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 to spend time just soaking up the warmth of the sun and topping up on a little vitamin D?
Yet, the summer months can pass by so quickly. I’m the first to admit that they’re great for getting some of those outdoor jobs done but it’s important to enjoy some time for yourself at this beautiful time of year. To help out with that, I’ve put together a few tips to inspire you to slow down this summer and enjoy the season…
PLAN YOUR TIME AT HOME AS YOU WOULD A HOLIDAY
When you go on holiday, you probably do your research. Take time choosing a place to stay, make a list of nearby attractions and check out which are the best beaches to visit.
Yet rarely do we plan our time off at home in quite the same way. So, when you plan to enjoy a few days at home, resist the temptation to create a long list of household chores and make a few plans. Think about any local places that you’d love to visit, organise a picnic or lunch with old friends. Fill the cupboards with your favourite foods and have all of your ‘feel good’ clothes ready and waiting for you!
LEAVE SPACE IN YOUR SCHEDULE FOR SPONTANEOUS TIME OFF
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. And yes, I know that we all have responsibilities and can’t spend every moment enjoying the sunshine but even if your weekdays are jam packed perhaps you could leave a little space on the weekends for a spontaneous barbeque or picnic. Remember that it doesn’t have to be extravagant; sometimes the simplest plans are the best.
SPEND AS MUCH TIME AS POSSIBLE OUTDOORS
Spending time outdoors tops up depleted levels of vitamin D and feeds our soul like nothing else. It’s so good to get out and enjoy the smell of freshly cut grass and flowers in bloom. To sit back and appreciate the natural world around us. And, it’s much easier than you think. Wander out on your lunch break, eating dinner outdoors, making lunch dates in the sun. You get the idea.
HAVE A PLAN B
Living in Britain means that a plan B is always a good idea because even the best start to the day can give way to heavy showers within minutes, or at least that’s how it feels sometimes.
So, 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, having a plan B can stop a day out getting cancelled and everyone staying home in front of the TV instead.
If there’s a chance that your plans would be spoilt by bad weather, then take a few minutes to think through a couple of alternatives...are there any indoor local attractions in the area, or plenty of places to take cover along the way? Or, perhaps you just want to pack something waterproof and defy the weather altogether!
ENJOY THE SMALL THINGS
What do you love most about the summer? Time in your garden, getting up early to enjoy your first drink outside while listening to the birds. 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. Whatever small things mean the most to you, then try to do more of them this summer - it’ll feed your soul and help carry you through the chilly months that follow.
I hope that I’ve encouraged you to reduce your to do list and take it a little easier this summer. To find more pause in your days to reconnect to the things that really matter.
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.