Summer is about to start and it’s going to look vastly different from anything we’ve ever experienced. In our minds, summers are about grilling, beach time, vacations and just being outdoors with other people. So often, we attach associations to things and people and then we draw upon our past experiences to inform what our current situations should look and feel like.

For example, this past weekend I washed my first batch of cherries of the season and thoughts of fun summers of the past flooded my mind. At that juncture, I had the choice to either feel disappointed about this quarantined summer or pivot my mindset and simply appreciate this coming season for whatever new experiences it would bring for me and my family. Cultivating a positive mindset is important in everyday life to live a happy and fulfilled life, but it is especially critical during stressful moments. If we can let go of our expectations of what summer 2020 should be, we give ourselves the ability to experience this summer’s moments fully and more joyfully.

How can we still have a fun summer during the age of limitations? Here’s my 3 step approach:⁠

1. Feel It and Let Go. Acknowledge the feelings of loss over summer expectations and allow yourself to feel these emotions. Then let it go.⁠

2. Pivot to Positivity. Shift from a negative and disappointed mindset to a positive attitude via meditation and meditation strategies like breathing for grounding to the present moment, affirmations to uplift and strengthen, and gratitudes to pivot to positivity.⁠

3. Think Outside of the Box. Get creative and find alternative solutions for having fun this summer. Is the beach a no-go? Then drive by a beach to savor the view and get your tan on in your backyard with the sprinklers on. Craving a BBQ party? Invite a friend over for a physically distant hangout. Wish you could go to an outdoor concert? Turn up the music in your house or backyard, put on those short-shorts, and have a dance party. ⁠Search the internet for unique activities like a drive-through zoo, an outdoor movie, or an arboretum with limited entries. Just remember to practice physical distancing and wear your mask for others.

Sure the pandemic and quarantine has changed our plans, to be honest, it’s changed our entire lives forever. However, it doesn’t have to change your spirit. Have a safe and fun summer!