Summer’s here! Kids are out of school, college students have time off or summer jobs, and adults—well, for many adults, all that really changes during the summer is the weather. If we work outside the home we get up every day and commute to our jobs, and if we work from home we look out the window at the sun shining while we are working. It’s easy to start feeling kind of stuck in a rut.
But here’s something we all have the ability to change right now: our attitude. What if we decided to have a “summer attitude” this time of year? I’m not talking about shirking our regular duties at work or at home; I’m talking about shifting our daily practices just a bit toward appreciation of the season. Here are a few examples.
Take Time to Recharge Yourself
- Get up a little earlier and enter your day slowly. What this means will vary from person to person. Meditate, pray, write in a journal, do some stretches or yoga—whatever works for you. If you don’t have a regular morning routine, just go for a walk around the block. Breathe deeply and feel the fresh morning air in your lungs. Look around and notice small things you may not have thought about for a while—hummingbirds, trees blossoming, puffy clouds. If you meet people along the way, acknowledge them with a smile and a “hello”—that could be all it takes to lift your mood (and theirs) for the day.
- Make plans to take a break from the ordinary. Having something to look forward to is a great mood lifter any time of year. This could be as simple as a short drive to visit a friend or relative you haven’t seen in a while. It could be a day trip to an interesting destination or maybe a weekend escape with your significant other. Remember, anticipation is part of the fun!
- Use your vacation or PTO days. I can’t say this often enough: if you have paid days off piling up, use them—that’s what they are for! Whether it’s a long-awaited trip or a staycation in your back yard, you will be a better in every way if you allow yourself to take time away from work to relax, refresh, and recharge.
Have More Fun at Work and at Home
- If you are a leader at any level, either remote or in the workplace, you set the tone for your team’s work environment. I always tell people to take their work seriously but themselves lightly. It’s a great way to maintain a balanced perspective, stay open to new ideas, and avoid burnout.
- There’s an old saying: “Laughter is the best medicine.” Keep your own sense of humor at the ready—a good laugh can be like a pressure valve when things get stressful. I find it’s a preferred alternative to ulcers or migraines.
- Celebrate everything—individual and team goal achievements and victories, work anniversaries, birthdays, promotions, retirements, and new babies. Celebrations create cohesive teams and build trust. Celebrating small victories or big occasions at home with family or friends enriches relationships and demonstrates appreciation for each other.
- I thought up a different kind of perspective-setting technique when our children were growing up. I noticed whenever we were at the park or the zoo I would see parents yelling at their kids for running around, just being kids. Then it struck me: it’s crazy to take your children somewhere you could have fun together and then scold them for having fun. I decided to reframe my attitude so that we all could have fun. I dubbed it my “zoo mentality.” After that, when the kids started acting silly or chasing each other, I was more inclined to join in the fun myself. I have been known to use this technique when attending company meetings. 😊
So keep your options open this summer. Get creative at home and at work in finding ways you can lighten your outlook, take well deserved breaks, appreciate the people around you, and have fun. Developing a summer attitude can be the difference between feeling run down and feeling renewed!