In this second post from my summer series, we continue to explore ways to make the most of these few weeks of sunshine, warm breeze, and color. This is a very special summer. We are coming out of a long winter and strange spring, and for the first time, we can go back to a sense of normalcy. It's the first post-pandemic summer. And as such, I want to remind you that we did not survive a pandemic to continue our lives in auto mode.
We can't allow ourselves to ignore what just happened. Whether you like it or not, you have been given the opportunity to continue living, a luxury that many did not get. Now it is up to you to choose how you like to live your life from now on. I want to invite you to use this summer to not just self improve but to elevate yourself and discover the best YOU, so you can start the process of living a more intentional, purposeful life going forward.
Below are a few ideas that I hope will inspire you to do exactly that.
1. Pick one goal for the summer
Change is difficult. Often we fail at making changes because, quite simply, we set ourselves up for failure by picking away at many things that we want to accomplish. Instead, focus on just one thing and go for it.
2. Unplug from technology
After months of working from home and relying on technology, we can all agree that we need to unplug big time. However, unfortunately, we have allowed technology to infiltrate every space in our lives. As a result, it is like an addiction, and it can be tough to disconnect unless it's intentional. So make sure you are intentional about creating rules around the use of technology during your summer. One idea is to require non-technology time or commit to not checking social media for a day or two. Then, ditch technology and reconnect with yourself and others.
3. Reconnect with nature
One of the best things about summer is that everything is in full bloom, and all of the migratory birds are back. It seems like the whole world is vibrating with renewed life and energy. So soak some of that energy in! Go for a hike, we have so many national parks and beaches to explore. Nature is our greatest teacher so go learn from it. If you are a beach person like me, then make sure to also walk along the shore, explore the area, observe what is happening around; I'll guarantee you that you'll discover something new to take with you- beyond a seashell!
4. Try something new (that you are a bit afraid of)
You did not survive a pandemic to continue the status quo. I like to challenge you to try something new, bonus points if it's something that feels intimidating. It could be a new type of weird-looking food, a fitness class, riding a horse, volunteering, mentoring, or gardening. Look for that one thing and try it out.
5. Make time for reflection
I know we are coming out of isolation, and you might have a busy social schedule already lined up; however, please make sure to make time for you to slow down and refill your cup. Some people call it meditation time, reflection time, or alone time. Whatever you call it, please make sure to be deliberate about creating these moments.
6. Start a Journal
Journaling has multiple benefits, and it's a sure way to flush out what is getting in the way, and it's a great way to reacquaint ourselves with ourselves. There are many versions out there; however, my absolute favorite is this one, created by my friend and fellow Latina coach Astrid Ferguson. This journal is designed with the very intention of helping you rediscover yourself, and it was created with the best love, energy, and intention. It is well worth the investment.
7. Read a Book (or Two!)
Summer is the perfect time to read. I enjoy reading a good book by the sea while enjoying the warm breeze. If you need ideas on what to read, here is a list I curated a couple of weeks back. Moreover, please head to the local bookstore; any self-respected bookstore will have a good list of summer reads to pick from.
8. Enjoy the "now"
Finally, I want to remind you that no matter all the plans and goals, make sure you appreciate where you are at this very moment. These days it seems that we are moving ever so fast. The pressure caused by keeping up with the "Joneses" via social media only leads us to focus on what could be in the future and not on our present. This summer, I’d like to invite you to enjoy the now. Next time your thoughts are racing, remember to pause, breathe and pay close attention to the beauty of the present moment. Remember that time is the only thing that no matter what, we can't get back, so you might as well make it count.
On a final note, I hope the ideas in this article inspire you to live a more intentional and fulfilling summer. These eight weeks or so will pass by in the blink of an eye, and it's your choice how you like to live it. If you decide that you need a little extra help, you can contact me here. In the meantime, I'll catch you next time from a beach somewhere!