Stop and smell the roses

Life can be hectic. Even in the middle of summer, with nature in full bloom, I so often find myself rushing about, hurrying from one task to the next. Sometimes, I have to remind myself: take a breath and smell the flowers!

When we’re focused on the future and on just getting stuff done, we fail to appreciate what’s in front of us. This can be really stressful: we’re always worrying about what we need to do next, and feeling chronically late and under-accomplished. Checking one item off our to-do list just means it’s time to move on to another.

It’s also self-defeating, as we’re never satisfied with where we are and what we have in the moment. We so often think we need to do something before we can be happy, or enjoy ourselves. Usually, this means we’re always chasing happiness, rather than enjoying it.

Let’s slow down and enjoy the moment! Now is the perfect time to start paying more attention to, well, now. 

Try going for a walk in nature. Pay attention to the plants: the trees, the flowers, the bees buzzing around them looking for nectar. Run your hands over the bark or the petals, and feel the earth under your feet. All this close attention to what’s right in front of you helps you snap out of a future-focused mindset, and into the present moment. Feel yourself starting to unwind and slow down. So many of our cares and worries evaporate if we just let them be.

If you need help motivating yourself to go for nature walks, ask a friend or a loved one to do it with you. Spending time in the woods or out on the trail can be such a wonderful opportunity to connect with someone you care about. Plus it’s cheaper than brunch :).

Enjoy summer!