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I don’t know about you but I love to feel the sun on my skin! Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about safety first - I am a redhead with very pale skin and freckles after all – but, doesn’t it feel amazing when you manage to spend the whole day enjoying the warmth of the sun and topping up on a little vitamin D?
Yet, the summer months can pass by so quickly and while I’m the first to admit that they’re great for getting some of those outdoor jobs done. It’s important to take a little time for yourself to enjoy this beautiful time of year. That’s why, I’ve put together a few tips to help you slow down this summer and enjoy your days more…
PLAN YOUR TIME OFF AT HOME AS YOU WOULD A HOLIDAY
When you go on holiday, you probably research the place you’re staying in. Make a list of nearby attractions? Look up the best beaches to visit and walking routes to try.
Yet rarely do we plan our time off at home in the same way. Resist the temptation to fill up a list with cleaning and household to do’s. Think about any local places that you’d love to visit, make plans for picnics and lunch with old friends. Fill the cupboards with your favourite foods and have all of your ‘feel good’ clothes ready and waiting!
CREATE SPACE IN YOUR SCHEDULE FOR SPONTANEOUS TIME OFF
It sounds odd, doesn’t it - planning to be spontaneous! Yet it’s so important to make the most of those glorious days when they do appear.
I try and leave a few gaps in my calendar over the summer so that when the sun shines, I can spend a bit more time walking with my dog or finish an hour earlier to catch up on some reading in the sunshine. I know that some of you are thinking ‘well that’s ok for you but i…’ and I get it, it sounds idealistic and maybe your weeks are jam packed but perhaps you could make a little more space on the weekends for a spontaneous barbeque or picnic. It doesn’t need to be extravagant; sometimes the simplest plans are the best.
SPEND AS MUCH TIME AS POSSIBLE OUTDOORS
When the winter’s long gone, and the changeable spring months are over, it can feel like you’ve been cooped up indoors for ages! Spending lots of time outdoors helps top up our depleted levels of vitamin D and just as importantly feeds our soul like nothing else.
Of course time outdoors is good for us mentally and emotionally too. It’s great to get out and smell the flowers, the freshly-cut grass, and to simply sit back and appreciate the natural world around us. And, it can be easier than you think. Try walking out on your lunch break, eating dinner outdoors, making lunch dates somewhere where that you can take a wander. One of my intentions this summer is to take my yoga practice outdoors a lot more – who cares if I haven’t perfected some of those poses yet – we’re all different and I’m happy being a work in progress.
HAVE A PLAN B
If you live in Britain, you know that the weather can be a bit… shall we say changeable? The best start to the day can give way to heavy showers within minutes, or at least it feels that way.
That’s why a Plan B is such a good idea. Think about what you could do if the weather interrupted your plans. Now, most of us are used to carrying on regardless and some of my favourite memories are of when the weather didn’t quite go to plan! But, if there’s a chance that your plans would be spoilt by bad weather, having a plan B is a good idea. If you’re travelling, then are there any indoor local attractions in the area? Or plenty of places to take cover along the way? Or, you might simply want to make sure that you have waterproofs packed and defy the weather altogether!
Whatever your approach, it’s worth remembering that a Plan B can prevent disappointment and a wasted day. It’s so very easy for the weather to encourage you to snuggle up in front of the TV instead and while there’s nothing wrong with that sometimes, if we let the British summer stand in the way then we’d never go anywhere would we?
ENJOY THE LITTLE THINGS
For me, there is nothing nicer than taking 10 minutes to sit outside with a cool drink appreciating the sun on my skin while listening to the birds sing and the sounds of the day moving around me. What little things do you enjoy in the summer? Maybe you are thinking of pottering around in your garden. Putting in bedding plants or arranging hanging baskets might be on your list of things you enjoy.
What about lying in the shade with a new book? Making ice cold smoothies or getting out the paddling pool (even if you don’t have kids)! Maybe you love to eat outdoors, take long walks in the evening or just enjoy the slower pace that summer can bring.
Summer is the best time to take it a little easier. Ease up on the amount of things you put on that to do list and aim to do less and be more. I hope that I’ve encouraged you to take a look at what you have planned and make a few changes that allow you to find more pause throughout your days to enjoy this wonderful time of year.
AUTHOR: LEANNA DOOLIN
Co – Founder of holistic skincare brand, Pure Thoughts and advocate for women finding pause in their day to breathe deeply, give thanks and reconnect to what matters. Loves early mornings, dogs and books that you can’t put down.