Ahhh, can you sense it? The cooler weather is almost here! We have successfully navigated the molten Texas summer! Congratulations! It’s reward time! The reward? Take the time to sit and do nothing for at least 5 minutes every day. I encourage us all to seek some peace and quiet in our day, to incorporate a small period of restorative calm.

Throughout the summer, I got up just before the sun to go sit on my front porch with my coffee. I got up at that insane time because it was the only cool time of the day, but I don’t talk to anyone…that would be beyond my early morning capabilities. When I turned off the earbuds and the fan, I was astounded at the variety of birdsong going on around me.

I was totally clueless as to all the bustling activity right next to me. I have found that I get a lot of joy from listening to and watching the birds, and the wind rustling through the leaves has almost an immediate calming effect on me.

So, I want this for you. Find 5 minutes in your day to go sit on your front porch, or your back porch, or your balcony, and soak in some natural peace. I know some of you are saying that you don’t have that sort of peaceful place at your home. If so, perhaps you can take a break via YouTube and go to the beach to hear the crashing waves or to the mountains and hear the waterfall. Just close your eyes and pretend you are there for 5 minutes. Maybe you are not a fan of birds or not thrilled with the wind, and you do not wish to find peace through social media. Then, perhaps, a great piece of calming music would work for you?

However, choose to find your moments of calm. It doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Listening to the sounds of nature or a great work of music can have a significant effect on our well-being. Even just a few minutes of intentional peace can make a difference in how we feel and how we cope with our daily responsibilities, and it can allow sparks of creativity to grow.

Whether we are bearing up under relentless heat, knee-deep in busy season, or navigating through the sometimes overwhelming holiday season, it is important to pause, breathe, and reset.

Take care of yourselves! I am looking forward to seeing you at the iHeart Photo Conference in October.

Teri Whittaker, TPPA President