Ahhh summer, can you feel it in the air? The days are nearly at their longest, energy is palpable, and nature is in full bloom.
We as humans are a part of nature, so naturally, as the seasons ebb and flows, so do we. With the Summer Equinox coming in a few weeks I can feel the winds of change bringing in this fiery new season we anticipate all year long.
Summer brings in more energy which means that we are generally more productive or creative and also tend to want to socialize more. You may feel called to take risks, stay out late enjoying time with friends, travel, take advantage of summer Friday's at work, or indulge in happy hour on a patio. We are truly solar powered beings, so with more hours of sunlight, we take the sun's rays and turn it into energy we can use.
Have you thought about what you're going to do with the extra daylight hours?
If you're like me, I ALWAYS want to do ALL THE THINGS, and this get's magnified in the summer. I am all for taking advantage of this surge of energy, however it's helpful to be strategic in order to maximize the time you have, not get burnt out or overwhelmed and fully take advantage of all summer has to offer.
Make the most out of Summer
1. Set an Intention: There is so much we can take advantage of each summer; social events, celebrations, trips, that long list of things you kept putting off all winter. Setting an intention and creating a prioritized list of what you truly want and can realistically accomplish will help keep you focused on what is truly important.
2. Schedule in down time: A tricky one to do anytime, but it's extra important over the summer. This is our time to enjoy the energy, but also to recharge so we can carry forward this momentum into the Fall and Winter. The sun acts like a huge battery charging us up so make sure you get in some times to soak up the sun, relax, read a book and chill too.
3. Stick with your non-negotiable routines: I've talked about non-negotiables before + lately about morning routines to help me ground before the day begins. While you may feel relaxed during the summertime, don't let the important habits you have put into place fall to the wayside. Maintaining your healthy behaviours will help to stay on track and avoid a crash in energy once the summer ends.
4. Use Nature's Momentum: This time of year everything is growing and there is a budding life force pulsing through everything around us. Use that creative energy to work on your own projects! Try a new activity! Make new friends! Summer is a great time to grow your skillset both internally through externally.
Are you in the habit of prioritizing your own needs?
I play around with the concept of selfish/selfless all the time. We think that being selfish is bad, but showing up for yourself, asking what you need, and speaking your truth is the most important thing that you can ever do.
So let me ask you.. do you do everything for everyone else before doing the things you need for yourself? If that's true, it's OK, and recognize how important it is just to notice that this may be a habit for you.
Being an entrepreneur, this is something that I've had to learn how to navigate. When my business is built on supporting others, there is nothing more important to do in my day than take care of myself first. This past weekend I lead 25 incredible leaders through the 6th edition of SPACE Retreat and it was incredible. I taught people how to live in their 'zone of genius' that place that feels effortless AND propels you to success.
Facilitating these retreats are where I am in MY zone of genius zone - BUT - the day after I host, I always take a day to take care of ME and I make sure to schedule it in.
Now you might be thinking, this sounds great and all but what does this actually look like in real life when there are a million things to do, people to answer to and expectations to live up to?
Here are the strategies that I use.
1. Morning Routine - I can't stress this one enough. Waking up a few minutes earlier to have some quiet time alone and unplugged, is the most helpful tip to start your day. Leaving your phone on airplane mode until after you'd had time to tune into yourself is a game changer. Maybe this looks like a walk, a meditation, writing a few pages in your journal, enjoying a cup of your favourite hot beverage or some daily yoga stretches to get the day going, this is the definition of putting yourself at the top of your TO DO list. I recently wrote a blog sharing my morning routine, check it out here.
2. Speak up - When something doesn't work for you and compromises plans you've made, communicate it! People will treat your time with more value if you start to as well.
3. Give yourself permission - All these tips are great, but they will truly only make an impact on your life when you ALLOW them to. That's right, you have to give yourself permission to receive these benefits and to know that you DESERVE to put yourself first, and that it isn't selfish - but truly an act of LOVE. So write it out for yourself if you have to, put sticky notes all over your apartment to reminder yourself that YOU ARE ENOUGH and that you give yourself PERMISSION to take time for you every single day.
Samara Zelniker is a yogi, wine drinker, pet lover and travel junkie.