During these uncertain times, the feeling of a “lazy summer day” is often hard to come by. Perhaps you live somewhere far from Nature, you’ve got kids, and you’re unable to leave the house or your yard. Whether you have a house full of family or you’re living solo for now, and especially if you’re an apartment dweller, this will help orient you to your own version of summer, with a practice of self-trust and care. We’ll start with the practicalities.
Since the summer season calls for moments of ease, cooling foods, and some semblance of rest, we can begin with our sleep. Let’s practice going to sleep with the sun, and waking with it. Learn what time the sun sets where you are, and turn off your devices about an hour or two prior to sundown. Choose three or four books that you’ll read in the evenings; turn the lights off except for your reading light. Notice how sleepy you become after a few nights of this practice.
With that healthy dose of good sleep, you’ll slowly begin waking with the sun, which means you’ll start enjoying the delicious early morning hours. Cooler in temperature and more sparsely populated in most areas, this is your time to have a run, a walk in the nearest park if you’re able, a hike if you’re near a trail. Side note: I wear my bandanna around my neck which doubles as a mask to help me feel more safe and sane. By the time you’re home, it’s getting hotter out, which is your time to have a shower or a bath. If you have family around, you’ll craft a schedule along with them, and you’ll create this morning time as your time.
Maybe you’ll make a shake, a little breakfast for yourself or your family. By now it’s 9 or 10am, and your designated hours for work might begin. Having worked from home for the last seven years, this clarity in my schedule is everything. Respect those hours whether you’re reporting in or working for yourself, and you’ll feel more ease. There isn’t anything you’re missing, as this is your time to devote to work, so all is clear.
If you’re not currently employed, I dare you to write your book, create your art, listen to nourishing podcasts or take a class. This is your time.
If you’ve got kids around, intentionally craft your time with them, outdoors or in. If you cannot get outside, take the rugs and precious items out of the bathroom and have a proper water fight once a day. Choose books with them and design a period of time for reading, best at the end of the day in our home. Order pencils and newsprint and create an art hour every day. Sit with them and ask what would help them feel relaxed and at peace. Give them writing prompts.
Let them have electronics for a certain range of time, and stick to that formula; they need clear direction, but they also love being connected to their peers. Right now that’s the only way my boy can connect to his people, so we have a set schedule around that. It makes him happy; I take that time to get housework done, have a stretch or a late-day meditation. After which time I love to make dinner.
Preparing salads is our favourite summer pastime; here’s list of things we love in the salads so you can get inspired. Romaine. Steamed broccoli, chopped into little bites. Grilled protein such as fish, Qrunch veggie burgers, plain grilled chicken breast, quinoa with toasted pumpkin seeds, or chopped turkey bacon. Radishes of any color, sliced super thinly. Chickpeas. Avocados. Chopped asparagus. Steamed beets, chopped into tiny cubes. Tomatoes. I could go on, but you get the idea.
Just in case, for our favourite summer dressing, slice one shallot, let it sit in the juice of 2 lemons for about 20 minutes, then add Olive Oil (about twice as much as you have lemon juice), 1 tsp of dijon mustard and a heaping TB of white miso. Blend well. You’ll love it.
After dinner, remember to take some time to sit, rest, read, talk, listen, be. We don’t have a TV but sometimes we’ll watch a movie on the laptop. Read with your kids if they’re near. Take it slowly.
By this time it’s almost sundown, and time for you to wind down and shift gears. You know what to do. Your “lazy summer day” practice might just end up becoming a way of life for the fall too… let’s see.
Looking for the perfect restful yoga class for a slow summer day? Try our Lazy Days collection.