Whether you are looking to calm your mind after an intense day at work, or savour the beauty of a gorgeous summer day, these six ideas are a great way to make the most of the sunny season.
Savour a sunny morning coffee
Start your day with a clear mind. Slow down and enjoy that first cup of tea or coffee in the morning.
Right from the first flick of the on switch of your kettle to the final sip of your drink. Notice the sounds of the kettle boiling, the aroma of the coffee percolating, the temperature of your mug as the liquid heats it up. Sit by a window, or outside, and feel the sunshine on your skin and luxuriate in the fresh flavour on your tongue. Savour, observe and appreciate each sensation and set yourself up for a glorious summer’s day.
Absorb the sun
A summer day can feel long and sultry, but sometimes hectic and full of activity. Regardless, if you find yourself amongst the whir of the world and want to slow down your inner sanctuary, try this exercise.
Find a calm spot in the sun to centre yourself, settle down and start to focus on steady, relaxed breathing, keeping the rest of your body still. Stay focused on your breath, if your mind wanders observe this and gently shift your attention back to the rhythm of your breath.
Five minutes, minutes- there’s always time to put yourself first and get in touch with your body’s rhythm. It's great mindfulness, and let's your body soak up some vitamin D.
Embrace nature's sounds
Take a little wander into a secluded part of your garden, or the local park, settle down comfortably and allow yourself 10 minutes just to listen.
Try identifying all the different sounds you can hear inside and outside your body. The beat of your your heart, the gentle song of a bird, the rhythmic shudder of a train.
Which sounds are prominent? Which sounds are indistinct? This is a fantastic way to explore and connect with nature.
Put on some sun block. Fill up your water bottle. Switch off your phone and go exploring.
Drift through the roads, streets, and open spaces around you. Be led by your curiosity and intuition. Take in your surroundings, stop to consider the environment around you: how does it make you feel? What does it represent? How should we interact with it?
Walking is an incredible way to kickstart your day. Studies have shown there are clear and recognisable benefits to walking more. Not only is great for cardio, it's excellent for your mental health: increased energy, higher self-esteem, and more happiness.
What better way to admire and relate to your surroundings than to draw them!
Grab a sketch book, some pencils and go appreciate the outdoors. Urban or rural, perch and watch life unfold, sketching what you see.
Stop. And smell the roses
When was the last time you stopped to smell the flowers? Better yet, when was the last time you actively sought to find new and refreshing scents? The most ancient of the senses- smell can ignite memories and derive great pleasure.
Find a local botanical garden, community veggie patch, even a windowsill herb garden. Whether it's a 2 minute breather on your walk home or a dedicated olfactory tour- give yourself time to discover all the brilliant aromas of summer.
If you're really feeling green, you can always download the Plant Net app which will help you identify and log all the flora you sniff out on your adventures.