Embracing the Summer Solstice: Finding Balance and Self-Care in Busy Times
On June 21, the sun takes its longest journey through the sky, marking the Summer Solstice, the day we experience the most amount of daylight each year. More daylight typically leads to more productivity, allowing busy people all over the world the opportunity to carve out more time for themselves without feeling guilty.
Understanding the Summer Solstice
The Latin translation of solstice is “stand still.” Therefore, the meaning of Summer Solstice (also known as the June Solstice) is the day the sun stands still. It is, in fact, the day when the sun reaches its northernmost position, as seen from the Earth. On this day, the sun does not move north or south like it does on other days of the year. Instead, it stands still at the Tropic of Cancer then reverses its direction and moves south again.
Many cultures celebrate the Summer Solstice as the first day of summer, placing great emphasis on abundance, growth, and renewal. It is a day to celebrate new beginnings, making June 21 a popular wedding day in many countries. The Summer Solstice is also a time to celebrate fertility and abundance. Many countries mark the day as an opportunity to plant crops and flowers. It is a popular day for picnics, music festivals, and dance festivals. While most cultures bring attention to the community and outward celebrations of the Summer Solstice, this celestial event is also an ideal time to create an internal focus for rejuvenation, reflection, and alignment.
The Importance of Self-Care during Summer Solstice
Imagine cultivating a sense of inner peace amidst the chaos of the summer months. With kids home from school, and workflow interrupted by travel, vacations, and activities, this is the time to be intentional so you can feel more grounded and centered through the flux and flow of summer.
The June Solstice is the perfect time to invest in your personal well-being by making self-care practices a priority in your busy schedule. With a few intentional tools and inspiration, you can kick off the month of June by bringing new awareness to rejuvenate your energy, restoring alignment, and nurturing your experience of inner peace.
To keep things simple, begin with these two points of focus:
1. Physical Alignment - Physical alignment helps you feel grounded, centered, and balanced in all of the things you may do in the course of a day. Consider adding mindful movement practices like yoga and Pilates into your self-care routine. Both yoga and Pilates focus on improving physical alignment, enhancing the breath, and developing balance. These practices will also help you cultivate physical awareness, offering you the opportunity to tune into your body. As your awareness grows, you will gain more confidence in how you move each day, feeling less stress on your joints and more vitality in your overall physical wellness.
2. Mental and Emotional Alignment- Mental and emotional alignment help you connect to the feeling of inner peace. By investing in practices like meditation and mindfulness, you will rejuvenate your energy and nourish your soul. Consider carving out time each day for meditation, journaling, or spending time in nature. By setting aside even five minutes a day, being intentional with mindfulness practices will promote relaxation, reduce your symptoms of stress, and improve your mental and emotional well-being.
Simple Self-Care Practices for Busy Times
Let’s face it, getting started is often the hardest part. If you’re like me, you might do best with a schedule that outlines a clear and focused beginning. Here is a sample of a Self Care Success Plan that can easily slip into your busy schedule:
Mindful Morning Ritual- 15-30 minutes
Choose your favorite way to begin the day and wake up 15-30 minutes earlier so you have time to invest in your self-care. This is your time to nourish your emotional well-being. Ideas for this time include meditation, gratitude practice, journaling, art, prayer, reading scripture, sipping coffee, coloring, watching the sunrise, listening to the birds sing, and watering the garden. Do what makes your soul happy so you begin the day from a place of peace and harmony.
Mindful Lunch- 30 minutes
Take your lunch away from work, away from the screen, and away from the “busy.” This is your time to unplug and recharge. Consider sitting on the grass, breathing in the fresh air, or taking a short walk after eating. The time away will rejuvenate your energy, and you will be more focused and present for the afternoon.
Mindful Movement- 30 minutes
Schedule time for mindful movement to align and energize your body and calm your spirit. Yoga, gentle stretching, and Pilates are great ways to gain confidence in physical movement and enhance your self-care routine. Choose one and be intentional in your practice to experience the greatest benefits.
Evening Ritual- 30 minutes
This is the time for you to unwind and unplug. An evening ritual will signal to your body that it is time to rest. It is your time to get quiet and support your mental well-being. Ideas for this time include taking a hot bath or shower, dimming the lights, lighting candles, diffusing essential oils, spending extra time on skincare, dry brushing, meditation, journaling, prayer, daily reflection, sipping tea, and reading. This is the time to choose activities that soothe your soul so you can settle in for the night and get a good night’s sleep.
Setting Intentions for the Season
The Summer Solstice marks a celestial alignment that also reminds us to focus on our internal alignment. This season of new beginnings is an excellent opportunity to renew your commitment to self-care. Take a few moments to set an intention for your physical alignment, mental well-being, and emotional alignment. Begin with one of the suggestions from the list above. Once it becomes a natural part of your daily routine, try adding another one. One step at a time, your journey will yield more inner peace and alignment, bringing more peaceful moments into your life each and every day.
About the Author: Roberta Hughes is a certified meditation, Pilates, and yoga instructor and the owner of PeaceFull Living, which specializes in helping individuals with personal growth and self-care. Roberta provides customized guidance so students can make the most of their practice and reach their unique goals. She also offers a complimentary Discovery Call to help new clients identify their goals and choose the best program for their needs. If you're looking for personalized instruction or healthy living advice from an experienced teacher, contact Roberta today through the PeaceFull Living website.