During those gruelling Canadian winter days, it is not uncommon to dream of that perfect idyllic summer memory, where you can smell the freshly cut grass or imagine the feeling of the warm sunshine on your face. However it can be normal to feel an overwhelming pressure of high hopes, which can sometimes create feelings of stress and anxiety.
Here are some strategies to enjoying summer to its fullest and to keep expectations under wraps:
It’s very important to give our brains time to rest. That means, spending a good amount of time without computers, smartphones or screens. According to Alan Lightman, Physicist and Author of In Praise of Wasting Time, he argues that the stimulation and high demands of smartphones and technology are “anxiety-producing, dehumanizing, and relentless. If we continue down this route, we’ll become a society of mindless beings driven by speed and the artificial urgency of the world.”
By disconnecting from our devices, we can reinstate a sense of mental clarity and calmness, to experience a sense of privacy and solitude, and to gift yourself a time for reflection and contemplation. You can read more about this here: https://goop.com/wellness/mindfulness/waste-a-little-time-youll-thank-yourself-later.
2. Be Mindful
It is easy to take for granted simple summer pleasures and get caught up in the “shoulds” and “coulds” of potential summer plans (especially the ones you are exposed to on social media). Instead, take a moment to simply “waste time.” Disengage from your fast paced life for a short time and create a sense of stillness within yourself. This can be done by paying attention to the unique flavours of your favourite summer fruit, allowing your bare feet to walk through grass, or eating your dinner al fresco.
3. Be Kind to Yourself
Have a little compassion towards yourself this summer. Doing something once still counts as doing it. You don’t have to go to the beach every weekend, have a glass of rose every night, or watch the sunset every Friday just to have the summer of your dreams. Removing the expectations that peak summer activities need to be the norm will help redefine what it means to make the most of summer.