Did you know that the summer solstice takes place this year on Friday, June 21? More colloquially known as the longest day of the year, the summer solstice occurs when one of the Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt toward the Sun, which means that the Sun reaches its highest point in the sky, and we get to enjoy the sunshine for longer. While the solstice isn’t necessary a widely celebrated event, it’s always been one of my favorite holidays because it means that I get to spend more time outdoors doing what I love most: splashing around in the water!

For me, summertime means water time, and I try to enjoy water any way I can. After trying my hand at a series of different hobbies and pastimes, I’ve realized that nothing feeds my soul more than splashing around with the people I love. Between work and helping raise a family, I try to make as much time to play in the water as I can, especially during those nice long summer days around the solstice. Living in a coastal state helps too! If I’m not at the office, at my kids’ school, or at the church, you can find me surfing, kayaking, and paddle boarding out on the ocean.

While a mental health condition isn’t something that can be self-diagnosed or self-treated, it is important that every individual finds their own methods to deal with stress and decompress from a chaotic schedule.

Fortunately for me, my family loves the water as much as I do. My husband, our boys, and I will make a day out of water skiing. It’s a hobby in which we can all support, encourage, and even compete with one another!

A reminder of my deep-seated love for water took place last summer when I got the opportunity to hike through some of the most beautiful rock formations I’d ever seen in southern Utah. While the sublime aesthetic of the red rocks all around me were definitely breathtaking, I was more taken with the river crossings we found all around the location. Sometimes these rivers had slow-moving water, but then the water’s speed would pick up, which made crossing through them an exciting challenge.

Down in those ravines, I stopped often to appreciate all the awe-inspiring scenery around me. At every turn, I was amazed at Mother Nature and how she uses water to create her masterpieces. Hills, mountains, and even the Grand Canyon were all created by rushing water and rivers. Entire ecosystems reside even in the tiniest of ponds. When you really stop to think about it, water creates some of life’s most amazing sights.

I find that water stimulates a lot of reflection for most of us — which is why the crashing waves can keep us mesmerized for hours, no matter how busy our schedules. Summertime is the perfect time to get out there and enjoy the water in all its forms. Just recently, I got scuba certified and am excited to explore under the water as well!

Happy Summer Solstice! Stay tuned for more adventures!

–Elizabeth Packard


Download the newsletter here!