In The Moment 3 Easy Ways to Hold on to Summer Bliss

by Michelle Gross | May 25, 2023

Just like flickering fireflies on a warm July night, the relaxing days of summer often pass by in a flash — but it doesn’t mean you have to let go of your lighter, breezier mindset.

All it takes to keep an easygoing mental outlook are a few simple behavior switch-ups. To help you shift your habits, we asked mindfulness experts and summer enthusiasts to share their top tips and tricks.

Lean into the laidback vibes

It starts with noticing the changes as the weather turns warmer. With the busy state of our day-to-day lives, “It’s important as summer approaches to be on the lookout at the world around you and adjust your mind and body accordingly,” says Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and co-founder of The Center for Mindful Living in Los Angeles, CA. “When you do that, your mind and body slow down and you’re more aware of what’s happening in the moment.”

A woman wearing a black palm tree dress reads a book in a cabana by the beach.

Getting outside to engage in the natural world as often as possible is important too, says Dr. Goldstein, who recommends doing yoga, taking walks outside or finding a tai chi class, though anything that gets your body moving will do. “Even going outside and noticing the sounds around you and being aware of what you’re listening to can be a great way to reflect and bring this sense of mindfulness into your daily life,” he says.

One way to put this into practice, suggests Alden Wicker, editor in chief of the sustainability website, is to adopt a basic philosophy: “Avoid air conditioning,” Wicker says. “When you leave in the morning, try riding your bike instead of taking the bus, and avail yourself of every sidewalk café and park so you can soak up some vitamin D. I guarantee you'll reach the end of summer with more of an appreciation for the longer days.”

Be up for anything

There’s something about summer that makes us more apt to take a trip or get together with pals without much planning. It can be fun to try to keep that flexibility year-round. When you find yourself with free time, throw an impromptu happy hour or hop in the car for a last-minute road trip. Keeping weekends spontaneous when you can — even once the school year starts and work ramps back up — is a good way to continue the carefree spirit of the season.

Prioritize the positive people in your life

Summer is often the most social of seasons, so it’s a good time to bolster your support system. Don’t be afraid to forge friendships with people you meet “who are naturally inspiring,” suggests Dr. Goldstein, and make a concentrated effort to spend more time with people who lift your mood. “People are the greatest environmental cues,” he says, “and those social cues remind us to live in this particular way on a daily basis.”

— With additional reporting from Life and Money by Citi editors.

At a table in a house backyard, a woman tosses a salad while man prepares to cut chicken.
Michelle Gross

makes the most of her summer eating and exploring cities around the world. Her work has been featured in Travel + Leisure, Vogue, Men’s Journal and The San Francisco Chronicle.