With summer just around the corner, you may have already spent quite a bit of time dreaming about all the exciting things you want to do before the cold weather arrives again. But how many summers have you experienced already where it ends too fast?
Although it has yet to arrive yet for this year, it will definitely be here before you know it. For this reason, it’s worth taking these extra few weeks beforehand to really hone in on how you’re going to make this summer a great one.
Doing everything you want to do and being the person you want to be starts with mindfulness. If you can just start being a little more mindful now and throughout the summer, you won’t look back in September and wonder how the last few months flew by so quickly.
Here are five mindfulness suggestions to start integrating into your daily routine.
Start unplugging more often.
It may be nice to show off all the summer fun you’re having on social media, but remaining plugged in all the time and constantly browsing or texting is a surefire way to miss out on loads of precious time that could be spent doing what you really want to do. Besides that, frequent use of smartphones and other electronics can easily become a bad habit that can get worse once you’re past the point of being totally hooked — so plan to start unplugging entirely for at least an hour a day, and try to increase that time as the summer draws nearer.
Practice being more present during mealtimes.
Ice cream, fruity cocktails, burgers, hotdogs, s’mores, and other summertime guilty pleasures are far too easy to indulge in when there’s plenty to go around. There’s certainly nothing wrong with treating yourself, but focusing on what you’re eating in the moment — including everything that has to with its sight, smell, texture, and taste — can help you slow down and even make healthier choices so you don’t go overboard. This is called mindful eating.
Make fewer plans and just go with the flow.
Research has shown that being more spontaneous in life rather than scheduling every event into your calendar makes them more fun and enjoyable. So instead of penciling in that coffee date with friends or that barbecue night with the extended fam, try giving them a range of when you think would be a good time to show up — such as “between 6 and 7:30pm” or even “Saturday after dinner.” This way you can enjoy going with the flow of what you’ve got going on while still sticking to a mild schedule.
Nurture your passions.
Your inner fire burns at its brightest and hottest in the summer, so don’t feel surprised if you find yourself feeling more motivated and courageous to take on certain challenges that are connected to what you’re passionate about. Start taking notice of what your emotions are driving you to think. For example, if you find that you feel excited and inspired at the sight of watching horses roaming in a field, maybe you could try horseback riding lessons over the summer.
Take some downtime.
Without maintaining balance between what you’re excited about and your need to recharge, you’re almost guaranteed to find yourself feeling burnt out and exhausted. Even though summer is the time to really kick it into high gear, make sure you’re engaging in self-care rituals preferably on a daily basis so that you feed and replenish your energies rather than using them all up too quickly. Take a quiet walk in the evening, read a book in the park, meditate by a window, or do anything else that helps relax you.