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WalkingIt’s been a quirky summer in the Midwest with changeable weather, swinging from hot to rainy and back. Much of the country has the same complaint but I think we are all glad for summer pleasures. From the abundant fresh food, outdoor festivals, and an easier pace to work for many. We also praise the workers who keep us safe, including fire and police forces, and those brave construction crews who work within inches of the traffic passing by.

A New York Times opinion piece on 8/10/14 by Daniel J. Levitin raised many good points about the “false break” of summer vacation. Too many people need to take a social media break along with the slower days of vacationing. Levitin explains: “The processing capacity of the conscious mind is limited, with two dominant modes of attention: task-positive and task-negative.” Task-negative is the mind-wandering mode that makes connections in the brain to refresh our thinking.

If you want to return to your post-Summer routine with more energy, Levitin writes “…science dictates that you should partition your day into project periods. He then cites research showing “a walk in nature or time spent listening to music can trigger the mind-wandering mode”  This, he says, acts as a neural reset button, and provides much needed perspective on what we are doing.

So let’s keep the best of summer with us by finding time to take a break, get some sun, take a walk, and relax.

When you return refreshed, take a look at Levitin’s book: The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload.