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7 Ways to Make Your Summer Mindful

Updated: Jul 4

Summer is in full swing: the sun is shining, nature teems with life, and calendars are packed! Despite the busyness of the season, this can be the perfect time of year to solidify your mindfulness practice. By staying present, you can intentionally slow down the chaos of the summer and enhance the special feelings of joy that come with these months. The longer days, too, can elicit a feeling of possibility: it seems as though there are more hours to focus on what really matters, like cultivating a mindfulness routine for peace, calm, and wellbeing.

To enjoy this season to its fullest, we’re suggesting seven fun, uncomplicated ways to practice mindfulness this summer. Try just one, or cycle through all of them over the next couple of months—but remember that a consistent mindfulness practice is an effective one!

1. Get outside and take a mindful walk.

This is a simple, low-cost way to practice mindfulness in your day-to-day life. Talk a walk around your neighborhood, stroll in a local park, or go for a hike. While outside, make sure to focus on your breath, feel how your body is moving, and notice what you see and hear. If it feels right, listen to a meditation on your walk—if not, simply focus on the thoughts that cross your mind. Your practice doesn’t have to be long; even a few minutes of mindful walking can have a big impact!

Taking a mindful walk is also a great way to engage the whole family in mindfulness. Bring along the little ones, and throughout the walk, ask them to point out ten things they see, hear, or smell. 

You might find that practicing mindfulness feels especially right when you’re outdoors—this is no coincidence! Research shows that natural settings can support your mindfulness practice by encouraging connection, awareness, and self-regulation. 

2. Spend a day unplugged from electronics.

This might be a hard one—but bear with us! While technology has its benefits, overuse or attachment to it has been shown to lead to depression, lowered self-motivation, and increased conflict. Spending too much time online can make it hard to accept the present moments as is. And amidst those summer plans, you’ll surely want to stay mindful as much as possible!

This summer, you can work those mindfulness muscles by limiting your use of technology—even taking a full day away from texts, emails, and social media. Instead, use this free time more intentionally: make plans with your friends, move your body, cook a nourishing meal, or immerse yourself in a book. Notice how it feels not to be glued to your notifications; and make sure to check in with yourself at the end of the day.

3. Practice yoga outdoors.

This is another activity for the whole family! Together, you can find a local class, book a private lesson, or search up a yoga session on YouTube (we have some great ones on our own channel!). Practice outside on a clear day, so you can enjoy the fresh air while moving mindfully and focusing on your breathing.

Making an effort to move your body is a mindfulness practice in itself: when you enjoy a moment with no distractions, you create time and space to notice your own thoughts and feelings. Studies even show that practicing yoga can reduce levels of stress, blood pressure, and heart rate.

During your outdoor yoga practice, try to remain grounded in your body. Notice how it moves and stretches—how is everything feeling? Are there any emotions coming up to the surface? 

4. Try mindful eating with seasonal produce.

During the summer, your favorite fruits and veggies are ripening close to home! Fresh strawberries, snap peas, sweet corn, tomatoes, melons… with such a bounty, this is the perfect opportunity to incorporate seasonal foods into your diet. Even better if you can connect with your growers by buying locally: visit a farmers’ market or farm stand, or spend time picking your own produce.

Once you’ve selected your seasonal produce, focus on being present throughout the whole process from buying, to preparing, to eating. Mindful eating calls for engaging all five of your senses.

  • First, look at your food: notice the colors, shapes, and any other details you might otherwise miss.

  • Next, touch: is your food warm or cold? Soft or hard? Smooth or rough?

  • Smell your food: can you describe the smell? Are you starting to feel hungry?

  • Listen to the food: does it make any sound if you hold it next to your ear and gently squish it?

  • Finally, taste: chew and swallow, making sure to savor it slowly and noticing the flavor.

5. Practice gratitude during meals.

Being mindful means fostering awareness of your thoughts and feelings… but when the summer days are packed with plans, this can be difficult to achieve. Taking time to practice gratitude can help steer you toward a more mindful frame of mind. Gratitude can remind us of all the good things in our lives—it can help us hold onto the joy and magic of summer!

If your summer schedule allows for sit-down dinners, make the most of it by establishing a routine of gratitude before or during mealtime. Go around the table, each person naming at least one thing for which they felt grateful that day. Once everyone is finished, take a second or two for introspection. The more you work this practice into your routines, the stronger everyone will be able to flex their gratitude muscles in the days ahead! In fact, science has shown that gratitude has direct impacts on quality of life.

6. Meditate to the sounds of summer.

Even a five-minute meditation can work wonders for the rest of your day! Try sitting outside—whenever and wherever you get the chance—and simply listening to the sounds you might otherwise tune out. When your mind begins to wander, slowly bring yourself back to the sounds of nature. If you’re listening with others, debrief afterwards: what did you hear? Was it near or far? How did it make you feel? Talk about what you heard, trying to be as specific as possible.

This practice can be done anywhere! Try it at the park, while camping, during a family vacation, in your backyard, or even in the car. Notice how the sounds of summer change at different times of day: how do those at night compare to those in the morning?

7. End the day with mindful journaling.

Journaling before bed can help you foster self-awareness and reflect on the summer days, weeks, and months behind you. This writing can take whatever form you like, whether a gratitude journal, a log of daily events, or a personal reflection on your feelings. However you decide to journal, the focus is on intentionality: how are you making time for yourself? How are you acting with thoughtfulness and care?

Journaling has proven benefits: a reduction in stress and anxiety, an increase in self-esteem, and a greater understanding of one’s feelings. At the end of the day, getting into this mindful headspace through journaling can set you up for a good night’s sleep and a positive day ahead—you’ll need it to tackle all those summer plans!

There’s No Time Like the Present

There are important lessons to be gleaned from nature’s cycles; they remind us that our lives, too, have distinct seasons that can pass just as quickly. But leaning into mindfulness this summer can help you slow down and appreciate each meaningful moment that makes up your life. A mindfulness practice will help you stay present for all of them, even as seasons end and new ones begin.

By prioritizing mindfulness during the summer, you’ll build habits that follow you into the future. Your brain will remember how to remain grounded, grateful, and reflective, even during the hustle and bustle of autumn. If practiced enough, your summer mindfulness can become a safe haven for you as the weather cools down, helping you get through life’s challenges, one season at a time.

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