3 Ways to Turn Your Beach Mode On

School is out and summer is officially upon us- even if it’s full blown June Gloom here in the South Bay and calendars aren’t declaring it summer until June 21st.

For those of us that aren’t students, or teachers, or have kids, it can sometimes feel a little challenging to embrace the excitement that summer has to offer. Longer days, warm nights, bright clothes, and beaching it was what I looked forward to at the end of every school year. Now that I’m not a student and I live in the “real world,” I am constantly facing the challenge of allowing myself to enjoy my summer days without feeling guilty about the work that I should or could be doing. If you can relate, read on to learn three ways to turn your beach mode on.

Now there is no official definition of what beach mode entails or what it looks like, but this is how I define it: temporarily shutting down real world responsibilities and allowing yourself the time to soak up the beauty around you and the beauty that you are.

Seems nice, right? Sounds fairly easy? Great! Then let’s get to it.

1. Opt Outside

Yes, this is a common hashtag for all you instagram lovers and there is some real science behind it. Opting outside provides you with what researchers are terming a “nature connection.” The benefits of doing so are endless. From an increase in Vitamin D from the sun, to an improved quality of sleep, and a decrease in health issues, this really should be a no brainer. Not enough time in your day? Sorry, not a valid excuse. Studies have shown that as little as five minutes a day can improve your overall mindset and help put you in that beach mode. If you are reading this and don’t live by a beach, a) come visit me and b) you can still get your beach mode mentality on. Studies have shown the best effects happen in blue-green environments- think green forest and blue skies or if you are in the beach cities, hit up the Green Belt and pray this June Gloom burns off. Regardless of weather conditions, connecting to the world outside your office or home is the baseline for turning your beach mode on.

2. Get Mindful

Now that you have gotten yourself outside, or planned when you are going to, let’s make sure you fully enjoy and embrace it! I would love it if we could all #optoutside and be technology-less and I’m also a realist and know many of you will be unable to commit to that. That’s okay- I’m a therapist. I’ll meet you where you’re at. If you can’t leave the phone at home, I highly encourage you to keep it in your pocket, turn it on silent, and only check emails in dire situations. Instead, focus your attention to what is around you. One easy- and enjoyable- way to do so is by becoming attentive to your five senses. Name (out loud or in your head) what you see, smell, hear and touch. Bonus if you can name what you taste because unless you’ve just swallowed a bug, I’m going to take a wild guess that you’re having a picnic! Way to go you! This process will focus your attention to the beauty that surrounds you. Take deep belly breaths in of all this yumminess. The fresh air is good for your mind, body, and soul, which brings me to my final point.

3. Practice Body Love

You are outside and mindfully enjoying the beauty that surrounds you. The reason you are able to do so is because your body is acting a vessel, allowing you to live your life. For this reason, we must practice body love. I'm intentionally using the word practice as a verb because this does not happen over night. We must make daily choices to love our body in different ways each day. Turning your beach mode on does not mean that you have to live at the gym and exercise your heart out so you can fit into the newest bikini- or that one piece that has slightly more fabric than a bikini. What turning your beach mode on does mean is that you must listen to your body and be attuned to what it needs. Feeling tapped? Rest. Feeling restless? Hit the gym. All the while, eat what your body is asking for. Diets and cleanses hit their marketing hard during this time of year- don’t fall for it. The best way to get into top-notch shape is to feed your body with what it’s asking for. Similar to Shakira’s lyrics, your body doesn’t lie.

Tuning into your body’s cues and responding in a positive way sends happy vibrations throughout your body- through these actions, you are telling yourself, “I love you body. Thank you for taking care of me. I am going to take care of you right back.”

By getting into the fresh air, mindfully breathing it in, and loving your body for what has done and will continue to do for you is what it takes to turn your beach mode on- regardless of how close the nearest body of water is. Are you ready to flip the switch?