“I play in rock bands and I teach music at a high school, but it’s summer now so I’m not teaching. It’s really hard for me to relax and unwind because I normally work seven days a week. I’m used to schedules: these are my fifteen minutes to relax, etc. Now that it’s summer, I work on weekends at a shoe store. I have five days off—I don’t have to go to work until Saturday. For most people that’s probably the most freeing thing about summer, but I feel suffocated by all that free time. I can’t wake up Monday morning and say, ‘Oh, great, I’ll go back to sleep.’ I feel anxious, like I’m going to have a panic attack. I feel like I have to do something great with the day because it’s so precious. So I filled my free time with things that were stressful.
During the summers in past years, I would commit to every musical thing possible that I couldn’t commit to during the school year. I would agree to take part in projects, compose things, and do a million other stressful tasks. It was a mess. I’ve been getting better recently, though it’s still hard. Over the last year, I’ve started to realize that I can find ways to relax, though it’s taken the better part of my adult life to realize that. Now I sew, craft, and even make my own clothes sometimes. I’ve also learned that I really enjoy a glass of wine, a good book, and spending time with my friends.”