new things – how often on holiday have you tried something new? Whether that is a new food, a new activity, or just going somewhere new, we are much more open to new experiences, and that curiosity has a really positive effect on how we feel.

Keep it going – Say yes to new things all year round! Even if it’s a new type of coffee for your morning takeaway, keep being open to new experiences, and keep that curiosity going.

3. We see the world in a more positive light – as a result of points 1 and 2 above, our perspective tends to be altered in the summer. The freedom from routine, the generally better weather, and the relaxation that comes from being around friends and family more, mean that we generally feel more positive in the summer, and less tied into the drudgery of everyday life.

Keep it going – Make a choice to approach everyday tasks a positive way. I admit, it can be hard to view laundry as something to be enjoyed. But if you approach tasks in a negative way, complaining and moaning, then that negativity will seep into other areas of your life. However, if you choose to approach tasks as things that just have to be done, and will result in clean clothes that you can enjoy wearing, then even though you may not ‘enjoy’ the task itself, you will ‘enjoy’ the reward. This idea of choice can be applied to all areas of your life – you have a choice on how to view things, so why not choose to view them positively and see the effect it can have?

So imagine the effect that keeping the holiday vibe could have on your life.... what if you applied these ideas to your career change...

A) spending time outside lowers your stress levels, making you more able to cope with the changes you want to make. It also gives you ‘headspace’ to think about your future and explore ideas.

B) When changing careers, trying new things is vital – whether that is talking to new people or going to new events, classes or talks, or even trying out new roles as a volunteer. So if you are in the habit of saying yes to new things already, it will be easier to apply this to the process of career change, and you’ll hit the ground running! You may find yourself naturally saying yes to opportunities that will help you explore your future direction, even without realising it!

C) Keeping a positive mindset is vital for career change – not everything will go as planned, and so being in the habit of making a choice to be positive will stand you in good stead for the roller-coaster that is career change.

I hope this has been helpful – a bit of lighthearted reading for a summer’s day! If you’d like to know more about what I do, and how we can work together to help you make changes in your career, then please get in touch. I also run a free Facebook group The Returnity Lounge, which is focused on career change and return to work after a family or career break – why not come join us?

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