Manifesto For a Mind-Blowing Summer
Summer is many people’s favourite time of year. It’s understandable. Sunlight warms and bronzes our skin. Our work commitments are fewer. We finally have a chance to see family and friends. And maybe we have the holiday of a lifetime booked. But what if Summer is something of a let-down? If you’re not fortunate enough to live in a hot climate, Summer can be disappointingly cool. All those opportunities for sun-worshipping and skinny dipping seem to slip through our fingers. Or what if all our friends are going away and it was our intention to stay put? The rest of the year might have cleaned us out financially. Many of us might still be recovering from Christmas!
Help is at hand. Whatever your budget, family situation, or climate, there are ways for you to make 2016 your most unforgettable Summer. What many people don’t realise is that a great Summer is usually a feeling. There are a set of circumstances that we associate with Summer, but ultimately, we love it because it makes us feel great. With a few changes to our attitude and mindset, we can enjoy a Summer that truly revitalises us. If you’re determined to make this a Summer you will never forget, then you need the Manifesto For a Mind-Blowing Summer:
I Am What I Eat
In Summer, as so many delicious and healthy foods are in season, it makes sense for us to eat fresh. Try to make a conscious effort to fill your body with nourishing, feel-good foods. This step isn’t about weightless or adhering strictly to lofty goals. This about giving your body the energy that it needs to make every day unforgettable. Get into the habit of making fresh, fragrant smoothies with superfoods like mango, blueberry and coconut milk. The taste of the tropics will put you in a summery mood and energise you for a great day. Ensure you are well hydrated at all times, whether at home or on the move. Carry a water bottle and be prepared to feel better for longer. Studies have indicated that many of us mistake our thirst for hunger and that this can result in overeating and dehydration. If you’re tired and crabby, definitely have a nutritious snack like a wholegrain sandwich or nachos and houmous. But refuel with fluids too. Feeling sleepy or sluggish is often a sign that we have not had enough to drink. Fuel yourself with the right fluids and nutrients this Summer and you’ll get the most out of whatever you’re doing.
My Garden Is My Paradise
It is so easy to overlook the amazing space we have right behind our own homes, in favour of holidays or new destinations. Chances are, you have a fantastic garden just waiting to be spruced up and made the most of. You wouldn’t ignore an entire room inside your house, and yet many of us commit this cardinal sin with our garden! It’s time to get your hands dirty. On a dry day, get weeding and sowing seeds. Although these may not sprout until next Summer you will feel a sense of accomplishment for investing in your own home and environment. To add some colour and vibrancy, take a trip to the garden centre for flowers. Dot around a paved garden or else plant them for real for an instant visual boost. Once your garden is looking great, don’t miss the opportunity to spend time in it. Whether just relaxing with a good book in a hammock, or throwing a raucous get together for friends and family, your garden is the ultimate venue. There is an amazing range of barbecues and cooking stations on websites like www.PitBarrelCooker.com. When you get that succulent meat, fish or tofu sizzling, serve it skewered with fresh and fragrant vegetables. You’ll be a true neighbourhood hero. Stuck for recipe ideas or have a question? Why not write a message or leave a comment? “Bring Your Own Beer” should also become a mantra for your Summer get-togethers.
I Will Never Be This Young Again
Summer should be life-affirming and carefree, but many of us can feel self-conscious when this time of year comes around. With bikinis, tighter shirts and everyone comparing tans, it can feel like something of a competition. It’s time to change your perception. Gratitude and contentment should be your main practise this Summer. Rejoice in your good health and acknowledge that no-one has to be perfect to have a great time. Those who are carefree and confident with a big smile and positive attitude shine brighter than any bikini-model body anyway. Whatever your age, it’s time to tell yourself that you will never be this young again. Don’t wait to feel happiness, make a choice to experience it today. There are lots of ways you can address areas that make you genuinely uncomfortable without crash dieting or hiding inside. Some one-piece swimsuits are just as sexy as any bikini, for example. Any men who feel self-conscious also have a wide choice of loose-fitting, cool attire that looks great from day to night. Don’t let your hang ups dictate your mood. Emphasising changing your attitude, not your physical body. Changes and positive steps are more likely to happen then anyway.
I Will Make Peace
We may not be aware how much unresolved issues affect us. Because we often push them to the back of our mind, we may tell ourselves that something simply cannot be resolved or actually already has been! Spring and Summer can be a great time to be honest with ourselves about what is bothering us and take steps to change it. We are likely to have a bit more time to think, and also in a more positive frame of mind because of the brighter weather. If you have an issue with a friend or family member that is bothering you, make an effort to resolve it before the Summer begins. It might be with an apology, a suggested catch-up or a discussion. However you choose to deal with things, make sure there is a sincere wish to resolve the issue and maintain a good relationship. Have courage. It may be that the issue has changed the nature of your relationship and can’t truly be forgotten, but can be made civil and workable. Be fair, realistic and compassionate. By resolving issues in the back of your mind, it will feel like a weight has been lifted. You will be in a position to enjoy Summer from an emotional and psychological perspective as well as physical. Try it!
I Will Be In The Moment
Life often now tends to have a competitive streak. Social media isn’t helping. Of course, at it’s best social media is fun, friendly, and a great way to stay in touch. But at it’s worst it is competitive and contrived. It can inspire envy, worthlessness, or a feeling of being left out. We can experience this quite strongly over the Summer-time if it feels like our friends or colleagues have more planned than us. Everyone is quick to tell us if they’re climbing Kilimanjaro or volunteering with orphaned animals, for example. Finances, family commitments and other constraints might stop us from doing something as exciting. However, this can be a really meaningful opportunity to practise being in the moment. There is no greater luxury than contentment. Many people at home wish they were abroad, and many people in exotic locations desperately wish they were at home! Wherever you are in the world, try not to think of what you’re missing out on. There is no faster way to put a downer on a day. Instead, focus on being truly in the moment. Start small. Focus on what you can see, hear, and smell. Then genuinely start to appreciate how grateful and fortunate you are. Even if it feels like the same-old-same-old, we shouldn’t see this negatively. Truly, we never know how long our good circumstances will last. We might be tired of seeing our same old house and garden, but what if we lost them? We’d probably long to have them back. We might find that we miss our friends or wish we were with them, but why not appreciate being alone? There will be many opportunities to spend time with friends, but being alone can be a treat too. Take the time to relax deeply, observe your surroundings, and feel contentment. When your friends or family do return, you’ll be revitalised and positive and ready to make the most of their company again.
Keeping a happy, positive mind in the Summer time should be our goal – with or without exciting external circumstances. Even if we have a luxury holiday booked with our best friends and relatives, if we don’t have a positive mind we won’t enjoy it. We will find any setbacks impossible to deal with and will return more unhappy than when we left! Eat well, stay positive, and find something to smile about to enjoy the best summer of your life.