Mind-Body Health

How to Enjoy Summer with a Balance of Playfulness and Purposeful Intention

Senior man trail hiking in the forest at sunset
Senior man trail hiking in the forest

Part of what makes summer unique is the sunlight that shines brightly into the evening. This time of year can remind us that life always is in flux, as the days will start to get shorter after the summer solstice. While we tend to associate summer with longer days, the start of summer marks the slow descent into the darker months.

Having fun during these longer days helps us make the most of summer, while it lasts. Some ways to do this are to create memories outdoors, enjoy the longer hours of daylight when indoors, and start to take action for future goals.

What To Do With All This Time?

Days can seem longer during this time of year because the sun sets later, children are out of school, and some people feel the pressure of soaking up the sun since this season is brief in some parts of the world.

Because it can feel like there is more time in a day, now is the time to brainstorm creative ways to have fun outside and make memories that can last (and will keep you cool to balance Pitta energy).

It would be fun for you to think of your own ideas that match well with where you live and what you love to do. Here are some options as examples to get your own ideas flowing:

  • Sit alone or with others outside simply observing nature, listening for animal sounds, and noticing new growth of plants and flowers. The stillness and observation can be cooling to the mind and body.
  • Experiment with other cooling ways to be outside. Take a slow hike or walk in a shady forest, allowing yourself to cherish the inhales and exhales in the fresh air. If you hike with others, notice how it feels to connect while being outside together.
  • Test out a new summer ritual that you could repeat each year to create happy memories. Perhaps you can picnic in a special spot, plant vegetables, or try a new recipe that uses summer’s freshest fruit.

Whether by yourself, with family, or with friends, creating special rituals and activities that are best suited for this time of year will give you something to look forward to as well as good memories to carry you through darker months.

Indoors in Summer

Many hours are spent indoors in summer. There is no reason to feel guilty for staying inside on a nice summer day. In fact, to balance the Pitta dosha, it is helpful to engage in some cooling and grounding activities. On the hottest days, it might be that the best thing you can do is stay comfortable inside.

Because the sun will shine inside for more hours this time of year, it can be a great time to tackle a big house project or complete something personal you did not have the energy for other times of year.

You could take your time going room by room, deciding what to sell or donate; slow down the pace of life to stay cool by reading, meditating, and doing gentle yoga; and clean out the garage, a backyard shed, or your home office. Clearing the clutter will bring a sense of lightness and joy into your life.

Since the light will pour into the house later into the evening, you can spend more time observing how the shadows dance on the floor, how it feels to eat by natural light during dinner, and which plants are happiest this time of year in the window.

Harnessing the Fire of Pitta

Balancing Pitta with cooling activities is important so you can ride the wave of Pitta energy that characterizes this season without spending most of your time feeling out of balance. The positive aspects of Pitta can support your determination, focus, and sharp mind when it comes to thinking about your future, taking action, and moving toward what you desire.

Use this time of year to create action plans for achieving your goals, and begin to take action steps. The support of Pitta season will help your motivation and momentum, and taking action now will provide more guidance for you later in the year when the seasons will invite us to be more introspective.

An activity perfect for this time of year is to make a list of a few steps you will take to move further along toward a goal and hold yourself accountable. Write down a few actions you can take in the next month that will move the needle for you, and keep going step-by-step with your goals in mind.

Be sure to do this with a sense of playfulness and fun as you are creating the life you want. There will be serious steps and obstacles, to be sure, so bringing a sense of a fun to it will help remind you why you are in it, after all.

By balancing the fire of Pitta season, you can enjoy the huge benefits of Pitta in balance which can help you move forward in life in ways that feel fulfilling and joyful year round.


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