"Live each season as it passes, breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit and resign yourself to the influences of each." --Henry David Thoreau
The cult of busyness comes up against its hardest opposition in July. For the first (and maybe only) time of the year, there is an expectation that we won't be running around like headless chickens and that maybe, just maybe, we'll be swinging in a hammock.
The habit of seeing ourselves as Busy and Important can be a hard one to break. Without multitasking, we're more likely to actually pay attention to our lives and the details of our days. And as uncomfortable and foreign as that might feel at first, it's definitely a good thing that can lead to less daily stress and anxiety. Read on for ten ways to downshift and savor the summer.
1. Eat a peach over the kitchen sink. Is there anything more quintessentially summer than a ripe, messy peach? Eat it over the sink or with a napkin and savor each juicy bite.
2. Take a nap in a hammock. Have you been meaning to string one up in the yard? Make this the season you do. There's maybe nothing more relaxing in the world.
3. Go media free. Kick the Friday night movie habit every now and then to head outside and watch the cinematic night sky. Even better if there are fireworks.
4. Have a picnic. Shake up the summer picnic classics and take a basket down to a shady spot near a creek or in a park. Packing up everything we need for a meal outside the home forces us to slow down and requires a certain amount of thoughtfulness (remember silverware!). Bring that same attention to the eating of the meal itself. Bring a Frisbee or a novel for after dessert.
5. Send a postcard. Remember making a point of sending them from your vacation, and how fun it is to get something other than a bill in the mail? Maybe you even want to mail one to yourself to remember the salty ocean breeze. Make it easy by buying stamps online before you go.
6. Save some summer for a cold and rainy day. Take the season's best produce and can or freeze tomato sauce, fresh fruit jams, and pickles. It can be a hot, messy job, but come a cool day in November, you'll be grateful for a rich red homemade sauce that reminds you of these sweet, sun-soaked days.
7. Sit on a porch swing. Take in the evening--crickets and all--with the proud view from your own porch. Make it a daily ritual and neighbors might even stop by, giving you a chance to catch up IRL.
8. Watch a sunset. Or a sunrise. It's kind of amazing that this spectacular natural light show happens on a daily basis. Pull up a chair.
9. Make sun tea. On the hottest days, cool down with iced tea without heating up the kitchen.
10. Daydream. Remember daydreaming? It's what happened when we didn't have Twitter and Facebook. We stared out a window and let our thoughts take us where they wanted. It led to great ideas and meandering rhapsodies. Spend some time dreaming about how you want your leisure to feel and what you want your summer days to look like.
What else do you do to take the pace down a notch in summer? Spill it in the comments!
More from Real-Life Makeover:
101 best things about summer
- Make over my summer style
- How to bring the outside indoors
- Luxe summer essentials under $50
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