It’s official. We’re halfway through summer. That means we only have a couple of months to make this as our best summer ever. To do that, we need to make ourselves a priority.
If you’re not sure how to make the most of the summer days and nights ahead of you, we’ve got some ideas for you.
1. Schedule and Plan Time Off Work
Hopefully when you sat down to plan out your year, you recognized that summertime would spur on a desire to get out of Dodge or to leisurely explore your favorite local haunts. If you didn’t take the time then to time-block for vacation, don’t delay further! Look ahead at your schedule for the next couple of months and plan a few days to go off the grid. It doesn’t matter whether you head out of town or use the time to enjoy the activities in your own backyard.
When we schedule vacation time in advance, we can mitigate the stress that comes with being out of the office by planning for our absence ahead of time. When there aren’t surprises to contend with, there are fewer hoops to jump through. That means more time rejuvenating yourself and less time putting out fires while on vacation.
2. Learn New Tricks
Many offices adopt a low-key atmosphere during the summer, which provides the perfect opportunity for us to dedicate some downtime to other areas of our lives. In other words, it’s a great time for an old dog to learn some new tricks.
Consider scoping out local and online universities for classes that interest you or will further your career. Take up a personal finance course, develop that idea that’s been floating around in your head, or gear yourself up with a new tech-related skill. There are online courses for all of these self-improvement ideas and more. If you are interested in bettering yourself in a more general way, consider signing up for an online class on the science of happiness to learn how to keep that happy summer feeling all the way into the winter!
3. Clean Out the Closet
We may not realize it, but clutter can often lead to stress. Everyone talks about spring cleaning, but the hot days of summer are also a great time for a cleaning out the closet (or a junk drawer).
Research shows that taking time to clean out our living spaces improves our moods, decreases our stress, and helps mitigate that overwhelming feeling we can get when our “stuff” just gets out of hand. Figure out what you don’t need in that overfilled closet of yours this summer, and you’ll wind up with a more Zen living space that will last through the seasons.
4. Enjoy Summer Foods
There’s something about summer foods that we find special. Hot dogs, hamburgers, barbeque, ICE CREAM — our taste buds are prickling with anticipation! Avoiding delectable temptation can seem difficult during the summer, but not if we have a variety of fresh foods to choose from.
If your ONE Thing involves your personal health this summer, enjoying some summertime fruits and vegetables is a good place to start. To help you take the first step, many grocery stores and farmers’ markets will often offer samples of the foods to help you decide what you like. Try something new each week to expand your palate and improve your health.
5. Enjoy the Great Outdoors
Summer and sun are two words that just seem to go together. You can’t really have one without the other. Getting outside is good for you. Sunlight can help release serotonin and provide Vitamin D, which is great for your mood, sleep and bones.
The pool and beach aren’t the only two places to take advantage of the sun’s rays. There are a multitude of ways to spend a great summer outdoors that don’t involve bathing suits. Check out your local news for a schedule of any outdoor movie screenings, plays or concerts that may be occurring in your area. You’ll reap the benefits of getting culture while enjoying some fresh air and the great outdoors.
Even better, plan a picnic with your loved ones with all those delicious summer foods we described above! An outdoor outing like that this summer will help you prioritize yourself while simultaneously improve your relationship and health goals. It’s a win-win.
What do you have planned this summer to make yourself a priority? Tell us all about it on our Facebook page!