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It’s officially summertime, which means the sun is shining and the beaches are finally opened and full of people. It’s the time of the year a lot of people wish for as it is the season of joy, adventure, and connection. The world seems to come alive with vibrant hues of nature, the sound of birds and dogs in local parks, and the smell of smoke from bonfires and barbecues wafting through the air. However, amidst the noise of summer festivities, a quieter and more somber reality often lurks around unnoticed. That reality is called summertime loneliness. 

For many, summer often promises a time of freedom and happiness, but the expectation to be social and active can emphasize feelings of isolation and alienation for those who find themselves alone in their homes. Whether that’s due to physical distance from loved ones, life changes, or seeing other people enjoy summer in a way that probably isn’t possible for you, the bright days of summer can cast shadows of solitude. This loneliness is not just a fleeting emotion, but a profound experience that can impact your mental and physical well-being. I’ve, personally, experienced this feeling during the summertime and I have discovered a few ways to help overcome it.

Stay connected and find new connections.

A part of the reason I was experiencing summertime loneliness was due to missing my college friends. I felt weird reaching out to them while they were enjoying their summers in their hometowns or abroad as I felt like I would be bothering them in some way or another. To overcome this, I just reached out. I would send them a small message, saying how I missed them and couldn’t wait to see them again and wished them an enjoyable summer. Then, instead of constantly checking my phone, I would go out and surround myself with new people. I found volunteering and taking local classes that connect to my interests and hobbies to be a good way to meet new people. A summer job is also another way to meet people around your age and get to know them. To this day, I am still friends with people I’ve met through my summer job or by volunteering. 

Take care of yourself

Now that college classes are done and you have more free time, this would be a great time to embrace self-care. You could take a much-needed nap, find a new skincare routine, or try yoga. I personally like taking bubble baths at the end of the day and getting mani-pedis. I found prioritizing myself and doing things that make me feel good helped with my feelings of loneliness. It helped with my self-worth, which, in return, helped with my overall well-being. 

Learn to find comfort in being alone.

Being alone doesn’t have to be the same as feeling lonely. You can have an absolute blast by yourself. It took me a while to feel comfortable being alone, but once I did, I loved every bit of it. I began embracing being alone by going out on the town and eating out by myself. I would sit and read a book or take in my surroundings.

Once I was comfortable doing that, I began taking day-long trips alone, then two-day-long trips, and so on. You’ll be surprised by how enjoyable things can be when you do them alone. Yes, it’s nice to do things with your friends or family, but it is also nice going out and not having to worry about anything else but yourself and your own wants. 

Seek out professional health.

Like any other emotion, loneliness can become overwhelming. Seeking help from a therapist or counselor can be beneficial to understanding your emotions and finding alternative solutions. Professional support can provide coping strategies and a safe space to express your feelings comfortably. If you do need professional health, find someone you trust and don’t hold back. They are there to help you and there is no shame in needing extra support.

A lot of people have an idealized view of summer and what it should be. Some people may think you should travel, go to beaches, or meet new people during this time. However, it doesn’t have to be like that. You don’t have to spend every second outside, you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on concerts, and you don’t even have to put one foot into a pool. Summer is a time of relaxation and you should do whatever makes you happy and helps you relax. It is your summer to enjoy, not anyone else’s. So while other people are sitting poolside, getting a new tan, maybe you could be indoors, napping beside your pet while the birds chirp.

Hi, my name is Aricka and I'm a sophomore at Emerson College. I write articles ranging from horror and mystery to astrology and crystals. I hope you enjoy my content!