As the 4th of July and the parades pass us by, there’s sometimes a melancholy that can fill the summer air. While some can be energized by the contagious fuel that 4th of July celebrations bring, other may feel a deep sense summer may “pass them by.” Perhaps if the looming knowledge of fall and heavy snows ahead weren’t within us, maybe we wouldn’t have such a desire to “live summer to the fullest,” or perhaps it’s just the natural call that nature offers. If you are struggling to receive the invitation to “get out there,” or perhaps facing summer in a different way than you’d hoped this year, you aren’t alone. There’s still time to beat that summertime sadness!

Make friends. Yes, it’s like summer camp out there folks! No matter where you go right now, there’s a friend to be made! It may be a temporary acquaintance you meet or a new lifelong pal, but the friends are there, and this is how you are going to do it! You are going to go to one of the many FREE events and just say hello to someone or sit by someone new. In Newport alone every Wednesday there are FREE concerts on the waterfront and every Thursday there are FREE band concerts at the Gazebo. Every town is surely hosting multiple other FREE events this summer too. You are going to go and just sit by someone at the event! Then, say “hello,” and compliment the person beside you, “I love those shoes, red is my favorite color.” “I love your hat; the red sox are my favorite team.” And, right then, and right there, you have started a connection, and a friend is made!

Volunteer. This is an even better way to make fast friends AND you will feel so fulfilled after you give back to someone or something else! Every FREE activity you see happening likely has a ton of volunteers behind it, one of them could be you! Reach out to non-profit organizations and say you want to help! See an event coming up, take down the number or email and contact them to help. Volunteers are fast friends because you are working together on a common goal and there’s often a new bond that happens when you share in these experiences. If you have certain skills you might even be a larger gift to a volunteer organization than you realize! Reach out and see where you can help.

Go on a date. Keep reading. With yourself, or if you have a friend or partner and you are struggling with summer blues together, go together, but make it a date. Think of all the summer dates you’ve seen in movies or read about in books. They stroll by the water, eat outside, smell flowers, and watch the sunset, why can’t you? Why can’t you lay on a blanket and stare at the stars? You can! Even people who aren’t struggling with summer do these things alone, and they aren’t concerned about if people think they are alone. If you are out there trying something new, chances are no one is judging or even noticing you, and it’s because they are also living their own life. So plan a date, go fishing or fly a kite, but make it a date!

People who are feeling summertime sadness often feel they are missing out or time is going too fast. Those who are missing out often feel alone, forgotten or abandoned. What’s the remedy? Connection with other people, making new friends, having positive interactions, and small wins! It can be very challenging to step out of your comfort zone at first, but when you meet that first new person you really connect with, or feel that sense of accomplishment donating your time, or even just enjoy a fun solo date with yourself, you realize, this is your summer too! This is your life too. All days are days for you to be present, safe and satisfied. Summer is passing by, and it’s ok, because each season brings with it something special, but that doesn’t mean you have to let it. Here’s to hoping you can take some time to savor the season, even if it’s hard, even if it’s not how you had hoped or planned. Don’t let the summer pass you by!