It’s officially summertime. Do longer days and hot weather signal relaxation and fun to you or do  you dread it? Would you rather crawl into a black cloud and wait until the all too sunny season is over?

Difficulty happens at every season. Loss creeps up when we least expect it. Discrimination, despair and disease comes during supposedly happy occasions just as it visits us on ordinary days. I’ve learned over time that the most important thing isn’t necessary why it happens, but how we will deal with it when it does.

As you read this, you may be in good spirits. You’re looking forward to time off vacationing with loved ones or spending more time with your kids. You’re excited about tank tops and shorts, parties, and spending more time outdoors. But you could also be in transition-just graduated, got married, recently retired, became an empty nester or a new parent.

Maybe you’re anxious about the increased time with family members, wearing a bathing suit or getting over a loss. If so, give yourself a break. It’s okay to mourn, to be antisocial, and to wish it wasn’t a summer day. Be compassionate toward yourself. But also remember that while it’s not fun, nor desired to go through hardship, if you endure it, you’ll find beauty, depth and wisdom from whatever you’re currently coping with.

“As a shovel digs up and displaces earth, in a way that must seem violent to the earth, an interior space is revealed for the digging. In just this way, when experience opens us, it often feels violent and the urge, quite naturally, is to refill that opening, to make it the way it was. But every experience excavates a depth, which reveals its wisdom once open to air.” – Mark Nepo, Seven Thousand Ways to Listen: Staying Close to What is Sacred

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

10 Ways to Thrive if You’re Highly Sensitive
(Cultivating Contentment & Happiness) – If you’re feeling anxious about an upcoming barbecue or drained after spending time at a recent summer party, you might be an empath. Learn what the advantages and disadvantages of being highly sensitive are and get tools to protect yourself from some of its overstimulating effects.

Drinking Alcohol Can Make Your Medication Ineffective
(Therapy Soup) – Why is your medication not working? Read why drinking alcohol when you’re also on psychiatric meds is more harmful than you think.

The Good News About Being “In Transition”
(Building Relationship Skills) – Transitions are normal and are often stressful. Yet endings like leaving college, retiring or starting a new job/school/relationship can be thrilling. As you’ll read here, it offers us a chance to grow, cultivate resilience and bring meaning into our lives. If we’re open to it.

Quotes on Singlehood and Solitude
(Single at Heart) – Let this collection of inspiring words on singlehood remind us all that it’s really okay to be alone.

Mental Disorder Symptom Severity: Are You Functioning OR NON-Functioning?
(Mental Health Humor) – What’s the difference between being fully functional and non-functioning? Chato B. sketches his take on the impairment scale used by doctors to target your treatment plan.