Well, it’s officially summer in the northern hemisphere and it’s super hot in my teeny corner of the world. Whether you are sipping iced tea trying to keep cool like I am or if you live somewhere where the weather is more comfortable; one thing is sure we are into a brand new season. A new season always brings with it change, new energy, and new “tasks.”
The long summer days, the heat, and the break from school give us a clear message about the tasks on deck for this particular season. This season is all about slowing down, getting outside, and getting some warm sunshine on your skin. While you may not be out of school or off work for the summer (I’m not either) the message about slowing down is still really strong.
A couple of weeks ago I participated in an event that was dedicated to celebrating fun, self care, and a little bit of pampering. I was working as one of the vendors and offered small complimentary sessions to participants throughout the entire event. The number one message that came through during the event was a need for more:
- Self Care
- Down Time
- Restructuring of Day to Day Activities to Create More Balance
This message was not only a strong theme during that event but I’ve seen it continue over the last couple of weeks with clients and friends. Whenever there’s a big wave of any messages coming through I know that people are feeling it across the board.
- How about you?
- Are you feeling the need for some deep self care?
- Some real rest?
- The ability to walk away from your technology and communication devices and just breathe without worrying about what you need to do next?
Does just thinking about having a little more time for yourself make your body relax?
Well, if so, you’re not alone.
And, the great news is that this season is the perfect time for you to actually enjoy more time for yourself, time with loved ones, and time doing things that you love… even if that means simply sitting in your garden or on your front porch listening to the bees working.
The long hot days impact the way that our physical bodies feel making us slow down which helps us to rest, restore, and renew. This is also a time where excess stuff seems to feel even more overwhelming than usual. This feeling of wanting to streamline helps to eliminate excess distractions which contribute to more tension and stress within and around us. If you’re thinking about having a yard sale or donating a lot of belongings you are no longer using, then you are right on the mark for this clearing away task that is happening right now.
This is also a big travel time and an opportunity to get outside even if the only traveling you can do right now is day trips to places within your local area. Getting outside regularly will help you to unwind from stress or pressure, get back to your natural body clock, (which most likely doesn’t match your daily agenda or to do lists) and drink in the healing power of the sun. Being outside in the sun is really beneficial mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
Yes, of course responsible sun exposure is important but like all living beings on this planet, we need sun. The sun actually gives us energy and helps to balance us while clearing away tension. If you think about the sun’s ability to power vehicles, homes, and office buildings, you can see that the sun also powers us. Not to mention the beneficial vitamin D that we receive from being in the sun. Those who have seasonal affective disorder (raising hand) know first hand how challenging it is to live somewhere with limited sunlight a large portion of the year. The sun literally helps to increase happiness, energy, and clear thinking.
Think back to a time when you were younger, maybe after swimming and then laying on the concrete to warm up and feeling the warm summer sunshine soaking into your pores. This is a quintessential childhood summer feeling to me and a great one to use as a guide as you move through this season.
You don’t literally have to lie out on the concrete, maybe a nice lounge chair instead. Give yourself permission to bask in the warm and comforting energy of the sun. Pay attention to the way that your body feels, the way that your racing thoughts become quieted, the deep breathing you’re able to experience, and your overall relaxation level.
This feeling is a good barometer of the season. See how many ways you can create this experience for yourself throughout the day. You don’t need a lot of time to move into a place which feels supportive of you. Simply stopping and walking away from the computer for a few minutes, sitting in your backyard and having a glass of lemonade, going to a movie in the park or anything that allows you to slow down and shift your focus from doing to receiving will do. The more of these shifts to receiving you can build into your long summer days, the more you will feel like yourself again. Give yourself permission to build in a little bit of that childhood freedom and fun that comes with summer into your “grown up” summer too.
Enjoy the energy of this season, slow way down, do things that make you feel like a kid again. Let go of the extraneous whether it’s physical stuff, an overbooked schedule of things that don’t make your heart sing or a combination of both.
Host a porch party, garden party, or a game night. Drink in the summer air and walk around your home without shoes on. Drink iced tea out of a mason jar, make some homemade popsicles, and play tourist in your own town.
This is a season all about getting back to fun and you my dear, are worth it!
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