Coming into motherhood requires quite the reckoning with your self-identity. It’s no longer so easy to take off to this music festival or that overnight trip. Life has changed and it’s okay to find that adjustment difficult—to struggle in the shaking off of that part of your independent self.

Summer is a season of fruitfulness, vibrancy, color, heat and sensuality. Days in the scorching sun brings memories of juicy strawberries, the zing of lemonade or sangria best enjoyed near a body of water, and lazy afternoons spent reading in a hammock. (Now it’s sandcastle building, blowing bubbles, and begging a tiny human to let you put sunscreen on them.)

Urgings to give into the pleasures of the season often conflict with the responsibilities of new motherhood.

Here are 8 ways you can blossom with the season as you also flourish into motherhood.

1. Eat colorfully

Summer is the best time to access a variety of colorful fruit and veggies—making meals much more exciting. The vibrancy of the color translates into nutrient-rich foods, and since we tend to be more active during the summer, it goes that we need more to sustain our energy levels. Besides, who doesn’t love looking down at a rainbow of color on their plate.

Buying local is the best way to take advantage of seasonal produce. Head to a farmer’s market or stand in lieu of visiting the supermarket. This allows you to chat with the farmers, ask about practices used, and learn about the growing season or any other anecdotal notes and knowledge that only farmers can share.

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2. Drink water

The benefits of drinking water is the best practice you can have for your health, especially during these warm weather months. Drinking water increases energy and relieves fatigue, promotes weight loss, flushes out toxins, improves skin complexion, maintains regular bowel health, boots your immune system, is a natural headache remedy, and prevents cramps and sprains – just to name a few!

In our home we filter our water, but you might also want to try alkaline water, which has a higher pH level, and is believed to neutralize the acids in the body. Add a slice or two of lemon or a drop of lemon essential oil for a detoxifying and uplifting effect.

3. Practice yoga

There are so many benefits to practicing yoga, the doles of which I’m only beginning to learn. After just one visit to the studio, I return noticeably different: more aware of my muscles and movements, confident in my own strength and ability, focused and clear of mind.

Plus, yoga is spiritual in practice, and it will aid in the release of any sticky feelings or anxieties, which will lead you to a happier, more peaceful state.

4. Garden

Cultivating a space in which to bear food is the perfect metaphor for this season of our life. Tend to your garden as you will yourself this summer – when you can and when the babe allows. It’s incredible how both you and your garden will flourish with even the smallest of gestures.

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5. Express creativity

Summer is a time when creativity planted in spring comes to fruition – so express it! Learn pottery, paint, color meditatively in adult coloring books, sit on the porch with grandma sipping lemonade and learning a skill – preserving, knitting, crocheting, rug braiding, basket weaving – anything! Have fun discovering the magic you have within yourself to express.

6. Spend time outdoors

Of all seasons, the warm days of summer are the most encouraging for getting outdoors. It’s hard to resist the draw of the summer sunshine, the flicker of leaves in the warm breeze, the laughter of children at the beach or splash pad, the hum of boat motors on the lake, the hypnotizing sound of crickets at night that cause us to linger in the fresh air and fading sun.

Anxieties lessen, minds clear, and happiness is infectious when in nature; this is true for both mother and babe. Challenge yourself each day to take your little one on an adventure in nature at least once each day and see where you end up.

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7. Meet the neighbors

These days we spend so much of our time engaging with devices, we suffer from social isolation without seeming to realize it. We are social creatures by nature, and a simple conversation with a neighbor or even short visit with a friend can boost our morale enormously.

Strike a balance, to be sure, but try not to fall into too many days of isolation at home alone with baby.

8. Celebrate

Be intentional about this season by finding small delights in the everyday. The world is abuzz and blooming all around you and with so much to find joy in, celebrate how alive you are and the world around you is. This is our season to blossom and grow. Make room in motherhood for that.

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