By Doug Cartwright mindfulness
This beautiful season is a great opportunity to try out some mindfulness activities.
If you aren’t sure what mindfulness is, we’ll break it down for you. Basically, mindfulness is the practice of being fully present in the moment, observing your thoughts, feelings, senses, and surroundings, without judging or trying to change anything. It’s certainly a practice that’s easier said than done, since today many of us are always trying to do a million things at once, and we often judge our own emotions and wish that we felt a different way.
There are many ways you can practice mindfulness, ranging from mindfulness meditation to mindfulness activities. By engaging in activities that lend themselves to mindfulness, you can incorporate mindfulness into your everyday life and reap the mental health benefits, whether they are mindfulness activities for adults, kids, or groups.
Without further adieu, here are five fun mindfulness activities to try this summer.
As a society, we tend to spend a whole lot more time watching TV than reading. Binge watching doesn’t exactly qualify as a mindfulness activity. When we’re watching TV, we’re usually doing a bunch of other things at the same time – texting friends, scrolling through Instagram, maybe even getting some work done. Opting to read a book instead lends itself to mindfulness because it requires more of your attention. Bonus points if you choose to read a life changing book that fosters personal growth!
Find a Book to Read
Take advantage of the beautiful summer weather and bring a book to the park, beach, or even just your backyard. Get rid of other distractions (meaning put your phone on do not disturb mode) and just focus on the book in your hands and the words on the pages. Reading a good book can really anchor you in the present, keep your attention focused on one thing, and enrich your life, which is why it’s one of our top picks for mindfulness activities for adults. Additionally, reading is one of our top choices for mindfulness activities for kids, too, if you’re a parent. You can help kids engage in mindfulness activities such as reading by providing them with books that have different textures on the pages. Just search online for “tactile books” or “sensory books.”
Visit a National Park
There’s no excuse to not get outside this summer! We’ve been cooped up for so long, and it’s time to get out there and get back into the world, especially if it means experiencing the great outdoors. Visiting a national park is one of the best mindfulness activities for groups. Getting a group together, whether it’s a bunch of friends or family members or both, and heading for a national park can make for a great summer day.
Practice being mindful at the park by becoming really attuned to your senses. What do you see? What kind of beautiful nature is right in front of your eyes? What do you hear? Any animals or birds? What do you smell? How does the ground feel beneath your feet? Focusing on all of these senses can anchor you in the present moment and turn the adventure into one of the best summer mindfulness activities for adults, kids, or groups. If getting to a national park is a bit too difficult for you, no worries. You can even practice this at a local park or even your backyard – anywhere that you can be immersed in nature.
Sleep Under the Stars
Many of us are not very mindful at bedtime. While we know it’s better for us to unplug from technology at night, most of us still end up watching Netflix or scrolling through social media endlessly in bed. Trust us, we know it’s tempting!
For an idea of mindfulness activities for groups, why not get some people together and go camping so you can sleep under the stars? You can trade Netflix in for campfires, quality conversations, smores, and the stars. The lack of outlets and computers means no tempting TV show, and the company of your friends and the great outdoors means less urges to scroll through Instagram for an hour.
Again, you can get even more mindful by tuning into your senses as you’re outdoors. Pay attention to how you feel physically and emotionally, without judging it or trying to change it.
Watch the Sunrise
Whether you choose to sleep outside all night or just wake up early at home, watching the sunrise is one of the most underrated summer mindfulness activities. There’s something that’s so peaceful about a sunrise, and it can be very symbolic for fresh starts. This can be a group activity or a solo activity, whichever you prefer. A solo sunrise excursion can be a great chance to try out some mindfulness meditation or breathwork. This one may not be one of the best mindfulness activities for kids, but it’s certainly one of the great options of mindfulness activities for adults.
Summer is a chance to move your workout routine from inside the gym to outside! Trade the treadmill in for runs outdoors, where you can notice the feeling of fresh air entering your nostrils, the smell of freshly cut grass, the sun on your face…you name it. So much nicer than being inside a stuffy gym, right? There are also many sports that can be mindfulness activities, such as surfing, kayaking, or stand up paddleboarding. All of these activities will help you to be in the present moment.