Summer vacation is here! It’s a time to take a break from the stress of school and enjoy the long, sunny days ahead. But I have found that summer can also be a lonely time. I may not see my friends every day—they might be on vacation, working, or participating in an ongoing summer activity that makes it hard to meet up with them.
Coupled with the increased free time during the day, it can be very easy for us to retreat into ourselves and isolate. But with planning and variety, we can have a fun and engaging summer, even if we’re alone sometimes! Here are some ways I handle summer loneliness:
- Add some structure to my day. While it can be nice to have a break from the long hours spent at school, the sudden change in my schedule can leave me feeling as if I have nothing to do. If I’m spending the day at home, I think about what activities I like to do or tasks I need to accomplish, and try setting up a little schedule for when I’ll do each task or activity. If you try this, remember that the schedule doesn’t have to be set in stone—if you feel like you want to do something that’s not scheduled for the present moment, that’s perfectly okay! If you’re not sure where to start, try working on a creative project, such as crafts or writing. This gives you something visible to focus on, and it’s a great way to express yourself!
- Plan an outing. It’s amazing what a change of scenery can do for my mind! Visiting a public place is a great way for me to feel closer to the world. You can visit a coffee shop, take a walk in the park, or go anywhere that makes you feel comfortable and connected.
- Keep in touch with friends! If making time to hang out in-person is difficult, you can always call or text each other.
- Find a job or volunteer opportunities. Working and volunteer are great ways to step into the world while meeting new people and learning new skills. Working towards a common goal with others is an incredibly effective way to feel connected with others! If you like animals, for example, an animal shelter is a good place to start—spending time with animals can ease your loneliness!
- Know that you are not alone. No matter how distant you may feel from others, there is always someone to whom you can reach out. Being physically alone for a time does not mean that you will be alone forever.