Have you heard that gratitude is this summer’s smash hit? Our Summer of Gratitude challenge has already started and we want to celebrate the biggest gratitude milestones with all of you dedicated Five Minute Journalers out there. We will give away several gifts to winners, including a lifetime subscription to the 5 Minute Journal App and our exclusive tote bag.
We know that staying consistent with habits over summer can be challenging, so we’ve decided to give everyone a head start and share some tips on remaining consistent with your gratitude practice.
Let’s see how you can maintain a habit of gratitude throughout the summer and after.
How to Stay in the Habit of Gratitude Over the Summer
Even the masters of productivity and to-do lists tend to loosen up during summer to make some room for fun, spontaneous getaway trips, and unplanned days off. Yet spontaneity doesn’t have to mean giving up our daily routines and well-being rituals. Here are some tips and tricks on balancing summer adventures with your healthy habits and staying on track with your gratitude practice throughout summer.
Summertime and Easy Living
Even the most hectic cities slow down during these three months of hot sunny days. We go on vacations, attend open air parties and special celebrations, and spend afternoons and weekends by water to cool down.
Since our habits and rituals are closely rooted in our environment, it can be challenging to maintain our usual routines. However, you can still maintain a morning routine, an evening downtime routine, and quality time with loved ones by making a few changes and remaining flexible.
For example, if you live near a lake, sea, or you have access to a pool, you can exchange your morning run for a morning swim. You can change your diet, eat more fresh and local fruits and vegetables instead of your usual snacks, or schedule weekend trips as part of your mindfulness and relaxation summer routine.
We usually go on vacations to relax, recharge our batteries, and briefly live a different life than usual. We want to lay on a beach, listen to the calming sound of the sea and enjoy the sweetness of doing nothing. We look forward to changing our diets a little bit to accommodate those pastas and gelatos, and we let ourselves party as much as we like.
But can we find a room for gratitude and mindfulness during vacation days? The answer is yes––because gratitude, as well as mindfulness, is a lifestyle.
Many activities can enrich your summer vacation and make it an exciting and mindful journey of presence and self-reflection, such as journaling, relaxing and being self-aware, and enjoying sun therapy. You can go for morning swims, explore local life, and go sightseeing by taking long walks rather than driving in your car.
Trying new things, whether that’s a new activity or food, helps us broaden our horizons and pushes us out of our comfort zones. New experiences help us appreciate the world and the present moment.
Lying on the beach and enjoying juicy apricots while sipping iced tea is also completely fine. It’s one of the best ways to be grateful for summer. You can make it a part of your gratitude rituals by taking a few minutes to notice and feel the world around you and let yourself treasure and appreciate these beautiful moments. You can check in with yourself about your day and reflect on how you’re feeling to stay aware and in control of your mood and thoughts.
What if I Fall Out of the Gratitude Habit?
Stepping out of your daily routines can be challenging. We’ve all been there: we become overwhelmed by guilt after skipping two or three days and easily lose motivation or momentum. However, being harsh on yourself over failing to follow a rigid schedule is not a good habit. Embracing self-compassion and self-forgiveness helps us move forward, especially during summer when you want to focus on something else.
Being kind to ourselves and enjoying small pleasures is essential to positivity. For example, if you happened to stay out late because you were having a fantastic time with your friends, and forgot to fill out your gratitude journal when you came home, don’t beat yourself up over it the next day. Simply proceed where you left off and write about the great time you had, or add a photo from that night from your gallery to your 5 Minute Journal App morning entry.
Gratitude can be as simple as closing your eyes and reflecting on your day for a couple of minutes. Or saying thank you in the moment. There is so much to be grateful for during the summer; the beautiful golden light, the cold breeze in the evening, colorful sunsets, the juicy fruits. Let it all come to you and fill you with joy.
Track Your Good Habits
Your habits and rituals may change during the summer, but you can still use the 5 Minute Journal App and its built-in habit tracker to stay consistent with your gratitude practice. We also have a habit tracker available for free download, which can be particularly useful if you’re using the hard copy of the Five Minute Journal.
Habit tracking is a great way to make positive habits stick. It reminds us to follow through with our intentions, motivates us to continue, and provides us with insights about our daily life.
Holding onto self-compassion as we follow through with our commitments is one of the building blocks of self-love. Staying mindful while practicing gratitude (and other habits) and enjoying the process rather than focusing on results help us maintain good mental and physical health.
If, for some reason, you aren’t enjoying your gratitude practice, maybe you can change it up to something that’s more in line with your personality and your values. You know yourself the best, so be imaginative and experiment. You can make it a creative hobby by making videos of moments you felt grateful for, texting your friends to share your appreciation, or simply giving yourself more chances to truly see and appreciate the world around you.
The Summertime Gratitude challenge is already underway, and we encourage everyone to join us on this journey of joy, positivity, and self-awareness. Embrace gratitude and let your summer days be filled with spontaneity and memorable experiences.
Collect those in your Five Minute Journal or 5 Minute Journal App entries. Using a habit tracker, practicing self-compassion when you miss some days, and staying mindful of the bigger picture will help you stay consistent with the practice, even long after the summer.