The freeing feeling that comes with finishing your last final… IT’S SUMMER TIME! You get all excited and now finally have time to catch up with old laundry, cleaning and binge watching that show that has been on your list all school year. But then it hits you, what else can you do for fun and explore? We have curated a list of fun things that you can do this summer!
Find a Park: Find your local beach/park (or maybe plan a road trip!) and enjoy the outdoors.
2023 Southern California Events and Festivals Fairs: Here are their dates and where they will be this summer/incoming fall. We can smell the turkey legs and fried-everything already.
If you’re still unsure, here is an extensive list of other fun ideas!
25 Best Things to Do in California (2023): Still unsure? Here is a miscellaneous list of what to do this summer, find one that best fits you.
Remember, you do not need to go all out to enjoy your summer. Something as simple as packing up a quick snack and sitting outside can help you re-energize by taking in that Vitamin C! Additionally, it is IMPORTANT to take a break to recharge from the school year. We know you worked your butt off and to prevent burn out, remember to take a deep breath and relax.
Let’s Go wishes you a safe and fun summer!
As we enter the Spring and Summer seasons, we are excited to see the leaves change in colors, and enjoy our summer outfits as we prepare for the warmer weather. However, some of us might not be as enthusiastic about the change due to an unwanted visitor: Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a type of depression that is brought on by seasonal changes; it begins and ends about the same time every year (Mayo Clinic). One of the treatments for this disorder is therapy and if you’re a college student, we have some good news for you – you are able to receive therapy through your institution! What’s even better is that you are now able to receive therapy without having to show up in person thanks to teletherapy. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many institutions have now implemented telehealth services for their students to make healthcare more accessible. Though, you are still able to receive in-person services if you prefer. Our Mental Health Directory now shows where you are able to receive teletherapy at your campus in addition to in person sites that offer therapy.
Preview and link to the map: http://bit.ly/3FbsG3S
Going through hard times can make it difficult to reflect positively, but these challenges also present a perfect opportunity to turn hardship into valuable growth. Read below to learn the ropes of self-reflection and the best methods to maintain this type of thinking within a positive framework.
The Process of Self-Reflection
Self-reflection is the knowledge of your fundamental nature and essence. It is a skill that can be applied to oneself to learn more about who we are. To self-reflect there are four small steps that you can take:
- STOP: Take a step back from life or a particular situation.
- LOOK: Identify and get perspective on what you notice and see.
- LISTEN: Listen to your inner guide, the innate wisdom that bubbles up when you give it time and space to emerge.
- ACT: Identify the steps you need to take moving forward to adjust, change or improve.
Now that you are familiar with the steps required behind the process of reflection let’s learn about when it comes in handy and the best methods to pursue. We typically have no problem self-reflecting when we find ourselves in conflict with other individuals or in a situation where we must question our behavior. However, it is also necessary and beneficial to reflect on cases where the act is not immediately innate.
Some ways in which one can reflect in positive ways are:
- Focusing our reflection on achievements, not mistakes.
- Dwelling on the past can be harmful to the way we spend our time thinking. We all remember that very irrelevant incident that may have occurred but was likely quite embarrassing. Our mind tends to hold onto memories associated with intense feelings of embarrassment, sadness, or hurting. It is best to remind ourselves that no matter how much time we spend thinking about such moments, we cannot change what happened. Instead, we can look forward to future moments where opportunities will arise to create memories associated with happier feelings.
- Remember the things we’ve done well.
- This tip connects well with tip #1. As a way to direct your focus away from negative memories, we recommend balancing your thoughts by remembering the events that have gone well for you. It is imperative to pat yourself on the back every now and then to avoid the brain’s natural tendency to focus on what we did wrong.
- Georgian Benta, the founder and host of The Gratitude Podcast, provides us with a simple example. “At the end of each day, go through what you experienced and find three things that you did right. It can be something as simple as driving to work and back safely, putting the final touch on a project, or being able to respond better to a difficult situation.”
- List things we appreciate about ourselves.
- As previously mentioned, our brain, at times, can be difficult to deal with. It can unwillingly narrow our focus on our flaws, whether they be mental or physical. An excellent way to tackle this issue would be to create a list including things you appreciate about yourself. Georgian Benta suggests that helps with the achievement of a healthy self-image and confidence building. Benta quotes one of his podcast guests, Rino Soriano: “The more value you find in yourself, the more appreciative you are of your life and everyone else.”
- Talk it over with a trusted friend.
- Analyzing things from solely your own perspective can be limiting because we only see what our brain allows us to see. Discussing things with a trusted individual can bring us a new perspective that can impact our thinking moving forward. By having different perspectives, we can think about the event we’re churning over and where it really stands in the scale of things.
Time to Self-Reflect:
To get some ideas flowing on how we can best reflect, here is a worksheet to get started. For those of us who like to write out our thoughts, journaling is a great way to reflect too! Some questions we can write about are:
- In what ways have you grown as a person this year? What/who has influenced you? And what have you learned?
- Write about your top 3 goals. What are they, how will you feel when you achieve them, and finally, what will your life look like?
Meditation is another suggestion for those of us who aren’t inclined to write as much. Remember, it is essential to recognize our struggles and our achievements. Reflecting in a positive manner can show us where improvements in our lives can be made. Benefits of positive reflection include; improved self-awareness improved confidence, provide perspective, facilitate a deeper level of thinking. All are vital to a healthy mind and a great way to perform an act of self-care.
By LIZBETH MARQUES TORRES, ASHLY MORALES
For many of us, practicing mindfulness can often be as elusive as finding the end of the rainbow or any magical creature. Practicing mindfulness can take on many forms.
So what is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is defined as a mental state of awareness or being in the present moment. Practicing mindfulness can be as simple as bringing attention to one’s breath or meditating. Other forms of practicing mindfulness may include taking a walk free from distractions, from our phone, or other forms of technology. At the heart of mindfulness is focusing on one single thing at a time. Anything that assists you with concentrating on the task at hand can be considered a way of practicing mindfulness. Now that we’ve defined mindfulness let’s look at how we can practice mindfulness in a modern world full of distractions.
How to practice mindfulness
- Take a break from technology
- Don’t check your phone first thing in the morning.
- Instead, read a book, journal, make a list, or stretch.
- Eliminating electronics at the beginning of the day can reduce anxiety, stress, and worry.
- At night, avoiding electronics a few hours before going to bed can help us sleep better and wake up more rested.
- Go outdoors
- Go for a walk and leave your phone at home.
- By doing this, you remain present while being active.
- Look for new things on your path, pay attention to flowers, clouds, trees, or birds.
Noticing the changing of the seasons in nature is a great way to stay in the present.
- Focus on doing only one thing at a time.
- If you’re eating or cooking, turn off the television, podcasts, radio, etc.
- If you’re ready to take mindfulness head-on, take a yoga class or practice a breathing technique.
- Incorporating regular mindfulness practices into our daily lives can be a life-long journey.
Take your time and enjoy the process.
By JOSE LUIS MENDEZ ENTREKIN