Daily Practice

Be Here Now — 5 Ways to Savor Your Summer

Trust us, we get it. This summer’s not going to be a normal summer.

Depending on where you live, you might not be able to do all the things that you’d normally do because of social distancing rules. That being said, we should still try our best to be present. In fact, all of this should give us even more reasons to be present, so that when we finally do get to have some fun, we can savor it.

We’re challenging you to live in the present moment and truly enjoy it regardless of the challenging circumstances.

Here are 5 tips to bring more presence and enjoyment to your summer!

1. Maintain a work-life balance

Whether you’re working remotely or you’re back to the office, it’s important to have boundaries. Work is one of the main reasons why many people struggle to be present. It’s unrealistic to make ourselves available to our bosses 24/7! Try unplugging at the end of the workday, and definitely unplug over the weekend. Checking your emails incessantly during your off hours will add unnecessary stress and take you out of the present moment, whether you’re enjoying dinner with friends or lying on the beach. 

2. Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is all about being in the present moment, and it doesn’t just apply to when you’re meditating. You can use mindfulness whenever you want! Famous American spiritual teacher Ram Dass popularized the saying “Be here now,” and this is a mindfulness principle that you can carry over into all aspects of your life. When you’re hanging out with loved ones, are you really present, or is your mind thinking about a million other things – like work, emails, the crush who won’t text you back, and errands you have to run? Practice being here now by noticing that your thoughts have drifted, acknowledging them, and then bringing yourself back to the present moment. 

3. Don’t dwell on the future or the past

As humans, we are wired to dwell on our past and be anxious about the future...but does that ever really benefit us? No. The living should be easy in summertime, and staying in the present moment can help with that. Mindfulness can be a tool for this, too. If you notice that your thoughts are wandering off to the past or the future, notice them, take a breath, and direct your thoughts to the here and now. Summer’s here and you deserve to enjoy it.

4. Engage in activities that evoke gratitude and presence

Certain activities will lend themselves to being present. That could mean activities that command more attention, or activities that cause you to be more one with nature. Oh, and remember that you don’t have to take pictures of everything to post on social media. Some examples of activities:

  • Water sports
  • Hikes and nature walks
  • Scenic painting or drawing
  • Bike rides 
  • Swimming

5. Use your phone less

Everyone and their mother are constantly glued to their phone. We get it – it’s hard to not be glued to your phone. However, our phones themselves along with social media really tend to take us out of the present moment. How many times have you missed what someone was saying to you because you were busy texting someone back? How many times have you cared more about how many views you get on your IG story rather than taking in the scenery?

Here are some tips for limiting your screen time:
  • Track your screen time by enabling the tracking on your iPhone, or if you have an Android, download the SPACE app. Being aware of how much time you spend looking at your screen can be a wakeup call.  
  • Set screen time limits. You can set different limits for different apps. Your phone will warn you when you’re getting close to your limit. 
  • Have some phone-free time. When you’re doing outdoor activities, why not keep your phone in your backpack? Enjoy the fresh air. Snapchat can wait.

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