5 MINDFUL WAYS TO SLOW DOWN FOR THE SUMMER

Summer time and the livin’ is easy….or is it? Often September rolls around and we end up asking ourselves “where did the season go?” The truth is even though school is out and the days are longer, we still have careers and commitments to attend to. But, with a little planning and a bit of energy, you can utilize those balmy evenings and transform them into mindful memories.

Journal: Don’t get overwhelmed with the thought of a diary. Start with a small commitment: a few sentences a day and only for the 100 days of summer. This ancient tradition is a great way to track patterns, lower stress and learn more about yourself. Recently there has been positive psychological findings that journaling assists in the creative process – by giving your Left brain a task, the Right side is free to create, solve problems and improve intuition.

Connect: Nothing says summer like a back yard bbq or park picnic. Pick an afternoon or evening of the week that is solely dedicated to friendship. Studies show that relationships with friends can give a sense of belonging and purpose as well as help with self-confidence and worth.

Appreciate Nature: Create a ritual that encourages mindfully take in your surroundings. Walk to work, bike to the store or go for an urban hike. When you slow down, you can actually see and absorb the existing scenery more. It’s amazing where simple inspiration can live.

Adventure: Be bold, be daring, get crazy. Ok – maybe not crazy but indulging in an adventure can break up stagnant patterns and assist in clarifying thought processes. Adventure has been known to also aide in immune function. Doctors are starting to give out “park prescriptions” that solely rely on adventuring in the great wide open.

Color: It may be trending but coloring is the new meditation. This activity encourages the right & left side of your brain to work together which helps to analyze situations with creativity and problem solving skills. Coloring also has shown to lower anxiety, relieve PTSD symptoms and calm nerves. So go ahead, color outside the lines a little bit. Your mind and body will thank you.

And if all else fails, a trip to the spa is always a sure way to relax and unwind!