Now is a great opportunity to make some small changes in the way you work so you can stay connected to the sense of peace and calm that you have experienced over the past few months of summer.
Of course, sitting by the lake with a nice drink is a clear recipe for relaxation and calmness. Is it possible to feel this level of groundedness and relaxation during the busy seasons of Fall and Winter? Yes. Let’s look at the ingredients of summer that make it so conducive to feeling more calm and happy.
Below are tips that you can put into action right away upon finishing this article or within the day so you can begin to practice these summer calm strategies in preparation for the Fall.
Detach. During the summer everyone is open to relaxing and detaching from their work. People are intentional about planning days and weeks off. Rather than just storing up for an intense one-week vacation, we can all practice taking micro-breaks that help us recharge and refocus throughout our day.
Use the same summer strategy of scheduling regular breaks throughout your day. By scheduling and taking one or two minutes periodically to breathe and move your body, you can gain energy and perspective that is sometimes lost when we are stuck in our chairs all day.
Action Tip #1: Right now, schedule 3 regular one-minute breaks every day to practice mindfulness meditation, deep breathing or simply close your eyes to regroup.
Movement. In the summer, we are outside walking, swimming, and playing with the kids.
Movement is connected to positive physical and mental health outcomes like increased energy, positive mood, improved focus and reduced risk for illnesses.
Being more physically active doesn’t require a beach in Costa Rica -although that is ideal! As long as we are open, we can use movements like climbing stairs, walking meetings, or air squats as a way of engaging the body and thereby engaging our minds at work. Movement is a powerful way of increasing our energy capacity so we can do more with the time we have.
Action Tip # 2. Adding to Tip #1 take regular movement breaks. Invite colleagues to join you and have fun moving together. Right now or as soon as you can try doing some air squats or wall push-ups for 60 seconds and see how you feel.
Fresh Air. The summer air by a lake or beach is delicious, but the other seasons have some wonderful scents as well. I live in Toronto and often the farthest you can see is the next building beside yours. Whenever I visit Vancouver, I am left with a sense of awe for nature and a perspective shift. Seeing mountains and an oceanview reminds me that there’s more to life than whatever temporary problems and challenges I am facing.
Action Tip # 3. Schedule times to get out in nature at least 3 times a week for a walk. Smell the fresh air and let the sensation and odors of being outside ground you back into your body. Simply walking and being in nature is a powerful practice for building resilience and mental health. Will you have a chance to spend just 10 minutes in nature today? Go for it.
In our workaholic culture, there is always pressure to do more with less and to demonstrate a hard working attitude. I respect people that can work hard, but it’s not an intelligent approach to work if it’s not balanced with a way to regenerate that work capacity.
Throughout our day we naturally collect tension and stress. We all need regular moments to let go of tension and reset our bodies so that we can continue working at a high level of quality and engagement.
Try out these 3 simple Summer Calm Strategies and let me know which tips you like or any other tips you might use to stay healthy, strong and joyful this Fall.
Tim Sitt is the CEO/Founder of ThinkMOVE. ThinkMOVE’s mission is to address the sedentary issue by teaching the world the power of movement to make us healthy and connected to both ourselves and each other. You can learn more about him and this work at www.thinkmove.ca