Losing Your Summer to a Never Ending To-Do List? 5 Tips & Tricks for Savouring What’s LeftAug 03, 2016
Rushing from barbecue to barbecue. Hurriedly scooping up your kids from one activity, only to drop them off at the next. Trying to pack as many activities as possible into one weekend. I see this all the time, and before we know it? BOOM! Summer is over.
Listen, I get it. I know summers are short lived, winters are long, and the city doesn’t make it easy for us with its great summer events. But still there’s that pressure to keep up with everyone else’s summer plans. There was a time when my summers were jammed with pool parties, endless BBQs, patio dining, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, weddings, extended family vacations, and the never ending drives all over the city to summer festivals. In moderation, this all would’ve been great, but Facebook is a clear indicator of just how much we over indulge.
I keep coming back to this quote I love by John De Paola: “Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you.” Ever since I stumbled upon those words, it’s been so incredibly true for me. Forcing myself to slow down when I’ve been the most rushed has really made me realize what a blessing mindfulness and presentness truly are. Even though it sounds too good to be true, you actually get so much more accomplished.
In other words, there’s still hope to savour the last few weeks of summer without the chaotic rushing around. Like Paolo suggests, it’s all about tuning into the ways that slow you down and stretch out the days, like these:
- Schedule in a nature break. I know it’s hard to take breaks whilst working, but the benefits waaaaay outweigh the cons. Ultimately, you come back refreshed and energized, even after a short 15-30 minute break. Want to add to the relaxation? Grab your afternoon tea or coffee and head outside with your favorite book or magazine. Being surrounded by the warmth of the sun, the gentle rustling of the leaves on the trees, and soaking in the Vitamin D shows us just how great summer can be.
- Book a last-minute getaway. Sometimes it’s necessary to sneak away from the hustle and bustle of city life and force ourselves to tune out from responsibilities. It’s important to take time and remember how to be intentional about how we want to live our lives. Added bonus? It’s a great time to bond with loved ones, too. Look online for last-minute deals, and you might score a cottage on the water.
- Embrace solo day retreats. I always share this with my coaching clients, and it’s changed their lives. Here’s how it’s done: Pick an area that you want to explore, like the Distillery District or Queen West. With your day bag in hand—filled with your journal, headphones, iPad, camera, yoga gear, or a good book—map out your trip, leaving plenty of time to simply savour the day. Some clients find this helpful monthly, while bi-monthly works best for others. You’ll be refreshed, energized, and glowing. Summer is so good for solo dates, and this is self-care at its best.
- Dive into the drive in. Summer is the best time to pack up a picnic and head out to watch some flicks in the open air. How crazy is it that we can sit back and relax in the trunk of our cars (that’s what I love to do with my CRV), cuddled up with blankets, yummy goodies, the moon, and the stars? The only downside is that once the movie’s over, we have to head home. (I miss sleeping under the open air as a child when I was visiting India during the summer.)
- Explore a Farmer’s Market. If you haven’t checked out the Evergreen Brickworks’ Farmer’s Market on Saturdays, you absolutely must! It’s out in the open air with tons of delish, healthy food, local produce, music, and activities for the lil’ ones. You can easily spend a morning there (at minimum), and more if you decide to go hiking through the trails. (There are also lots of events at the venue, and you can head to the website to check ‘em out.) Feeling particularly motivated to get a little healthier? Try bicycling there. They have a great bike shop on site, too!
These sweet summer moments deserved to be savoured, especially since these are the memories we’ll carry with us always. With that, let’s take Jon De Paola’s words to heart. Slow down. Breathe. And let that summer magic soak into ourselves and our surroundings. ❤