Okay, its August. “I can’t believe summer’s almost over already!”
How can we prevent our minds from leaping forward to autumn and missing out on the glorious remaining weeks of summer?
Try these tips for mindfully appreciating August:
1) Bite into something seasonal. Before getting carried away by fall’s root vegetables and hearty soups, take a bite out of something currently in season. Pick up some Canadian blueberries or peaches and make a pie. Cull the basil from your balcony and make pasta with pesto. To ground yourself in the summer, try literally taking a bite out of August.
2) Get back outside. July may be the perfect month for camping, swimming, and lounging on the beach or the terrace, but the season for outdoor activities is far from over. Pools are still open, kids are still off school, and BBQ weather is still with us. Don’t let back-to-school advertising and an evening chill send you inside until next May. This weekend, eat brunch in the yard, take the kids to the park, or take a day trip to swim, hike, or canoe. It’s not too late.
3) Learn Something New: Read a book that interests and inspires you. See a museum exhibition. Try a new type of food or enroll in a one-night class. Remember what it’s like to learn and to be exposed to something fresh and captivating. It’s a very powerful feeling.
4) Look forward. Apple picking, hot chocolate, wearing cozy sweaters, reading by the fire, going for long walks in the park and not dying of the heat, and gallery openings are among the many things to look forward to. (and football!)
5) Reframe it. Cognitive reframing is a core part of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and is an effective treatment for anxiety and depression. The idea is to think differently and “reframe” negative or untrue thoughts into more positive ones. In other words, think about what you enjoy about the fall, instead of fixating on what you don’t like about the end of summer.
6) Change your routine. For the past five years have you gotten up at the same time? Did you eat the same thing for breakfast, or worse, skip it? Did you wear the same shoes every day? If you are feeling the dread of returning to school and work routines, a little switch in an everyday ritual might make the day more interesting. Eat something new for breakfast. Get to work earlier and leave earlier. Take a different route to work. Change the music you listen to, or check the weather on a different website.
Savor August and enjoy!