Four Quick Mindfulness Exercises for Summer
As summer approaches, and most of the northern hemisphere heats up, there are some great ways to relieve stress, get mindful, and learn new things about yourself. Summer is a great time begin new practices and experiment with things you might not have the time or weather to pull off during the rest of the year. So here are a few mindfulness techniques to apply as you kick back and enjoy the warm weather.
1. Ice is Nice
I hope that you’ll be relaxing with a cold drink once in a while this summer. If that’s the case, try taking an ice cube and hold it in your hand. Become aware of how it feels. What thoughts come to mind when you feel the cold numbing sensation? Become aware and make a mental note. Try to hold your focus on the ice and the sensation for as long as you can.
2. The Sunsation
The sun is powerful in the summer. It’s a good time to replenish some Vitamin D and get some fresh air. Too much sun can be bad thing, but just enough is always welcome, as long as you’re careful. This summer, if you are outside, turn your face to the sun and feel the warmth. Make a note of how it feels and focus on the sensation. How does the sun make you feel? What does it do to you? Pay attention and focus on just the sensation.
3. The Shock
If you’re a good swimmer, jump into a cold pool and pay attention to how the water feels as it shocks your system. Pay attention to how the water feels across your whole body. It’s all about sensation. There’s not much that can shock you into the present moment as immersing yourself quickly into cold water.
4. Go Barefoot
This is only something you can really do in the summer, and it can get you into the present moment pretty quickly. Feeling the earth under your bare feet (don’t do this where it’s not safe…) can have a calming and amazing affect on your mood. It can also bring you into the present moment as it’s most likely something your not used to doing, so you will be body focused, which is mindful practice by default. You can also get something like these, but it’s probably not as authentic an experience.
These four mindfulness exercises could start you on a path, or add to an already existing repertoire of practices. As with everything, exercise these with your own discretion and caution. Summer is a great time to try new things, so why not give mindfulness a try, even in a simple form like these. Great things often have small beginnings.