Kathryn Lindsay
June 15, 2015 10:00 am

Okay, yes. I am writing this from my bed eating toast. I realize I’m not the best role model when it comes to telling other people to “get out there!” and “embrace life!” But I’ve been through enough high school summers that involved turning myself into a bed burrito until I got stale and leaving all my assignments until the last week to know that there’s a better way to do summer that gets you a little bit of everything.

How familiar are we all with this:

If we haven’t seen it before, we’ve definitely felt it. The first few days of summer always start out with such promise. The weather is nice, the next school year seems so far away. The days stretch out endlessly before you, and it feels like you can do anything. So why is it that so many of us end up doing nothing?

I think there are a few reasons. The biggest is that we’ve just finished up a school year, filled with tests and early mornings and stressful nights. The last thing we want to do is put pressure on ourselves when we finally have the opportunity to relax. But we get stuck in this. I’ll be productive tomorrow, I’ll go out and do this the next day, etc. Before we know it, it’s been weeks and we haven’t even felt that summer breeze.

We also get too excited and end up making such an overwhelming list of things we want to do that it seems too impossible to even try. There’s just not the time or money for going to old time vintage fairs and camping on the beach and then traveling to Europe.

So instead, let’s look at things a little differently. I’m going to give you a list — don’t freak out! I’m not telling you to go out and check everything off of it. It’s a mix of crazy adventures and simple pleasures. Even if you only do one thing, you’ve still taken advantage of summer.

  1. Have a picnic. This one is so easy because you can just take all the blankets that are around you right now and move them outside. Make a sandwich, bring a book, and you’ve done it — even if it’s just in your backyard.
  2. Go on a road trip. This doesn’t have to be days and days of driving. You can leave in the morning and be back by the end of the night. You’d be surprised at what funky things you can find by just driving, and websites like Roadtrippers can help you find them!
  3. Cook something from scratch. Whether it’s using organic produce from a farmer’s market, or just some tomatoes from your nearest supermarket, cooking your own meal feels wholesome and satisfying. Here’s how to make your own pasta sauce, or here’s a homemade pizza recipe.
  4. Take a hike, literally. You’re a quick Google search away from all the nature that surrounds you. Even “hikes near me” gives you a ton of options raging from leisurely strolls to intense trails. Take your pick and go exploring!
  5. Learn a craft. Now that you’re not spending your nights slaving over homework, you have the time to learn something fun! For me, it was knitting. But there’s so many options, like crocheting or scrapbooking, to painting or origami. Here are a ton of things you can try.
  6. Plant something. If you have a garden in your backyard, that’s great, but even if you don’t, you can still experience the simple joy of raising a plant. Plant some flowers in the soil of your garden, or raise a succulent on your windowsill. It feels awesome to watch something grow.
  7. Get a new haircut. This sounds simple, but it can totally change your outlook. I’m a firm believer in “new hair, new me,” and if you need inspiration to have an exciting summer, sprucing up those locks is sure to do the trick.
  8. Take a selfie that you love. I’m also a believer in selfies as self care, and celebrating yourself has never been so easy when you can just snap and go. What’s even better is getting a picture of yourself that just nails it. Your hair is sitting right, the lighting is flattering. Go on a mission to get your best selfie in the sun, and share it with the world.
  9. Have a movie night. This could mean going out to the movie theater and putting chocolate candy in your popcorn, or making a fort in your room and watching Bridesmaids on your laptop. Either way, movie nights are relaxing and fun.
  10. Frolic in water. You don’t need to have a pool to have quintessential summer fun. Set up a sprinkler, wash your parents car, or go swimming in a nearby creek. Nothing says summer like wet bathing suits and the smell of sunscreen. Get out there and make it your own.

What’s on your summer bucket list? Seriously, let me know, because I’ve eaten all of my toast.

(Images via here and here)

Advertisement