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Being the Best You for Summer



With summer coming around the corner, many people are frantically heading to the gym to hop on the treadmill, perform sets of crunches, and tone up for the bikinis that have been shoved in the back of their closets. Then, after working up a sweat at the gym, they head to the cafeteria to pick at a salad with a side of water. Yes, we are all guilty of this frantic move toward the sunshine and getting our bodies out of the winter rut they have been in. However, I am going to suggest that there is something more important we need to have to get ready for summer. It can be achieved by the hard work at the gym, but it can also be achieved by stopping for a moment and marveling at something beautiful, by laughing with a good friend, or by watching a sappy movie and practicing wishful thinking. I’m talking about happiness. And yes, happiness does come partly from looking and feeling good, but it also comes from a million other things that have nothing to do with running an extra mile, or gulping down eight extra ounces of water.

In my opinion, happiness is the best way to achieve the confidence that summer demands. It’s something about the warm breeze during the summer months that makes everyone want to smile at strangers, take an evening walk, and cook up something fresh. All of these things demand a certain amount of confidence and poise. And the best way to do this? Happiness! When you’re happy, everything is ten times easier, even pesky chores or school assignments don’t seem too bad. The proof of this is in your own experiences. Think about a time when you were really sad, tired, broken-hearted, or all of the above. Do you remember how hard it was to motivate yourself to get out of bed or do productive activities? When you’re sad or lonely, everything takes so much more energy, that there simply isn’t any energy left to smile. But there is preventative action that we should all take in preparing for the summer months. First of all, practice. If you practice smiling and feeling content now, it will be a much easier transition into summer. Next, surround yourself now with things that make you happy. A lot of times, people wait until they have finished up their finals to indulge in what makes them happy. That, my friends, produces a false rocketing up to happy, which usually results in some sort of crash. Instead, indulge in some happiness now and then, in order to keep your future happiness at a perfect level. Finally, make plans! Talk about your summer plans to people, make plans with your favorite people, and look forward to these plans. This way, you can keep up your happy all summer long.

So while you’re working off your winter layers at the gym, don’t forget to work on your spiritual summer self, too. Build up your happiness while you tone down, and you’ll have the best summer yet!

I am studying Organizational Communication with a emphasis in Public Relations at the lovely University of Portland. I grew up in Salem, Oregon, but I absolutely love living in the city. My hobbies are reading, writing (obviously), running, and watching cat videos. And eating. I also love window shopping in the Pearl District, going to the Saturday market, and trying out new restaurants.
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