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Western Reserve Psychological Associates, Inc.Empowering change for over 40 years
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Dog Days of Summer

August days are often called the "dog days of summer"-those last, lazy days before children return to school. Many families take vacation at this time of year. It's the last break before the crush of regular commitments. Even if you aren't planning a get-away-to-the-beach vacation, you can still make time for some summer fun and relaxation. Read books, go to the park, or take bike rides or walks. Pick out some of your favorite activities and do them now. Make time for relaxation every day.

It's surprising the number of people complaining of being stressed. They don't take time to relax. Some people say that they are too busy for fun. Or they have forgotten how to relax. All of us need to recognize the value of taking time every day to do something special for ourselves. It doesn't have to take much time. Twenty minutes or so will be effective. Learn to de-stress daily. Then keep your sense of humor intact by finding something to laugh about daily. Learn to be open to the joys of each new day. If you look hard enough, you'll find pleasures to keep you smiling. Don't underestimate the power of holding onto good thoughts rather than worrying or anticipating misfortune.

During these dog days of August take brief daily mini-vacations. Enjoy some stress-free fun. Then keep up that habit of stress-free mini-breaks all year long.

Suzanne H. Hetrick, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist

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