It’s that time of year where schools are letting out, graduations are in full swing, and endless days of beautiful weather await–it’s summer vacation! I know I struggle with staying productive in the summer; it is so tempting to curl up on the couch and binge watch the entire collection of “Say Yes To The Dress” for the third time (guilty!), but there is so much more you can do with your time off! Here are a few ideas on how to make your summer the best yet!
1. Set summer goals
This summer, I decided to set some goals for myself and a timeline to complete them. There are some tasks I do every day, some I do once a week, and some I do once a month. Brainstorm some things you have always wanted to do, like learn a new language for a country you’ve always wanted to visit, indulge your mind by reading a book a month, or finally tackling that closet organization system you saved on Pinterest. Just make sure your goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. For example, one of my goals was to be more fit, so I set my goal to exercise six days a week for thirty minutes at a time. In addition, create a tracker for yourself so you can mark off every day you complete a goal! It can give you that extra motivation to keep pushing forward, and by the end of the summer you’ll have something to be proud of!
2. Have a routine
Tagging onto point 1, have a set time to do things during the day! It is much easier to get back into that school schedule come August when you’ve kept a relatively consistent routine throughout the summer. Have a specific time you wake up, eat your meals, work out, and go to bed by. It is easy to start working at 7PM and not hop into bed until 3 in the morning (guilty again!), but it is a lot healthier for your hunger and circadian rhythm to keep something consistent. Do yourself a favor and lax up from the school year, but still keep those boundaries of a routine to keep yourself on track!
Volunteering is one of those few situations in life that is a win-win; you are getting somewhere productive to spend your time, and a deserving organization is getting the workforce it needs to accomplish its goals! In addition, volunteerism can help you on any scholarships, job, or college applications. Lots of clubs and organizations you can join in school also require volunteer hours, like National Honors Society or Beta Club. To find organizations in your area that need help, use a website like VolunteerMatch.org (link), where you put in your area and interests, and they find you organizations in your area that could use service. In addition to online, check out your local newspaper or town bulletin boards. Do you have any camps your previously attended? Contact a counselor or organizer and see if they could use an extra set of hands. Can’t leave your home during the middle of the day? No problem! Ask if you can run a website, social media, or blog to bring additional publicity or an organization. Or, write your own blog posts or make videos promoting awareness of a certain topic. There is an infinite number of ways you can benefit your community!
4. Try a new hobby
Have you wanted to learn to play an instrument? Become fluent in a language? Try and be the local Picasso? Summer is the best time to learn! The main point of any hobby is to practice, and now that you have the time on your hands, you can truly dedicate the time you need to learn it. You don’t even need an expensive teacher to learn. Many instrument tutorials and sheet music of famous songs are available online. Two summers ago, I was able to relearn how to play guitar and taught myself to play ukulele–all in two months! No matter what your interests are, there are tutorials online to teach you how to do those things. In addition, there are many apps and trackers that give you those teachings right at your fingertips! Currently, I am learning Spanish from Duolingo, and I can already tell a difference in my fluency. In addition, Duolingo is 100% free! No matter what your interest is, there is a way for you to learn!
No matter what you are doing, you should take some time to recharge your batteries before the next school year ahead of you. You endured long hours of class, what seems like thousands of exams and tests, sleepless nights, and stress to make it through your year. It is your time to unwind and come back in touch with yourself. Challenge yourself to unplug from social media and electronics for a few days and spend time out in nature, reading, or even doing yoga. Whatever you do to unplug, put that into action and practice it. Make time to spend with friends and family or go to a destination you have always wanted to visit! You only get a one summer a year, and it is time to claim yours!
I hope this helped you get some tips for what to do with your summer this year! If you use any of these tips, please send them to me through the Contact portion of this blog or through the #SincerelyMine on social media, and I’ll be sure to read through them! Whatever you do this summer, may your travels be safe, your days be long, and your moments be happy.