Summer can be a busy time. A time of fun, activities, days out with families and friends. The days are longer and we can have more energy. However, sometimes, summer can mean having lots of plans and envisaging the perfect days, which sometimes don’t come into fruition, often due to things outside our control (yep, like the brilliant British weather! ).
Do you find yourself getting stressed out at this time of year, when plans don’t happen as you wanted? Or maybe feeling guilty because you aren’t able to do what you think you ‘should’ be doing? Perhaps comparing your own life to the images you see on the internet of the ‘perfect’ summer days or family activities.
Practicing meditation and mindfulness can help. The more we practice meditation, the more we can learn to be in the moment, let go of expectations and the stories we (or others) tell us of what things ‘should’ be. Instead, we can begin to accept what is arising in each moment exactly as it is, instead of trying to resist it. This is one of the main foundations of mindfulness, which we call ‘non striving’.
Summer can also sometimes mean a lack of routine. Perhaps you practice meditation regularly, but in the summer months, when your schedule seems to be jam packed or you’re juggling more family time with work, your routine goes out of the window.
The beauty of meditation, and particularly mindfulness, is that we can do it anywhere. Although sitting down for a formal practice of meditation, closing our eyes, and going within, is extremely beneficial for our mind and body, we can also bring short mindfulness practices into each moment, reminding ourselves to be present and appreciate where we are right now.
This could be taking a moment to pause and take 5 deep breaths, feeling your feet on the floor underneath you and bringing awareness to the sensations of the breath. It could be brining your attention to your senses, noticing what you can see, smell, taste, touch and hear at certain points throughout the day – to help take your attention out of your head. You could also bring mindfulness into different activities, going for a mindful walk for example. This is a great practice you can share with children. Taking in nature, all the different colures, smells and sounds and truly appreciating rather than rushing through.
We’re not saying that these practices will bring the sun out, but they might just help you to ease some of that stress that summer may have brought and enjoy your days that bit more ☀️… so why not give it a go?