By Amy Berrafato, LMFT, CST
As Amy F and Amy S have pointed out in earlier blogs (why yes, we do do everything together, the 3 Amy’s), there are oh so many ways to enjoy Chicago summers. From festivals to picnics to bike rides to beach days to movies in the park, the fun is endless! And as we’re nearing the dare-I-say end of summer back to school days, we scramble to do all the things we haven’t gotten to yet. I bet you have your list, too.
It’s amazing that even when it comes to fun and enjoyment, we do it quickly. We race from one activity to the next, often on our phones taking pictures of said activities, rather than enjoying them for what they are. We plan and prep and run, knowing that our days of sunshine are limited. Better maximize while we can!
Something to consider: let’s slow down a bit. Really slow down. In mindfulness practice, we are encouraged to notice what’s happening around us, and let it be what it is. This goes for emotions as well as physical surroundings. So enjoy that fro yo, savor every last scoop. Notice the color of the neighborhood flowers while you’re walking your dog. Pay attention to how the water feels when you’re swimming in Lake Michigan. Inhale that sweet smell of BBQ down the street. Watch how your partner looks at you when they are full of joy. Appreciate that beautiful skyline sunset. Isn’t it amazing?
Although we are creatures of habit, we do get bored with routine. This is a chance for you to shake it up a bit! All that spark needs is a little change of scenery to light up again. Sit outside on that nice deck for an after-dinner beverage. Ask a question you haven’t asked in a while. Feel the wind on your face during that road trip (yep, just like dogs do!). Take the kids in the wagon to watch the fireworks. The novelty of something slightly different can offer fresh energy for you and your loved ones.
Enjoy every moment of our Sweet Home Chicago! You may or may not find me (mindfully) eating hot dogs at Wrigley. Don’t judge.