Mindful Summer Tips

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A common view of Summer is a time of vacations and time to kick back a bit. Often this is not the case for many people. Parents with children have their ongoing demands to juggle work and family responsibilities. This is compounded by finding and managing new or multiple options for their children on Summer break from school.  Frequently workers find themselves required to take on extra work to cover for fellow employees on vacation.

Mindfulness can be an antidote to this additional stress. There are many routine activities that can become an “oasis” in the midst of our busy Summer lives. These provide opportunities to tune into the moment.  For example, simply take a slow mindful inbreath & outbreath, notice sensations in the body (perhaps areas of tightness or tension), tune into sounds in the environment, and name any emotion that might be present (urgency, irritation, frustration, worry).

Here are some other routine activities and moments in which we can practice coming back into the present, rather than the habit of distracting ourselves into something else:

  • Take a mindful bath/shower: tuning into the smells of the soap/shampoo, the sound of the water, the touch of the soap and water on the skin.
  • Awakening in the morning: tuning in to the sounds of the morning, i.e. birds chirping; observe how the light begins to stream into the room; the touch of the sheets on the skin.
  • Phone ringing: Let it ring at least 3 times, hearing the full ring and taking a full mindful breath feeling your feet on the floor or your sit bones on the chair.
  • Sit in a chair or hammock outside: tune into the sounds of nature, observe the colors of the trees, flowers, grass; sense the body and the contact points where it makes contact with the chair or hammock, take numerous full mindful inbreaths and outbreaths.

You can teach your children these same ‘mindful moments’ and make a game of finding other routine activities to “tune into” rather than “tune out”! This might include things like standing in line, waiting to cross the street, brushing teeth, three breath hugs (mindfully breathing in and out and ‘being there’ for the hug).

The following authors will give you some more ideas.

Mindful moments in nature:   https://mindfulminutes.com/6-ways-nature-can-boost-energy-ease-stress/?platform=hootsuite

And another for children…and parents too!   http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-25290/10-ways-to-teach-mindfulness-to-your-kids-without-even-trying.html

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