Health Wise: Embracing August - The Sunday of Summer
August is an interesting time of year. In many ways, it’s like the Sunday of the summer. Sunday is a day many spend thinking about endings, transitions, and what lays ahead. In summer, many kids start dreading the coming school year, many parents start looking forward to it, and others may be frantically trying to fit in summer activities or responsibilities. With the right mindset, it can also be a time of opportunity, a time of joy, and a time to get in the groove for what lies ahead.
August is a month teeming with potential!
We see August as a time for focusing on healthy habits and setting ourselves up for a successful transition into fall, school, or whatever else may come our way. A month is a significant amount of time to build good habits and get into the habit of focusing on joy. Once September hits, we can have those habits firmly in place to guide us smoothly into whatever lies ahead.
A great way to use this final stretch of summer is with all of our senses fully and mindfully engaged! Mindfulness - which refers to being present in the here and now with our full attention and without judgment - is an excellent way to make the most of something. If we are present in the here and now, we don’t fall victim to ruminating in the past or worrying about the future. We have some ideas for mindfully embracing the month of August!
- Sensory activities - stimulate the senses with some of the following ideas: Taste some delicious food - fruit picking, anyone? Listen to the sounds of nature - try sitting by a river, or walking in the woods. Take time to literally smell the flowers. See how many animals or unique plants you can spot on a nature walk using your sight. Find river rocks and focus on the way they feelin your hands, or let sand run through your fingers and toes.
- Mindful presence in daily things - take time to be fully present and aware of each bite of your lunch, or the way a refreshing shower feels on your skin, or even to appreciate the satisfaction of a vacuum or paper towel leaving a clean surface behind!
- Electronic-free periods - take some time, as a family or with friends, to put phones away and be present with activities.
- Getting active - walking, hiking, biking, swimming, and a wide range of other sports are a great way to be present and build healthy habits.
- Being with nature - summer is a great time for nature walks, botanical gardens, zoos, and being observant of plants, creatures, and the natural wonders of our planet. Don’t miss out on this beautiful time - the leaves will fall and snow will blanket us before we know it!
These activities can easily be adjusted for any age, and especially great when done with friends and family.
Let’s be here, now, and embrace the month of August - the Sunday of summer.