Despite a couple of intense showers here in Melbourne, summer has finally arrived, bringing with it a sense of joy and relaxation for many. However, that’s not necessarily true for everyone. The world around us remains as chaotic and uncertain as it did last winter; enduring COVID-19 fear, the cost of living crisis, and climate anxiety can make it difficult to embrace the carefree spirit of summer. Consequently, here at Sarah Urban, we want to highlight strategies for navigating the complexities of the current times and finding moments of calm amidst the chaos.

The first step to feeling our best possible selves is to make a conscious effort to check in with our emotions daily. Taking a moment to explore your feelings without judgement, but with curiosity, may uncover sentiments you didn’t realise you had. Understanding your emotional landscape can provide insights into patterns and help you become more self-aware, fostering strength for the challenges ahead. An easy way to make a conscious effort is to practise yoga or listen to a mindfulness video, which is why we created the "For Your Yoga Practice" Gift Box!

However, yoga is just one of many doable goals and new hobbies that we can pick up to help guide us in times of uncertainty. By breaking down big tasks into bite-sized wins, we can achieve a sense of pride and accomplishment. Whether that’s immersing yourself in a new language, getting creative with collage-ing, or expanding your cooking repertoire, there’s a world of opportunity out there to help provide a meaningful anchor amidst times of ambiguity. One activity that Sarah has always enjoyed is cooking. For cooking inspiration, check out our exclusive Sarah Urban recipe cards on the Facebook Lifestyle community group or our e-book, which you can purchase on our website. Simply cooking one new thing a week can add some vibrancy to our lives.

Our third recommended strategy is to embrace nature’s ability to alleviate summer anxiety. I think we can all agree on how essential our daily walks throughout COVID-19 lockdowns were for rejuvenating ourselves and providing relief from our stressors. This is especially true in summer, where the warm sunshine, gentle breezes, and vibrant colours can work wonders for our mental well-being. Spending time outdoors allows us to reconnect with ourselves, whether it's a leisurely walk in the park, a beach day, or simply lounging in the garden.

And our time spent in the tranquillity of nature doesn’t need to be alone. In fact, a powerful antidote to feeling overwhelmed lies simply in conversation with our dearest. A burden shared is a burden halved. By breaking the silence and connecting with those who matter, you not only vent your anxieties but also strengthen those bonds. A check-in over an evening stroll or a day picnic in your local park can be the perfect backdrop for opening up. Sadly, physical distance and unavoidable responsibilities may separate us from our loved ones. In that case, sending a thoughtful gift or scheduling a future dinner night, even if it's a month away, can convey your care and strengthen your connections. 

Most importantly, it is essential to embrace empathy, patience, and compassion, both with ourselves and others. We all have different coping mechanisms. Whether it's turning away from the news, socialising less, or other strategies, let’s support each other without judgement. Remember, we are all in this together, and through collective support, we can create a more compassionate and resilient community.

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