…amazing how the seasons affect our outlook!!!
Published in Wayne Living, August 2017 issue.
We Northerners cherish our summers! We wish away our winters… longing for the Spring flowers and yearning for the Jersey Shore and other travel adventures. Spending more time with extended family ~ and friends.
Yet, very few of us slow down. We still have our responsibilities… and no matter what we resolve at the beginning of each New Year ~ one project replaces another. Spring and Summer present even more activities! AND, we are still ‘available’ 24/7 through technology ~ be it our mobile devices, notebooks, laptops. That never changes!
Children have as many, or more, opportunities: sports, camps, studies, music, arts, performances ~ pursuing talents that the academic year limits. So do adults! Longer hours with golf and tennis matches… long distance cycling…
Graduations and weddings come from every direction.
While we have relatively few snow falls in comparison to spring/summer chores: lawns that need mowing, gardens that need planting, watering, weeding ~ we manage all of these with a better perspective. We tend to fit all the summer ‘extras’ in and still manage to get out for more walks, bike rides, meals ‘in’ or ‘out’ with friends and family. It has to be more than just more daylight!
SO… here’s a concept… Let’s use this appealing season to take a fresh look at what sparks our joy, makes us feel more refreshed and energized, healthier, happier. Find a way to extend this outlook… eek it out some way, some how throughout the year! Let’s give it longevity!
Are you with me?!?! Where do we start???
Maybe the same place we start with New Year’s Resolutions. A LIST! Yup…the list we had on January 1st. Review what progress there has been. What worked; what did not. Now ~ a mid-year list. Perhaps you’ll be inspired because you have accomplished more than you thought. Maybe there’s something you completely forgot about and would prefer not to show up again at year end review. Even better… something that was looming that simply doesn’t matter anymore. And, of course, something new and inspiring may present itself.
There are key elements to our overall attitude during every season. All have to do with a healthy outlook. What pieces remain the same???
We sleep, eat, hydrate, work or go to school, hobbies, exercise, socialize. We are lucky enough to have choices about many of these elements.
If we look at each of these NOW… with our summer joy, extend this attitude to what is different as the days shorten ~ we may just find a new way of thinking about the things we do during the relatively shorter winter. Wow! What a concept…
What are the basics? ~ and how does Summer trump the other seasons?
1. Sleep ~ 8 hours is still the recommended minimum. Do you sleep better in the summer? Is it more fresh air… getting outdoors? Being more active?
2. Eating Habits ~ Are you eating more variety? Most foods are available year round. Burning more calories with more activities? Simpler foods on the grill with less sauces, etc??? More fresh fish???
3. Hydrating ~ Warmer weather does promote thirst. Are you drinking more water – or inspired to make ‘fresh’ drinks like lemonade or iced tea from scratch? Cucumber Water? Yes, we can do that all year!
4. Work or School? Somehow we manage to manage these hours better in the summer. More time for joy!
5. Hobbies ~ Can be seasonal, but just as plentiful – like reading!
6. Exercise ~ Again, seasonal, but just as much variety.
7. Socializing ~ the fresh air element IS definitely not sustainable. So ONE out of SEVEN… leaves us a manageable perspective for year round attitude adjusting!
There is no doubt that ‘better’ weather, daylight and sunshine create an overall atmosphere of well-being ~ and generates a higher ‘activity’ level.
The magic here is that the list brings a better perspective and a basis for ‘attitude action.’ We can be pre-emptive and make our Mid-Year List while listening to the waves, taking a hike or cycling ~ or that extra evening walk. Make it a lively conversation with friends or family.
Make your Mid-Year Resolutions that will energize you for the next 6 months.
1. Sleep ~ Turn off all electronics an hour before you plan to fall asleep. You’ll miss (and then not miss) the energy that one last text or email sparks. Late night news can definitely spike your energy no matter how tired you were before viewing.
2. Eating Habits ~ Build awareness of what changes with the season. Just being cognizant is huge.
3. Hydrating ~ Again ‘awareness.’
4. Work or School ~ Hang on to the planning you do to be more available for ‘breaks’ in your day or week. It’s still the same 24 hours; 7 days a week.
5. Hobbies ~ There is always something new to explore.
6. Exercise ~ Just change your wardrobe!
7. Socializing ~ Game night! Challenge your friends and family to come up with new ideas!
8. Make your Mid-Year Resolutions while the sun is shining ~ And maybe you won’t notice quite as much when it’s not! YOU’LL keep shining!
I’d love to know what you come up with!