It’s summertime, and the living is meant to be easy. For some, it’s about sun-kissed vacations filled with fun adventures. For others, it might simply involve taking time off at home. Wherever you are, it’s time to kick back, relax, recharge, and feel a little bit lighter. Sunnier skies. Sunnier minds.
We at Headspace understand more than most that regardless of the weather and location, the mind has a lot of carry-on luggage — baggage that’s not so easy to off-load just because we happen to be taking a well-earned break. So we want to help you put down that baggage, freeing you to be fully present and engaged with different sights and pursuits with friends or family, and able to soak up the experience as much as you soak up the rays. We want you to squeeze every last drop — and more — out of summer. That’s why we’ve created this month’s featured collection, “Sunnier Summer” — a series of meditation exercises designed to help you let go, unwind, and reset. Meaning you get to work on your tan and your sense of well-being.
Pamper yourself with a Headspace “7-Day Retreat” — exercises you can do daily, for a week, covering everything from joy to sleep. Or there’s the restorative “Time Away” sessions to help you maximize your time off. We’ve even catered content for those folks not on vacation but stuck at work, with the aptly-named “Escaping From Work” topic. Because let’s face it, summer is not only a season, it’s a state of mind.
Whether you’re staying home or going away, the mind can still enjoy a “retreat” with this one-a-day-for-a-week collection. Choose a week, do these exercises, and feel the difference. Reset (single) – Sometimes, we just need to remind ourselves what a sense of calm feels like. Take a breath and step away from the thinking mind. Take a moment to reset. Add Some Joy (walk) – When we connect with our surroundings, we connect with ourselves and tap into an underlying joy that a busy mind often obscures. Switching Off (sleep wind down) – It’s not enough to lie down and expect to go to sleep. We first need to wind down the mind before the body follows suit. A restful mind increases our chances of a restful night’s sleep. Blue Sky (animation) – Even when the clouds mask the sun, the blue skies are always there … and this is as true about the mind as it is about the skies. Here’s a reminder, courtesy of a Headspace animation. Mindful Eating Exercise (single) – If ever there is a time to savor our food, it’s when we’re on vacation, sampling new dishes and dining at new restaurants. Bring some mindfulness to your plate. Taste the flavors. Relish the aromas. Enjoy every bite. Happiness of Others (animation) – It’s a curious thing, but when we focus on the happiness of others, we make more room for happiness in ourselves. Here’s an animation to explain why that happens. Putting Down our Phones (video) Our co-founder Andy Puddicombe explains why it's so hard to put down our phones and how we might develop a better relationship with technology in this video from the in-app series, “Everything In Between.”
You’ve arrived at your destination, wanting to make each day count. But wherever we travel, the mind travels with us, so here are some exercises designed to bring you into the present, fully engaged with your vacation. Vacation (single) – Your body might be lying poolside or at the beach, but the mind can still be elsewhere. Time to reset, refresh, and embrace your vacation fully with this exercise. Connect With the World (walk) – Here’s a walk that’s all about getting out of your head and into your surrounding environment, allowing you to truly enjoy the sights and sounds. Eating With Your Senses (exercise) – Engage the senses before picking up your knife and fork, allowing you to truly enjoy a more mindful meal. Fear of Flying (single) — No amount of logic or persuasion from others can change how we feel, but this exercise offers the room to breathe and to find calm before boarding the plane, interrupting the loop of anxiety.
For some people, an indulgent vacation is not always possible, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered — you can still give the mind a break even if you can’t take one. Shift perspective and adopt a summery mindset with these exercises. Mindful Tech (single) – Technology doesn’t have to constantly steal our attention. We get to define how we interact with our devices. Using this meditation, learn to take some time away from all those pings, notifications, and social media posts. Commuting (single) – Rather than arriving at the office or home feeling stressed or overwhelmed, show up with a sense of calm and clarity with an exercise that can be done on the train, bus, plane, or riding in a cab. Patience (course) – The more patience we have, the less we will be affected by stress. Make more room for patience in your life with this 10-day course. Taking a Break (single) – No matter what your work involves, no matter what deadline is looming, we all perform better when we press the pause button every now and then. Take this breather to feel refreshed and a little calmer during your day.