It’s summer, the period of time where most of us flock to the beach or to the pool to cool down from the hot summer, or we’re heading off to a bar to meet some friends over a cold beer. There seems to be a social event almost every night… and every weekend is chock-a-block with social opportunities. However… what happens if we need to work? Or study for an upcoming exam or resit happening in September?
Cancelling or refusing all social events, or most social events, to work overtime, or to work more part-time shifts, or to study, may seem very important in the moment, however, it can also lead to a feeling of missing out on all the fun – particularly when scrolling through social media and we see all the fun our friends and family are having.
One of the most important things to think about is balance. Do you really need to work all those extra shifts? Do you really need to study for 12 hours a day, every day? By maintaining a balance, we could possibly find the time to meet our friends for social events.
But how do you strike this balance?
The first thing you can do is to look at what you definitely need to do, and remove or limit things you don’t really need to do. So if you have a full time job, check if you have any vacation days that you can use during this period of time. If you work full time and part time, see if you can afford to not work all those hours every week, again look at your vacation days, or see how many shifts you need per month, and try not to work more than those. If you’re studying for an exam, remember that socialising and relaxing are both important aspects. They help you recharge, and keep your mind flexible to learn new material. So consider social events as part of your preparation for that exam. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to go out every night, but allowing yourself a few nights off a week, both to socialise, or just to relax, and go to the beach, are enough.
While workload doesn’t necessarily decrease during the summer months, by managing our time and striking this balance between work and relaxation, we can still keep up with our work expectations, and also with the various social events which pop up more often during the summer months. Don’t let this period pass you by, give importance to the social time you could have with your friends and family, as well as to the relaxation time you could be having to reconnect with yourself.
Mel McElhatton holds a degree in Social Work from the University of Malta. With Willingness, Mel does life coaching and is one of the facilitators in the IRL – In Real Life team. They are also the producer of the radio show Niddiskutu s-Sess. They can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 79291817.