a tool to help you seize your summer

As I’ve mentioned, summer isn’t my fave. Here in New York, it is hot, sticky, and oh-so-stinky. (Oy.)
I’m doing better this year, though. In fact, I’m really proud of how I’ve dealt with this summer so far.

However, as we know, there’s always room for improvement (especially when it comes to this hot, sticky season).

Because of that, I created a tool to help myself seize summer. I want to share it with you today, because you might find it helpful. Or you might know someone else who would find it helpful.
The Summer Compass
I’m calling it the Summer Compass. It’s a tool you can use to reorient yourself when you wander off the charted course, or to remind you that you’re headed in the right direction when you are.

You can create your own compass by asking and answering a few questions. (Ask ‘em on paper, not in your head. Writing these down is critical for creating a dependable tool to return to over time.)

1. What’s your destination? (What are you aiming for this summer?)

Here are just a few ideas of possible destinations:

  • I’m aiming to look back on this summer and be proud of how I dealt with what can be a challenging time for me.
  • I’m aiming to feel more like a part of my community, and less lonely, than I usually do during the summer.
  • I’m aiming to take advantage of the outdoors.
  • I’m aiming to do the activities that I want to do, without being held back by negative body image.

2. When are the times when you’re most likely to go off course? (These might be pitfalls you recognize from years past, pitfalls you’ve experienced this summer, or pitfalls that you think might show up soon.)

Here are a few examples of what going off course might look like:

  • I go off course when I spend too much time watching television by myself.
  • I go off course when I decide not to go to the beach because I don’t want to be seen in a bathing suit.
  • I go off course when I go to more than X social gatherings without giving myself introvert recovery time.
  • I go off course when I do things I feel obligated to do but don’t want to do.

3. What helps keep you on course? (What things can you do, either once or on a regular basis, to keep you headed toward your destination?)

Some examples of what might help you stay on course: 

  • Seeing a person I love at least X times per week keeps me on course.
  • Finding clothing I feel comfortable in keeps me on course.
  • Making sure I do the dishes every day keeps me on course.
  • Spending time outdoors at least X times per week keeps me on course.
  • Giving myself a small, nourishing sensory treat, regardless of whether I think I “deserve” it, every day keeps me on course.
It isn’t just for summer.
I know you already know this, but you can make yourself a compass even if summer isn’t hard for you. Just choose something that is hard for you, and get started. Your compass will be there when you need it, to provide something steady to hold onto. It doesn’t judge, it doesn’t chastise, and it’s always available for you to customize to your own, unique needs.

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