Summer Slow Down

School’s out (or about to be) for Summer! And that means warmer weather, more daylight, rushing kids around to camps, and hopefully some vacations with friends and family. Summer can often be refreshing, a time to unplug, recharge, and ground ourselves before Fall kicks things back into high gear. But how can we do that when Summer feels so jam-packed and fleeting? I often recommend working on slowing things down and reconnecting with ourselves to feel more like active participants in our daily lives.

What does “slowing down” look like? Well, to start, focusing on intentionality in our days, doing things for ourselves on purpose. It can be helpful to cultivate intentionality within four different areas of our lives. We want to build intentionality around 1). our needs, 2). our time, 3). our experiences, and 4). our emotions. Intentionality varies for everyone, but there are some ways to jump right in:

Intentionality around Needs: This can look like checking in with yourself about what you need or what you want the structure of your day to look like. Asking yourself the simple question, “What do I need today?” can point you in the right direction around getting those needs met.

Intentionality around Time: This can look like setting a goal to take a walk for 20 minutes a day, three-five days a week, to ensure that you are giving yourself time for just yourself. It can also look like purposeful social media intake – maybe limiting it to once or twice daily for no more than 10 minutes. Ensuring that you are mindful of how you choose to spend your time is crucial in feeling connected to it.

Intentionality around Experiences: This can look like journaling every night before you go to bed to reflect on the day you just had and the experiences shaping your life. It can also look like seeking new opportunities to see how variety may affect your understanding of self – actively building out experiences, no matter how small or short, can be a great way to find new skills that reinforce your feelings of strength and excitement.

Intentionality around Emotions: This can look like working to identify the emotions you are feeling in each moment and acknowledging them. A way to do this is to slow your breathing down to notice the feelings coming up for you. Naming these feelings for yourself can be clarifying.

When we slow things down to reconnect with ourselves, we find meaning in our days that may be overlooked while navigating the hustle of the short summer months. When we build intentionality around our needs, time, experiences, and emotions, we can slow down to ultimately improve our understanding of our lives and, more importantly, ourselves. Intentionality in our days can help us reconnect to who we are right now and savor what’s in front of us.

Kathy Klein, M.S.Ed., MSW, LSW is a Staff Therapist at our Center City and University City Offices; she currently sees clients via online therapy. To set-up an appointment, you can reach her at kklein@councilforrelationships.org or 215-382-6680 ext. 7022.

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