I love summer. Not because of vacations, or time off work. Not because the mornings are less chaotic, and I'm not rushing to make lunches or redirect my daughters from their bathroom and into my car to make it to school on time. And not because of the longer days, and warmer weather. Although as I think about these changes that come along with summer, I certainly appreciate them.
But the biggest reason for why I love summer has to do with connections - how our family connects with one another during the summer. Particularly, around the ocean - swimming, surfing, body surfing, boogie boarding and stand up paddling. Playing in the water until our teeth start chattering and our limbs go rigor mortis. And then heading home to jump in the hot tub together. Our love for the ocean is one thing we all share. It's common ground. And for our family, it's combining the camaraderie, laughter and pure joy of doing something we each love to do individually, with the added gift of sharing the experience together. And that breeds a deep connection between us. This is why I love summer.
Do you have something you love to do, and those most important to you also share that same passion? If so, schedule that into your life. If not, find something. Make this a priority in your life! Research is showing that sharing meaningful relationships with others not only enhances our happiness, but also impacts our overall health, as much so as quitting smoking, exercising or eating well.
The physiological impacts of social connections that provide a sense of belonging, purpose and support are far-reaching and vital to our longevity, quality of life and overall well-being. Being part of a community is an essential component for living a high performance life!
Components of a High Performance Life - SMARTER
S - Social Connections within a meaningful community providing a sense of belonging, purpose and support
M - Movement for the body and brain
A - Awareness Based Practices that cultivate a positive outlook, resiliency, attention and generosity.
R - Rest and Recovery to restore and replenish our energy.
T - Treat ourselves with compassion and the world with kindness, empathy and gratitude.
E - Eat whole natural foods to stabilize our blood sugar levels, while balancing taste and pleasure with nutritional value. Eliminate poisons and toxins in our environment - our food, water, air and products we use and purchase.
R - Refocus our energy and attention on what matters most to us - goals, values, roles, relationships and commitments.