Today is Summer Solstice, which means that it’s officially summer, and we’re officially psyched to get the most out of the season. We celebrated this morning by doing downward dog with thousands of other yogis in the middle of Times Square at Athleta‘s Mind Over Madness event in New York City, but even if you don’t have a summer solstice ritual or event to help ring in the season, we think you should still make a ritual out of celebrating the longest day of the year.
Here are some of the summer solstice rituals that we think you should adopt this year:
1) MOVE. If yoga’s not your bag, go for a walk, run, bike ride, or hit up your favorite fitness class at the gym. Throw a frisbee around with your friends or family; do jumping jacks in your living room. The change of the season is always a good chance to reset your habits; make this the summer of moving more. Everything else will feel that much better if you’re getting in some exercise.
2) Get outside. Whether it’s in Times Square or on a mountaintop, getting outside is proven to reduce symptoms of depression and improve overall health. Warm weather and long summer days make it so easy, you really have no excise. Get outside and enjoy the sun.
3) Eat something seasonal. There’s no better time to reboot your quest to get off packaged junk and eat more fresh food: Farmer’s markets are full of local produce; delicious fruits and vegetables are at their lowest prices of the year (because they’re actually in season), and you don’t even need to cook to enjoy most the flavors and nutrients on offer.
4) Do NOT worry about bikini season. We know, we know: Summer is pretty much synonymous with time spent in a bikini (or at the very least, some of the most revealing clothing you wear all year). We can relate to the anxiety, but there are SO many more important things to worry about than how you look in lycra (like: who’s bringing the potato salad to the BBQ?!). Take a deep breath, remember that there are things much scarier than a swimsuit, and remember that “bikini season” is mostly a figment of advertisers’ imagination; not something that should dictate how you feel about yourself.
5) Move again. We can’t say it enough: Moving is awesome. Whether it’s for exercise, for fun, or just to get stuff done, moving your body will help make your worries fade away this summer, so you can really just relax and have fun…which is what summer’s all about, right? So go for a walk during lunch, ride your bike to work sometimes, play games in the park, go swimming or go for a run. That’s what summer’s all about, so pack in as much as you can.