You feel great all summer long, so why not make it linger? Here are five easy ways to stretch summer into fall:
· Rise and Shine: September on the calendar signals “back to business” but serious doesn't have to be grim. Start each day with at least one of the things that made your summer mornings a pleasure. If all summer long you rose early for outdoor workouts, coffee with friends, long walks with your dog or just to be able to enjoy a few extra minutes with your family don’t stop now. Give yourself time to start each day as if it were a Saturday in June.
· Eyes Up: Summer days spent in open spaces and fresh air can make a return to strict schedules and aggressive commutes feel especially discouraging. A gentle remedy is time with nature. Find a park, green space, rooftop access or even just one shady tree you can visit in the middle of the day near where you work or go to school. Or just walk outside to see the landscape above you in the sky.
· Mix it Up: Introduce variety to your mid-week schedule not as a “maybe” but as a priority. It could be as simple as dedicating 10 minutes per hour to moving a personal project forward, turning a hurried dinner between your children’s after-school activities into a quick picnic or biking to work instead of taking the bus or doing exactly what you always do but set to new music or in a new setting. Staying engaged with all aspects of your life all week instead of only on weekends makes you happier, more creative and productive.
· Tastes of Summer: Make yourself believe it’s summer even when you’re wearing a sweater by preparing warm weather dishes. A big pitcher of summer drinks topped with citrus, cucumber wheels or chopped strawberries works too!
· Change of Scenery: The beach is just as beautiful in autumn as it is during the summer. The same goes for any setting you enjoyed May through August. Make time to enjoy summer places and activities out of season even if it’s only for a few hours or with an overnight. It’s amazing how just a few hours in a place you love can get you back to feeling like the summer version of you fast!