When we were a children just hearing the words “its summertime” made us jump up and down with excitement. No school, no homework –and hello swimming pools, picnics and if we were lucky summer camp. Momma got out the ice cream maker and we shopped for watermelon, those were the days. Teachers needed a break from us and we needed a break for all that work.

So, here we are today, all grown up and its summertime but the joy has dimmed a little. We traded school for work, homework for reports and proposals. For many of us if we want homemade ice cream we have to make it. We traded teachers for bosses and yes…we still need a break! What are we doing to give ourselves a break? Sure some of us might fly away to exotic places, others may take what is popularly called “stay-cations.” Regardless what we are able to do I’m sure our bodies and minds are most grateful.

Taking a break from working is great but it is also important to feed our souls and we can do so in many ways. We can take a walk in the park and allow time to really notice the world around us. Challenge ourselves to a hike and feel the happiness of accomplishment. Climb a mountain and sit quietly in reflection.  Follow the flow of a river, allowing the sounds of the water rippling over the rocks to calm us, if it works on our phone apps imagine in real time.  Nature just seems to help us understand everything clearer and is restful for our hearts and mind.

Allergic to the outdoors?  No worry, think about volunteering, giving of ourselves to benefit others. Most often we find that in the end we received the greater gift. A simple smile or asking someone how they are doing today can make their day and we can walk away with a smile in our heart. Volunteer at a shelter or food bank, read books for a summer reading program, so many options.

Summertime is time to slow down, enrich our souls and rest our minds. Walking in the park, climbing mountains or just laying on a blanket to watch the stars it’s there for the taking. So, indulge.

There is a beautiful quote by an unknown author that says…”Let my soul smile through my heart and my heart smile through my eyes, that I may scatter rich smiles in sad hearts. Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.”