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Summer Blooms Katharine Chestnut

Summer Blooms: How to Encourage Growth in 2021

It’s warming up here in Atlanta and now that COVID restrictions are lifting, people are getting out in the sunshine. 

Summer means growth. When temperatures warm up, fruits start to ripen, flowers are in bloom, and more of us get outside to enjoy the weather. 

This seasonal change is also a great time for turning inwards. It’s a great time for retreats so that we can look at the rest of the year that’s ahead of us. Also a time for vacations and making space to breathe and relax so that we don’t burnout.

The summer season is a great time to shine a light on what’s going on in our lives. We can take stock of our blessings and see where we want to turn our focus in the months ahead. 

How to Plan for Growth This Summer

Here are a few suggestions on how to approach a path towards growth — one that actually works for you. 

  1. Start a new, nourishing, daily habit this season. 

Whether it’s a daily journaling practice, meditating more, cooking at home more often, or morning yoga, there are plenty of new habits you might try out. The key is to pick one that feels both enjoyable and nourishing to YOU.

“Knowing that what you choose to think, say, and do each day contributes to your overall physical and emotional well-being, is fuel to commit to your personal growth now,” writes Lena Schmidt for Chopra

No matter what fun, new habit you decide to work on, keep track of your progress so you can really see your progress — and successes. “Set up a system to keep yourself accountable: sticker chart, online community support group, or a reward when you achieve a certain objective,” says Lena. 

Personally, I walk on the Atlanta Beltline to take small but important breaks during the workday. And it is no coincidence that I live four blocks from my business. I use the time walking to and from work to relax and get grounded.

  1. Amp up the time you spend on relaxation. 

Now is the perfect time to develop a habit of relaxing. Whether you approach that through breathing exercises, self-massage, or some soothing or cooling time on the water. Allow yourself more time to chill this summer. 

We all need time to pause and cool down. Hotter temperatures can encourage the risk of burnout (or heat exhaustion). So it really is key to your physical and mental health to relax. Taking some time off work might also be necessary, if you’re starting to experience signs of burnout. 

TIP: Need a reset during your workday? Mid-day naps are ideal! Just remember to set a timer: More than 90 minutes of napping can make it harder to sleep at night.

And there’s more growth in store…

  1. Set goals for the rest of the year and revisit the ones you might’ve set earlier this year.

What do you want to accomplish before the end of 2021? Now that the year is halfway over, this is a great time to audit where you’re at. Think about what you truly desire, and plan where you want to focus that energy. You might already have some goals that you listed at the beginning of the year. Go and reflect on those and adjust as needed. 

“Goals are the first step towards planning for the future, and play a fundamental role in the development of skills in various facets of life, from work to relationships and everything in between. They are the target at which we aim our proverbial arrow,” according to Positive Psychology

  1. Practice gratitude for the abundance that you have right now.
Katharine Chestnut Inner Affirmations

The power of a gratitude practice has been studied by psychologists and scientists over the years. “In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness,” according to reports from Harvard. “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” 

Summer is the perfect time to look at all the fruits that your labor has produced. Maybe you’ve had more good days than bad this past week. Perhaps you nailed a new recipe or your cat has been an amazing companion today. 

Write down these kinds of good things everyday. It can help to reflect on (and record) the abundance in your life, especially when times of hardship feel extra hard. If you’re not into writing, take a few moments every morning to pause and think about a few things that fill you with gratitude. 

Bloom With Me

Meditation has been a great tool in supporting my own growth and encouraging my practice of gratitude — and it’s opened the door to more possibilities in my life. I’d love to share that kind of abundance with you, so take a look at a meditation I posted recently about the power of possibility.