I’m glad August is here. It’s been an incredible, and at times pretty trying few months in my household. (For those of you who are regular readers of my newsletter, you’ll notice I’ve not published one since April. That’s an indication of something!) But August is here and I’m finding it relaxing. I know, for those of you who are ramping up to get kids back in school, August may be a month you either dread or look forward to, depending on how the summer has gone. In my opinion…
This is a good time to refresh yourself for the rest of the year.
The climate, at least here in Houston, is the opposite of refreshing. It’s like everything is just trying to survive the summer heat. Plants (and people) wilt in the summer sun. Exercising outside is miserable. Even those fortunate enough to have swimming pools abandon their use as the pool water now equals the outdoor temp in the 90’s.
Let’s take a different perspective. Most of the year is behind us and now there is an increasing momentum as we head towards fall. How can we make the most of the last four months of the year? If you’d like to boost the rest of your year, here are some suggestions that I’ve used for years.
Commit to a month of self-care. If you’ve slacked off on exercise or eating enough vegetables, or you’ve been missing that yoga class, now’s a good time to put that activity back on the calendar.
Sign up for a class, workshop, or conference. Almost every August for the past 20 years I’ve attended a particular leadership conference. It inspires me, refreshes me, teaches me. I come away with more energy.
Nurture a different part of yourself. Making small changes or trying new activities can be invigorating. Especially with the limitations of Covid, we all need something that can change up our routine. Go kayaking. Take a hike. Buy a new outfit (both tops AND bottom…come on, we all know that with zoom meetings we’re not always dressed up fully!) I bought a museum membership because I want to nurture my appreciation for beauty and creativity.
Start a journal. I’m a fan of journaling. It’s a cleansing process as well as a way to slow down your thinking and enhance your powers of observation. I don’t journal every day, but several days a week is my norm. This morning I was reading old journals from 2001 and 2006. It was insightful to see that yes, some things continue to be a roller coaster of struggles, but I could also look back and see how much I’ve changed for the better.
Assess your goals for the year, personal and professional. There will be some where progress has stalled. Maybe it’s time to let them go for the next few months and focus on the goals that have the biggest impact for you or your career. Remember to congratulate yourself on what you have accomplished and give yourself some credit!
“Nourishing yourself in a way that helps you blossom in the direction you want to go is attainable, and you are worth the effort.” – Deborah Day
Enjoy the rest of your summer!
Photo: Romolo Tavini/ Shutterstock