As I scroll through Instagram, my feed is starting to fill up with a plethora of creative graduation posts, from tossing graduation hats to making nostalgic videos of old schools. Similar to my Instagram feed, my mind is starting to fill up too. I am so overjoyed to see my friends succeeding and smiling and I’m curious as to what everyone’s future plans and goals are. It is sad to feel some FOMO, both within myself for not being able to physically congratulate those who I love, and for others who may not be able to attend in-person ceremonies. But I am also anxious, frequently wondering, “will everything be okay?”
After so many months of ‘what’s next?’ and ‘will we be all right?’, I am extremely hopeful for this summer. I see a very bright light shining at the end of this long, dark tunnel that has changed our lives so drastically. My plans for the summer are ever-changing but all follow two common themes: relaxation and self-care. It has been over a year since the pandemic began, and so many aspects of normal life have been flipped around 180°. We approach simple things, like doorknobs and loose change, with so much more caution than we ever could have imagined. But we also face other little things, like time and hugs, with so much more appreciation than we may have ever deemed necessary.
As public places begin to open up and people become more comfortable with hanging out in groups, I too hope to become more comfortable safely socializing this summer. I know this may take some time, and I will try to be easy on myself. It’s okay not to feel comfortable saying “yes” to every social invite that comes up this summer. After a very long year, readjusting to “normal” may not be the easiest transition. I will keep reminding myself of that.
Additionally, I started a job this summer that requires constant communication and interaction with others. I am equal parts excited and nervous, because it has been so long that I have participated in normal conversation with strangers. But overall, I hope to gain confidence from this experience and make a difference, even if it means just making someone smile after a tough day.
I also want to not only set, but achieve, many goals for my mental and physical health this summer as well. Setting realistic and attainable goals, like eating healthy on weekdays (because who can resist a good barbecue and s’mores on the weekend!), working out even twice a week, and devoting time for meditation or self-care routines, will help me have a positive mindset and hopefully boost my serotonin levels.
These are just a few things I hope to do this summer. Of course, I also want to do yoga as the sun rises, listen to waves crash on warm beach days, and enjoy sunsets with the ones I love. I am hopeful that every one of these things will boost my mental health and make for an incredible summer, and more importantly, an incredible fresh start.
Are you hitting a reset button this summer? What is something that you are looking forward to, whether it’s next week, this summer, or later this year?