Summer is full of busy times and social engagements but, when we are exerting high energy, we need to make sure we find time to pause, take a breath, re-energise and avoid burn out. Here are five mindfulness exercises from our Senior Trainer, Nicola Baillie, to help ground you in this inspiring season and keep a cool, focussed mind during the hot summer months:
1. Taste your drink
Enjoy an iced drink… using more than just your taste buds to really take in all the benefits:
- Let your fingers feel the condensation on the glass you are holding
- Take a moment to smell your iced drink. Inhale the aroma and pause. What do you notice about your drink? Is the smell familiar? Comforting?
- When you taste your drink, notice the flavours and how the cold temperature of the drink makes you feel
2. Take a sensory summer walk
Allow extra time for this walk, so that you don’t feel rushed. Walk slow and steady.
- Use your senses to listen to the birds
- Look up at the sky and notice what shade of blue it is
- Are there any puffs of clouds in the sky?
- Look for the colours of the blooming flowers and stop and smell the fragrant flowers
3. Summer Colouring
Enjoy some mindful colouring. It focusses you on one activity, prevents you and your mind from multi-tasking, and allows you to get creative!
There are so many books out there, spanning lots of different topic areas, plus you can download and print plenty of free ones from the internet.
Essential to equilibrium is the right balance of nutrients in your diet. Luckily nature has given us a handy colour-coding system… eat a rainbow at every meal and you’re well on your way.
Here’s the science bit…
- White foods (such as onions, leeks, garlic) boost the immune system
- Dark blue, purple, red and orange foods (think berries, tomatoes, beetroot, sweet potatoes, carrots and butternut squash) are packed with antioxidants
- Dark green leafy veg is packed with fibre, nutrients and antioxidants
5. Digital detox
With such amazing outdoor activities to turn your attention and energies to, summer is the perfect time to do a digital detox – the benefits of which can include:
- Improved sleep pattern
- More healthy eating habits
- Better relationship building
- A reduction in anxiety
Read more about this in my ‘Sunny Disposition’ blog here.