This summer, a personal goal of mine has been to embrace the outdoors and truly make the most of the beautiful weather. This summer, it has been less about eating out and more about finding new ways to have fun (cost effectively + outdoors) . Every Sunday, J and I have started walking outside for an hour or so. It's been motivating me to wake up earlier and make the most of my Sundays. The earlier I get up, the more time I have for some self-care. I've also realized how helpful this new practice has been for my mental health. Mindfulness is important, and making some time for it doesn't have to be difficult. Nor does it have to take a whole chunk of your day.
We all know that we are surrounded by beauty, but when it is lost within things we are familiar with, we tend to overlook it. We forget about the little things. Going on a walk once every week has truly changed the way I think and appreciate the things right infront of me. It makes me realize how great my feet feel when I run in grass. It makes me acknowledge the smell of summer and how much I love my sun kissed skin. How peaceful it is to sit under the shade and how much I adore the sound of birds. Being outdoors reiterates the fact that water has always been my favourite element. When I am near water, I am truly honestly content. Summer is when I am the happiest. I have learnt that when you're outdoors, it can be really inexpensive to have fun.
I'm not an early riser, so booking in some time to go on an early morning walk (that too on a Sunday) is difficult. To help motivate the both of us, I decided it'd be nice to hit up some scenic routes to help us get out of bed. Walking somewhere new is an easy way to get in that extra bit of motivation to help keep at it. It's also really rewarding. The Scarborough Bluffs and the Pickering Beachfront Park have been two great locations that have gotten me excited to keep up this practice. It's a great place to blog, throw a picnic, and/or read.
If you want to commit more of your time outdoors, you can always alternate locations. One Sunday, you can go somewhere close-by while the following Sunday can be reserved for a place further away like Websters Falls in Hamilton Ontario or Bruce Peninsula National Park in Tobermory. At least that's what has been working for us. I'm sure all this outdoor fun will fly right out the window once Winter starts. But, hey, cheers to the first day of summer!
Here's a little snippet of my view from last Sunday's walk at the Bluffs. Sundays have become all about walking, talking, and staying mindful. Have you made any personal goals for yourself this summer season? Let me know in the comments below!
Till next time,
A 24 year old Canadian living (& teaching) in Shenzhen, China.