As we continue to move through summer, we are looking at a very different world than a year ago. However, it is important to return to the familiar as the world continues to change. One of the most difficult things to do in unfamiliar times is to relax and enjoy moments. While we have all made changes, and continue to make changes, it is important to center ourselves and get back to doing the things which make summer so great! Here are a few tips to help bring us back to the present and help us appreciate the moments which make summers so enjoyable.
Returning to those activities such as biking, hiking or simply taking a stroll around the neighborhood are just some of the things we associate with the summer months. Making sure we keep our bodies and minds active is a key part in maintaining our health. While the availability to gyms, sports and equipment is ever changing and will return in time, there are still many ways to be active. Activities such as yoga, in-home exercise routines, gardening, virtual races, biking and walking are all ways to stay active and enjoy the summer to its fullest while staying safe and healthy!
Being connected with others is vital to our health and happiness. Laughing with family, catching up with friends or grabbing a bite to eat are just some of the ways we connect; and it has been a challenge in our new world. However, while these activities may look different now (group zoom calls, social distancing on walks and carrying out meals) we can all enjoy a return to these beloved summer past-times in whichever avenue we feel comfortable pursuing them.
Taking time to focus on our breathing, especially deep abdominal breathing, helps to center our body and mind. This is important as it helps us to decrease stress in our bodies and allows our minds a much needed break. So, breathe deeply, slowly in through your nose into your abdomen for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds and then exhale through pursed lips for 8 seconds. This is known as the 4-7-8 second breathing pattern and helps to calm, rejuvenate and decrease stress in our body. Repeat 3-4 times throughout the day. Whenever you feel the need to be present.
Taking time to focus on where we are currently, what meal we are eating, what the weather is doing, and how we are feeling are ways to increase our level of mindfulness. Mindfulness is being aware and conscious of where and what we are at the present time. This has become increasingly important with our ever changing world because being mindful allows us to focus on the here and now, decreasing our level of stress and increasing our physical and emotional fortitude during trying times.
Combining physical activity, focused breathing mindfulness and connecting with others can help in improving both physical and mental health. There are plenty of additional resources including phone apps, articles and classes to help us be more mindful and healthy within our lives. Now is the time to enjoy summer, to be present and to be connected!
If you’re experiencing any aches and pains in starting a new exercise routine, schedule a free assessment and be seen safely in-clinic or virtually through a secure online video chat.
The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.