The weather is warmer, the days are longer and the drinks are a little stronger. It’s summertime, and each bright summer morning screams “Seize the day!” while the warm summer nights encourage slower-paced moments of pure bliss and precious time spent with family and friends—the stuff that magical summer memories are made of. Summer is the season of happiness, energy, vibrancy, joy….and undoubtedly, rest. The magic? To harness the energetic vibes that spice up our wellness and welcome a sense of groundedness and calmness.
Start a summer bucket list
There is something about the changed pace of our lives during these months that makes it a little easier to dedicate some quality time towards personal growth. Perhaps we have (or recall) moments of heightened sensitivity to the sacred while at camp or on vacation. For some, the longer days invite reflection. Others are inspired by being around children on holiday from school; they model play and joy and wonder. Your summer bucket list is not a schedule, not an agenda, but simply a creative, inspirational and introspective exercise to visually represent the summer we crave. Maybe as our summer unfolds, it will hit all the points on our list—and maybe it won’t. Either way, by recording our bucket list and revisiting it throughout the summer, we create a map of the journey, progression, shifts in focus and what we ultimately found fulfilling and meaningful.
Get together, get outside and get moving, and catch the vitamin D rays
Between the warmer weather and the extra hours of sunlight, summer is the perfect time to be active outdoors and get the necessary amounts of Vitamin D, which helps to boost our mood, immunity and energy. Following the colder months and a busy spring season, the summer window is especially valuable when it’s used as a platform to connect with family and friends, doing anything from taking a leisurely stroll to having an outdoor yoga practice, to going swimming or playing a ball game. Summer is an excellent opportunity to enhance both the physical and emotional by enjoying all that nature and family have to offer.
Lighten up and brighten up your plate
In the summer, our bodies naturally crave smaller, lighter and cooler meals. Fortunately, in-season summer herbs and vegetables can be shining stars and make excellent additions to our summer plate. Herbs such as parsley, sage, basil and mint, as well as vegetables such as cucumber, tomato, zucchini and eggplant, are all great options and can be combined to make light, yet satisfying and delicious dishes such as this Persian Cucumber Salad and this Raw Zucchini Noodles & Mint Walnut Pesto.
Take advantage of this season for detox
According to Ayurveda, summer is the ideal season to focus on cleansing the pitta dosha, the excess heat and toxic physical and emotional manifestations, from the body. To expel the toxins built-up over the colder and less active months and to address the stress developed in the first half of the year, there is a need to stay calm and cool. In yoga practice, standing forward folds and spinal twists foster cooling energy by massaging the abdominal organs and helping to release excess physical pitta. Crisp summer mornings and calm summer nights provide excellent opportunities to set aside some time for mindfulness and the cultivation of an increased awareness and capacity to monitor negative thoughts and emotions that contribute to excess pitta.
Relax, be idle and waste some time
Oftentimes we welcome summer as a great respite from a busy year and then suffer through it because we neglect to take advantage of its full potential. Summer is just the right season for idleness, getting the creative juices flowing and simply messing around with things. “It does no good to think moralistically about how much time we waste. Wasted time is usually good soul time,” Thomas Moore has observed. Let’s quit doing, and revel in just being and enjoying. Giving our bodies and minds enough rest, without putting too much emphasis on our looks, has never felt more necessary and satisfying!