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Dedicated to self-harm recovery, insight and support.

Nothing to do this summer?

Universities have broken up for summer, it’s not long until schools will be breaking up and then plenty of weeks of freedom are just calling our name. I love summer purely because it gives me the opportunity to try new things, take time out of the normal busy schedule of life and absorb the world around me. This can involve anything from a spontaneous day trip to somewhere I have never been before to trying a new recipe or talking to an old friend. Here are some things for summer you might enjoy:

1) Find a new recipe you would like to cook or bake. Summer can be a great opportunity to hang out with your friends and bake together. Lots of mess normally equals lots of fun and you will most definitely always have something yummy waiting for you at the end. My all time favourite thing to make for my friends is Nigella Lawson’s, rocky road crunch bars (you can find out how here http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/rockyroadcrunchbars_87104). They are unhealthy but everyone loves them. Alternatively, why don’t you try out a healthy smoothie for a hot day? (Here’s one from Tanya Burr https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bg2BarAROnc but feel free to experiment with fruit and veg to make your favourite healthy drink!).

2) Have a ‘summer soundtrack’. I LOVE it when I listen to an album loads at a certain time of my life and then in the future when listening to the same album I am instantly transported into the nostalgia of a different year. Put together your favourite songs from this year, play them in the car, play them in the gym, and play them in the bath. Music can instantly lift your mood and get you motivated for having a good time. At the moment I am loving Mumford and Sons newest album ‘Wilder Mind’. Give it a listen.

3) Go somewhere you have never been before. Go on, I dare you. Book a train ticket or a bus ride to somewhere you haven’t been and go and explore, take a friend, take a camera. You’ll be surprised how much fun it is. Got a friend who you don’t live close to? Look at a train map and find a station that’s the same travel distance for both of you and get the train to it. Me and my friend did this recently, we ended up in Chichester, we had a great day exploring the town and shops, around the cathedral gardens and getting ice cream as well as catching up before we both head off to different countries for the summer.

4) Release your inner creative. Write, draw, paint, dance, sing. Activities like these can be relaxing for your mind and give you something to focus on. Admittedly not everyone finds it easy to be creative and it can lead to you feeling like a failure if your attempt at creativity ends in failure. Remember, just do the activity for the chance to try it, don’t expect to be perfect at it and don’t compare yourself to others. I have been loving creative colouring, you can get many different books in shops such as Waterstones with intricate patterns on each page. You can just fill in the little shapes without thinking too much and it really helps to de-stress. The book I have got is: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Creative-Therapy-Colouring-Book-Grown-Ups/dp/1782433007/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1436264871&sr=8-4&keywords=creative+colouring.

5) Read a book. Go to a bookshop and spend some time looking around at the different books. Find one you think you like the look of. Take it in your bag wherever you go, to a field, on a bus, on a beach and enjoy being involved in the story.

These are just five things I enjoy in Summer. Feel free to make a list of five things you want to enjoy this summer. Make this summer count, have fun, relax and most importantly, enjoy yourself.



Caitlin loves the seaside, loves community and is passionate about using her experiences of mental health to encourage and help others. She is currently living in lovely Brighton studying for a degree in International Development and Anthropology, however, spends most of her time eating cake, helping out at church and blogging. You can find her at caitlinfaithcollins.wordpress.com or touring the coffee shops of Brighton.

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