“In today’s rush, we all think too much — seek too much — want too much — and forget about the joy of just being.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
Summer is the perfect time for mindfulness. Summer comes with a natural air of joy and optimism that can’t really be matched by the other seasons; the world is brighter, greener, warmer and more positive! It is also the point in the year at which we appear to have a lot more leisure time on our hands. This stems from the fact that we tend to take our holidays in the summer time. But also, with the days being longer and us naturally migrating outdoors more often, the illusion is that we have much more useable time at our disposal. Take advantage of this wonderful time of warmth, light and natural beauty by welcoming some of these summer mindfulness opportunities into your day.
Schedule Time Away from A Schedule!
When we take time off or go on holiday, we often bring a jam packed ‘to-do’ list with us. So rare is quality leisure time, that we can become overwhelmed by pressuring ourselves to cram in as much as possible. Now, we aren’t saying ditch the list entirely, but we do suggest that you schedule periods of time in which you can enjoy doing absolutely nothing. Plan yourself a period of no structure. Take these moments to enjoy just being, or to just see where the mood takes you.
Practice gratitude. The summer, and holidays, are temporary. So, take time to notice all the good that you are experiencing, and to appreciate it. Also, do not linger on what comes after this time off bliss, just appreciate the moment and whatever beauty it brings.
Tech-less for a Day
Our brains are constantly on the go. Even if you are doing ‘nothing’, it is likely that you are in fact connected to your phone or plugged into some other device. Ditch all your technology for a day and open up your attention to the world around you. It is odd add first, but the experience is ultimately liberating and refreshing.
Take A Walk
There is no better way to take advantage of your technology free day than to take a walk. Take to the streets, the woods, the beach or the hills and see what beauty you can find to appreciate. Just pay attention to the world in front of your eyes and all its natural wonders!
Take Time for Meditation
In our normal busy lives, meditation ether has to be incorporated into our day to day activities or squeezed into our schedules amidst other commitments. Summer offers longer stretches of relaxation time, so put aside some of this for a good long meditation. If you can, take yourself out into nature. Holidays in new places offer an opportunity to meditate in new surroundings offering new and invigorating sensory experiences.
Where winter is the season in which we want to huddle, bunker down and nest, summer is the complete opposite. Embrace the space and openness of this time of year by clearing a room, or even your whole home if you have the inclination, to make your living space feel fresh and less congested. Also, the sense of achievement gained from this activity is a great boost to your general wellbeing!
Eat in Silence
Turn off the T.V and do away with the noise and chit chat you normally engage in while eating. Try, just for one meal, to eat in silence. Notice the act of eating, the smells and textures you experience. Mealtimes offer an ideal nugget of time in which to live in the moment and be mindful of your activity.
Try Something New
There is always something new going on during the summer. Take the time and good weather you are given in the summer to try out something new. We always make excuses for not trying new things; we don’t have time, we are too tired, there isn’t anything on offer. These things are much less valid reasons in the summer. Give something a go; canoeing, cooking, pottery, dance, climbing, whatever tickles your fancy!
By Chris Thomson
The summer is a happy time, but there are reasons to be happy all year round. Check some out: Reasons to Be Happy
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