Thursday, June 23, 2011

How To Get In the Summer Mode

Summer always excites me. 

There is a renewed energy - birds are more lively, the sun is blazing, the blue sky is brilliant, and the air has a certain "summery" scent to it.

Kids are out of school, so their play days start earlier. There are less cars on the road. More people are lounging at cafes and coffee shops.

Priorities shift. 

In the American culture, we are so accustomed to being productive. We are constantly working, trying to do more, hit our goals, hone our craft - we are always in the "busy" mode. Unfortunately, trying to get into the "summer" mindframe can be hard to do.

How can we break out of the busy into the summer mindset? 

Think like a kid.

1. Anticipate - Kids work hard during the school year. And they look forward to summer break. Since summer comes at the same time every year, start gearing your mind and heart toward it. Look forward to days of fun and relaxation.

2. Get active - Look for summer events, concerts and activities to do your community. Take a walk after work to decompress and refresh. Explore a new trail on your bike. Find a fun dance class like salsa, swing or the tango. Go to the water park with your little ones. Set up a badminton net on your front lawn and toss the birdie around.

3. Enjoy the outdoors - Remember the days when you and your friends played outside until the street lights came on or your mom or dad hollered your name to come in and eat dinner? Summer is about being outside - not cooped up indoors. Dine outdoors: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Get your grill in gear and cook on your patio. Picnic more. Take a nap on a chaise lounge or a blanket laid out on the grass.

4. Be giddy! Kids embrace the energy and giddiness of summer. They don't stress over school, how they should have done more extra credit work, written a longer essay, drawn a better picture, joined more clubs and organizations - they tend to let the pressures of school go. They get that summer is about relaxing and having a fun time - not being tense and uptight.

I know - you have a job to go, a business to run, and/or a household to take care of, etc. In the midst of those responsibilities, you can still let lightness and life flow in your daily "work". Allow the season of summer to lift some of those grown-up "burdens".  Luxuriate in all that the summer season embodies: sunshine, blue skies, brightness, and recreation.

You will find yourself more refreshed and more productive in the daily work stuff.

Don't let busy fool you. Summer is here! Let the kid in you come out and play!