From Dr. Jane's Notebook

Summertime… a great time to "turn"

Growing up in Florida, local radio stations were famous for their musical reminders not to get sunburned. Every 20 or 30 minutes, a special chime would sound followed by the message “time to turn” signaling that it was time to change positions, apply more sunscreen, and most of all, not to fall asleep on the beach. Later on in life, the message “time to turn” has continued to remind me of the value of change, the importance of  timing, not to sleep my life away, and hopefully, how to avoid getting burned! Here are a few more thoughts on the matter.  

·        Summer is a great time to re-examine your life map. The months of summer are much like crossroads and intersections between busy years. These three short months lend themselves to taking a fresh look at our lives and catching up on some badly needed rest before starting over. During the rest of the year, we make tons of decisions and respond to another ton of decisions that get made for us. Summertime is our opportunity to look backwards and forward at the goals we have pursued, decide whether our goals are still worth pursuing, and evaluate whether we are still on track or have been blown off course.

·        Take time to feel better about yourself.  I often ask people what they need or want for themselves. A frequent response is… better self-esteem and more self-worth. While these two items may seem difficult to achieve, they are really quite easy.  The quickest way to raise your self-esteem…. is to learn something new. Learn almost anything and it will make you feel instantly smarter. For example, pick up a magazine, read an article and you will instantly feel better informed! The quickest way to increase your sense of self-worth… is to challenge yourself to accomplish something. You can choose from an infinite number of new challenges, or re-engage in an activity that you used to do just to prove to yourself that you can still do it! Some people choose to return to school, some resume athletics, others relearn how to play musical instruments. The world is full of possibilities.

·        Focus on just one goal at a time. The problem is that when we think about making changes in our lives, it is easy for our thoughts to get out of hand. Sometimes we overcomplicate our plans and overwhelm ourselves before we even start. Other times, we may oversimplify and thereby fail to plan adequately for the future. Take time to focus on one thing at a time. Remember the words of Kevin Costner, who portrayed a baseball pitcher in For the Love of the Game. Just before winding up for the pitch, he would think to himself, “Clear the Zone” of any distractions which might invade his concentration.

·        Take time off from your usual stresses and strains. Summer is a great time to get out from under the usual stresses and strains of life. Prolonged stress, a contributor to depression, can prevent us from enjoying even the most pleasurable of times. It can interfere with our usual interest in life, our motivation to try new things, our overall health and the well-being of our relationships. To stave off this blight, take a break from your usual routines and find new ways to enjoy your life. With another summer upon us, this is the perfect time to re-examine your way of staying alive. Take Time to Turn! Even small changes make a difference in our perspectives and energy levels.

In three short months, the summer will end and work days will once again grow longer. Hopefully you will look back upon this summer and feel refreshed. We could all use a little rest, relaxation and rejuvenation.

©Copyright, 2007, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.            

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