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This Summer - Get a grip

By Kellie Whitehead

I don’t like it.

I never really have.

Seemingly alone in my general dislike of all things summer, I fully understand it’s the season people look forward to most all year.

The clothes don’t fit or suit me. It’s either too hot to go about day to day business or not warm *enough* to enjoy the typical outdoor activities. School holidays - long, often boring and always expensive - my list is endless.

In its sunny, floral defence - there is one thing I think summer is great for.

Now - of course not everyone shuts up shop for a month or longer or gets that 6 week vacation, if any at all, but there is always a sense of ‘release and relax’ in the air.

The longer the season runs, the closer we are to my favourite month.

September (ish) isn’t just ‘back to school’ for the kids, it’s ‘back to life’ for the adults - and like spring in England, after a usually grotty and prolonged winter, there is a real feel of ‘renewal’ in the air.

I fully recognise that not everyone will be taking a holiday, some will not have a single day - others may have weeks. Some will have work day slowdowns, and for some, it’s the busiest time of year. I get that. But I still think there is always a ‘slowdown’ vibe in place during July and August.

The beauty of this is the clarity we gain - it’s no secret that traditionally, workplace resignations peak in September and January - that welcome head space we enjoy during our time out giving way to big decisions and career plans. That’s why I think summer is the perfect time to ‘get a grip’

Taking stock and gaining balance is important at any time of year, but the fact is, we are all usually too busy to even think about thinking about it. Maybe I was a unique child, but I always looked forward to the opportunity of a new teacher, new friends, new lessons to learn, crisp new school clothes and the unquantified joy of choosing a new schoolbag, lunchbox or pencil case. Any slowdown gives us an opportunity to assess life gone by and consider what it is we want our future to look like - from choosing the next meal to life changing mega decisions - it’s all there for us when we have the time to ponder it.

It’s also no revelation that we mostly get our best ideas, creativity or ‘downloads’ when we are in the shower, on the long walk or even the sunbed. Your brain needs to wind down to fire back up - just like anything else.

It starts with relaxation - that decompression that allows us to consider what it is we are lacking, what we want more of and importantly - how we might find ‘it’.

All of these questions - once we are off the daily treadmill, even if summer simply means no school runs for weeks and you get to take the morning hours in your own time, will arise and percolate as fast or as slowly as we need our caffeine fix. The list may be basic, it may be longer than life itself, but that ‘blue sky thinking’ time is so important for your mindful reset.

You might take immediate action, you might need to ruminate more, but if summer does give you the lemons - it’s the perfect time to make the lemonade - or at least add the grape-based beverage.


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