The summer solstice is the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. Although the summer has barely got going in the UK, it’s still worth pausing to mark this significant day in the year when the light is at its zenith.
A favourite summer solstice memory is the year I was in the Scottish highlands – I was delighted to discover that at midnight it was light enough to take a walk on the beach.
This year I was camping in the woods – a practice of mine for the past 5 years to mark this day and indulge in a spot of “forest bathing”.
On Midsummer Day I take some time to reflect on the last 6 months since the winter solstice in the depths of last December. I note down all the significant events that have happened during that time; what has begun, what has ended, what I have achieved and what has developed during that time.
When I pause to take stock I am usually pleasantly surprised by how much I have achieved over the past 6 months. This is a powerful antidote to that nagging feeling that time is rushing by and I’m not achieving much, which it’s so easy to fall prey to in our “busy-busy” work culture.
Whether you’re a leader, team member or work on your own, it’s a valuable exercise to reflect on your individual or team journey over the last 6 months and to link this process to the changing seasons.
There is a growing realization that part of the mental health crisis in organisations is due to our disconnection from nature and the seasons, and these simple practices are a step towards counteracting that, whether you work in a skyscraper or a log cabin.