There’s always a morning when it hits me usually around mid-August. It’s usually hot, but something in the air signals that the end of summer is coming. It’s a sad sweetness in the moment that I realize that the pinnacle of something means that change is inevitable… It’s time to capitalize on the moment!
The great thing about owning my own schedule is that I have the freedom to move your schedule around when you realize there’s just a bit more time to live summer to the fullest!
Here are 20 ideas on how to be more present to this amazing time of the year.
1 – Wake up early… One of the best parts of having teens is that they sleep later! 😉 It’s provided me the necessary quiet time I need to center and stay productive during these lazy summer days! The days are still long, so it’s the perfect chance to wake up and catch the sunrise. I love an early morning ‘runk’ (run some, walk some…) Before the summer is over, take advantage of the crisp morning air and take a walk, run, or ride in the early hours.
2 – Yoga, Yoga, Yoga… We just returned from VT where we climbed (and later rode) to the top of Killington Mountain. What a rush to quietly move into different positions while standing on top of the mountain. I LOVE practicing yoga outside when the weather is nice. If it’s too hot or buggy, I opt for my front porch or deck. There is something very wonderful about silence and body movement outdoors.
3 – Be lazy… Take off for a day of total summer immersion. Don’t wait til you’re sick to pamper yourself! Call a friend, or pack up your family and hit a local hideaway, park, or secluded spot just for you. Throw down a blanket and watch the clouds!
4 – Escape for a last-minute beach visit… If you don’t have kids who are heading back to school, the late summer is a great time to find deals at the beach! Plus, when school starts, it’s a quiet and peaceful time to rejuvenate and be on the shore.
5 – Listen deeply… One thing I’ve learned from my coaching classes is an appreciation for listening deeply. I often find myself closing my eyes so I can stop the external visual input and focus only on what’s coming in through my ears. It works with people, and it also provides a feast of healing sounds for your ears while you are alone. Wind, birds, trees, insects, and all provide a cacophony of entertainment. Take some time to sit still and listen. Pure attention is a wonderful way to celebrate.
6 – Enjoy a Farmer’s Market… This is close to my heart because most of my extended family members are farmers. Farmer’s Markets are beautiful and wonderful ways to support people’s home businesses, and get great, fresh, organic food. If you’re a foodie – or even if you don’t like to cook much – GREAT, FRESH food is an inspiration! Late summer offers food when it is at its most decadent. Stretch yourself and purchase a few new veggies you’ve never eaten before!
7 – Enjoy a fresh garden tomato… The biggest reason I grow my own garden is because the end of summer is tomato time! My favorites are the big beefsteaks or orange-red heirloom tomatoes – not just because they taste so good, but because they are so completely beautiful when you slice into them. Each one is a work of art. Slice a tomato, cover it with fresh dill, and a little bit of salt. Or, enjoy it on toast with mayo, salt and pepper (a favorite of my sis!) OR – slice them and place them alternately with fresh mozzarella atop a bed of fresh greens and basil. Drizzle a tiny bit of balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and olive oil! Any way you slice it – is a slice of heaven!
8 – Enjoy an evening outdoors… Some of my very best concert memories are from the many concerts I’ve seen while sitting on a blanket in the grass. Outdoor performances rock – or, take a blanket out to a dark spot a night and stargaze. It’s a wonderful moment to stare up at the awesomeness of space.
9 – Fire it up… If the nights are getting cooler in your area, it’s a great time to light up a fire and have friends over for some intimate conversation by the outdoor fire pit. We keep a stock of used paper products as fire starters! We love a nice glass of red wine and chocolate by a late summer evening fire.
10 – Be outside more than inside… Sometimes I present myself with a challenge: Be outside more hours than inside. Nature revives me – even if the weather is not ideal. Our bodies get in tune and in touch when we surround ourselves with the natural rhythms of the earth. Sometimes I set up on my deck or front porch so I can work and be outside at the same time! Eat, play, read, drink, stroll, wander, hike, swim, boat, and party outdoors before the weather turns.
11 – Catch a great drive-in movie… One of my favorite memories of childhood was going to the drive-in on a summer’s evening with a picnic dinner and a frisbee… and waiting for the evening to end and the night to begin. There’s always a few good summer movies in each genre – so don’t wait for the DVD! Check the weather, plan your dinner and experience a memory-making evening out!
12 – Watch the sunset… One of my favorite memories of my surprise trip to France was when my husband and I had no plans and decided to watch the sunset from a Paris bridge. It was a beautiful way to experience the awe and wonder of life, sitting quietly and watching the sunset. It’s always free. It’s easy. And you can always find a great spot to make an occasion out of it. Grab a bottle of wine, a block of cheese, a baguette and some fruit and enjoy the moment with someone you love!
13 – Read something easy… There’s nothing better than indulging in that slightly embarrassing book you’ve been meaning to read. Don’t worry about hiding the cover behind a National Geographic magazine. Just enjoy it!
14 – DECLUTTER YOUR SPACE! This one is particularly true to my heart. The heat of summer is a great excuse to get rid of the excess. If you’re weighed down by lots of stuff you don’t use, toss open your windows, crank up the music and de-clutter. You’ll feel so much lighter when fall arrives. Want some guidance? Download Time To Toss It – my ebook with guidelines of how long to keep items.
15 – Get Dirty.. I love gardening because it is so centering. It’s also amazing to consider the abundance that happens when you combine preparation, attention and focus – and God’s beauty. It’s a wonderful reminder of what I find most important. If you have a garden, it’s a great time to divide your plants, add compost, mulch it up, and gather seeds. Playing in the dirt will awaken your heart and ground you into what’s real!
16 – Summer & fresh veggies… If you haven’t done it yet, this is the best time to make fresh, grilled veggies. They’re healthy and all the ingredients are available in abundance right now. My favorite way is to slice them, brush on some fresh olive oil, cook them on a hot grill, and then as soon as they’re off, hit them with cold fresh lemon juice, salt, pepper, olive oil and lite soy before serving! YUMM!
17 – Explore after dinner… Before you know it, it’ll be dark outside as you have dinner. Take advantage of these last days of late sun – and take a simple quiet walk after dinner, or gather little bits of nature and take pictures of your findings with the kids!
18 – Get physical… The best thing about having kids is remembering how much fun it is to get outside and play hard! The first time I sat on a swing as an adult, I remember feeling whoozy…. my body had been so used to stillness my brain had forgotten the sensation! Climb, bike, jump, kayak, canoe, swim, ride, play, hike – . Get out there and do anything. Your body and mood will thank you!
19 – Grab a sketch pad and pencil… I never knew I could actually sketch until I grabbed a sketch pad and tried. I had a brother who was the “artist” in the family – so frankly, I never tried. One of the things I’ve enjoyed this summer is grabbing my sketch pad, and focusing on something summery like my flower boxes. Try it yourself!
20 – Make Pesto… Basil is, quite simply, the best thing EVER. Or maybe pesto is. I can never really decide. Anyway, pesto is awesome, and when I figured out that I could make my own – I have planted basil every year ever since. You can find many great recipes on the web. Fresh pesto can be frozen in ice cube trays or containers and it will keep you happy throughout the winter… and it makes a great gift for your friends and neighbors!
Before summer is over – get out and do some of the things you love. DON’T PUT IT OFF! The rejuvenation that comes from spending time doing things you love is un-matched in terms of restorative therapy for your self. When you are centered and balanced, you are much more capable of giving more of yourself to the world.
How do you rejuvenate? Share your ideas below!
Although this is my list… some of these ideas were originally spurred by a post by Christine Kane.
The Christine Kane is the Mentor to Women Who are Changing the World. She helps women uplevel their lives, their businesses and their success. Her weekly LiveCreative eZine goes out to over 20,000 subscribers. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can sign up for a F.R.E.E. subscription at http://christinekane.com. WANT TO SEE HUNDREDS MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS ONE? See Christine’s blog at ChristineKane.com/blog.