by Jayne Mills

As we settle into the final month of summer, it’s nice to treat ourselves to a break and indulge the natural desire to move at a slower pace. The heat can drain our energy. We want to limit outdoor activities to the early mornings or late evenings, and seek the relative comfort of shade or water. We deserve to take it easy!

Slowing down also creates space to explore and expand. This summer brings a completely new addition to my exercise routine—swimming. As the repercussions of running (mainly back and hip pain) have forced me to accept the fact that my body needs a kinder, gentler form of aerobic activity, I’ve eased out of my sneakers and into the pool. My new goal is to watch the sun come up three mornings a week, huffing and puffing, nose just above the surface, following the coach’s good humored commands to go “on the double zeros”. For me, yoga will always be the backbone of a healthy lifestyle, but I am trying to learn something new and challenge myself in a way that’s invigorating and satisfying. As I struggle with something I’ve never done before, coach assures me, “Yoga is hard. Swimming is easy!” So far, not for me. But I keep trying.

This quieter time of year might be a good time to challenge yourself in another area of well-being: your finances. I know it to be sad but true that most of us spend more time planning a summer vacation than we do our retirement. As you relax in the shade, perhaps try to learn something new about good money management by reading a book or newspaper you normally wouldn’t. Take advantage of the slower pace to review your current plan or put one in place. Talk to an advisor; she probably has a less demanding schedule over the summer months, too. You might find it refreshing and satisfying to accomplish this type of a summer goal, with just as many health benefits as an hour in the pool, by relieving the stress that comes with procrastination and avoidance.

Maybe financial management is as difficult for some as swimming is for me, but with patience and regular practice, we know we can make great strides in whatever area we want to improve. Be present this summer. Pay attention to your body and your finances. We’ll all greet the fall with renewed strength, vitality and a sense of accomplishment.

Jayne Mills, RYT200 yoga teacher and Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) teaches weekly yoga classes at Red Pearl Yoga, 904 N. Flagler Dr., Ft. Lauderdale. She is a vice president with Morgan Stanley, 350 E. Las Olas Blvd., Ste. 1500, Fort Lauderdale. You can reach her at 954.713.8403 and/or