Crowds got you down? Adjust your attitude with this mid-summer pick-me-up

‘I’m sick of the traffic! I can’t wait until summer’s over!’

‘What? More construction? Things sure aren’t what they used to be!’

We all feel this way sometimes, especially if we’re residents. Who hasn’t sat on Route 1 and patiently (or not so patiently) endured the traffic? But thinking a little differently will help reduce the damaging stress on your body that these feelings may cause.

For instance, consider what the building and construction does for the area. Without it, you might not own your own house, or, if you’re a visitor, have such a big choice of places to stay. Property, rent and hotel rooms would be even more expensive because there wouldn’t be as much competition to help control prices.

The crowds are an indicator that the area where you live or visit is popular. That’s a good thing! It means property values tend to rise, there are more services, shopping and entertainment, and, for residents—even in today’s market—you can often make a profit if you move.

Another plus, for me, is that I like to see people having fun. I’ve always wanted to live in a resort area. It lightens my spirits. I know that I’ll enjoy it when the crowds are here, and then, in the quiet months, I get to welcome different pleasures. Seeing so many people at the beach reminds me that it’s a nice place to be. People don’t usually flock to ugly or undesirable locations (you didn’t!). So, as I stop-and-go through town, I can at least tell myself, ‘I get to live and work in a nice place. How fortunate I am.’ OK, on a Saturday afternoon I might have to repeat this to myself a few times, but it’s effective nonetheless.

So many people tell me they originally moved to the beach for the scenery and the ocean. Then, after a while, they say, with regret, ‘I’m so busy! I never see the water or go fishing any more.’ Or, ‘I never do the things I used to do when I came here on vacation and loved the place.’ To which I reply: ‘No excuse!’ We all have choices. You have to CHOOSE to spend more time doing the things that motivated you to move here. I love to walk along the beach, and I block out time to do it. If I don’t make the time, then it’s nobody’s fault but my own.

It all boils down to this: You’re in the driver’s seat of your life. All you have to do is believe it and then act on it. Make the time to do what’s important to you. If you don’t, you’ll be unhappy, and then you’ll feel like a victim. Worse yet, a victim of your own choices!

Everyone talks about depression. But (contrary to the drug companies’ TV ads), most depression is easy to prevent if you deal with the little mini-slumps and aggravations before they can turn into something worse. Try this strategy for giving yourself a healthy mid-summer perking up: Once a day, do something only for yourself. That’s right, I said for yourself. Most of us are taught to never be ‘selfish,’ but, the fact remains that if we don’t care for ourselves first, we won’t be much good to our family, friends, anybody—including ourselves.

Human beings sometimes need to refuel. How you do it is up to you. Living at the beach, or visiting here regularly, can provide a number of unusual opportunities for refueling. It’s all just a matter of making time for yourself.

If you’re a mom or a dad, you’re strapped for time. But what about being a role model for your kids? They need to grow up seeing a parent who not only works hard, but also knows how to relax and have fun. Kids need parents who can take care of them, and, at the same time, take care of themselves. What better example to follow than that?If you work in a demanding business, your free time is probably in short supply. But how effective can you be to your clients or customers if you’re not happy? Life’s too short.

Even the busiest people have to take time to sleep and eat for their physical health. Doesn’t it make sense to also take time to refuel emotionally? Just an hour a day, plus a weekend day, can’t be too much to carve out of your week to look after your mental health.

So the next time you’re in traffic, or standing in line at your favorite restaurant, or upset by anything else, don’t think of yourself as the victim. Instead, make yourself the solution. Whether you live and work here, or you’re just visiting, you have the power to change your schedule just a bit so you can enjoy this very special place. It will make you happier—and isn’t that what it’s all about?