Top 12 Summer Must-Do’s!
Yoga, photography, BBQing, reading, gardening, walking/hiking, coffee drinking, knitting, travel to local places, support small business, blog!
Ohm your way right into better health, mental clarity, flexibility, and strength. The yoga practice has existed for thousands of reasons for one main reason: it works. To be honest, some people shy away from the practice because they feel it’s too eccentric or emo for them. The idea of OHMing makes them want to burst out in laughter. Well, take that part out and just breathe. Quietly. Just exist. Just work to make your body work for you. The daily aches and pains will begin to subside after just a few days of yoga practice. My favorite app for yoga is Yoga Studio (http://www.yogastudioapp.com/). The instructor’s voice is calm. You can select the level of difficulty, and you can play your favorite playlist while you practice.
Okay. This pretty much only requires some sort of smartphone and the ability to take photos. If you have the means, invest in a camera. A real one with a lense that you actually think about protecting. A camera is something to get used to though. It’s something that will need to be packed when you go on that trip to the desert. You won’t just have it on you at all times. Take pictures of what you see in nature. Take pictures of your kids. Photograph the elaborate meals you prepare. Just take the time to notice things around you and actively work to capture moments and not just staged photos. Finally, develop the pictures. Don’t let them spend their lifetime in the isolation of your memory card. Develop the prints and store them in an album. I know it’s old school, but you will thank yourself later.
I don’t just mean making hamburgers and hot dogs the same way you have been doing for years. Instead, get creative. Find a new spice to experiment with. Track down Ina Garten’s latest kabob creation and recreate it for your family! Don’t let making dinner become the chore it seems to be throughout the year. Allow yourself to venture to the store in search of rare ingredients. Don’t just settle on ShopRite because it’s closer, either. Go to that Farmer’s Market or specialty store that you always plan to go to but never actually do. You get to soak in some some sun as you tend the grill, too!
Read, read, read! Read anything and everything. Over the summer, when beach trips abound, I find myself disconnected from my electronics just a little bit more than usual. I find the need read and just let the words on the page, and my mind, entertain me. If you are constantly reading professional literature during the year, don’t do it over the summer. Give your mind a break. Read a trashy romance novel. Explore a new genre. Invite your friends to read what you’re reading. Establish a reading community filled with buddies who will reciprocate the favor of giving MUST READ book lists.
There’s something therapeutic about dirt under your fingernails, working with your hands, and being so close to nature. You can tell I’m not a mani/pedi kind of gal. But whether you are planting from seeds or designing a flower arrangement in a planter, make it your own. Invest in some colorful and unique pots. Make sure to add proper drainage to each one. Then sit back and let the sun, the rain, and a little consistent watering work their magic.
Get outside. Walking or hiking through nature is a great way to raise that heart rate while also feeding your soul. You can even give yourself more opportunities to practice your new-found photography skills. The chirping birds. The rushing water of the stream. The flower that has the most vibrant colors you’ve ever seen. Just get outside. Breathe it all in. Take it slow and be purposeful. Don’t let your mind wander while you move. That’s the great thing about nature and the outdoors, you have to stay mindful and present or a stray rock will teach you a lesson that your face wont’ soon forget.
I know you might think knitting in the summer months sounds crazy, but it’s not! Knitting is an activity that takes patience, peace, and concentration. However, once you’re good, you can watch a Hallmark Christmas special, knit, and check your social media all at the same time. Maybe not the social media too, but knitting and Hallmark go hand-in-hand.
8. Farm Stand
I don’t want you to just visit a farm stand that you know. I want to you find a hidden gem. You know, the kind that your one friend– who always finds hidden gems– tells you about. And afterwards, you’re not sure how you ever lived without that knowledge.
Take the road less traveled. Not to get too poetic. But take the scenic route. Leave early, take your time, and drive down that long beautiful road you always avoid because there are Sunday drivers every day of the week. This is a good way to find that farm stand. Turn off the GPS. Maybe turn down a road you’ve never been on, and just go. I live in the country, so this is much easier for me. If you don’t live in the country, travel there. Find a dirt road. I guarantee it will be good for a laugh or, if nothing else, a story.
10. Buy a coffee and drink it at the establishment
We are constantly on the go. We buy a coffee at the drive-thru, or we run in and barely have time to notice the calming decor choice music selection. Go into a coffee shop, buy a coffee, and drink it start to finish! I recommend even bringing a friend or two, or three, or more.
With a book, on the couch, listening to some music, just lounge. Don’t move. Just lounge and let your mind wander. Spend a good hour doing nothing each day. Seriously, nothing on your to-do list at least. And don’t feel guilty for a second. Start with 30 minutes if you’re getting used to the lounge lifestyle. I’m a pro … and a two hour clip is easy for me now!
12. Start a blog!
If for no one else but you, start one. Chronicle your daily journey. Post too many pictures of the sweet treats you eat while using the hashtag #summervibes to excess. Keep track of your daily poolside thoughts. Even jot down your goals. I promise you, you’ll thank yourself later! When I reread my blog posts from years ago, even when I look at my old sites, it’s a great reminder of where I was and how far I’ve come.
I’ve already crossed some of these hobbies and activities off my list! Have you?