We’ve long had a love of summer. The warmest months of the year bring people out from under their rocks, and back into the public square together. And it’s hard not to love the warmth and want to break out the sunscreen and enjoy a day at the beach. As fun as sunbathing can be, there are several even more meaningful things to achieve during the summer. There’s something about the calm and the good vibes of summer that make it perfect for thinking about your life, your future, things that you hope to achieve. No matter what age you are, it’s the perfect time for a little self reflection.
Think About Your Future
If you are college age or younger, you’ll probably be doing a lot of this. Long hours of free time combined with uncertain, modern life make it pretty hard not to do this during these long summer days. But even for those of us with summer jobs, or full time careers, there’s something special about pondering the greater things, the bigger questions, in these days that end long after we punch out.
Whether it’s pondering a career change, working through a complicated relationship, or simply figuring out what it is that makes you happy — spending time thinking about your future is a must for any summer.
Learn Something New
During bluesy Christmas holidays and rainy Aprils it’s quite easy to slowly form a rut that you take with you all the way to summer. Once those days start to grow longer and longer, however, we slowly start to get the courage we need to branch out of our rut, and try something new. Summer is the perfect time for this. It’s a great time to be outdoors and try your hand at a skill you’ve never had the courage to try before. It can be virtually anything — double points if it gets you healthy or challenges you out of your comfort zone. As it so happens, learning something new can have massively positive impacts on many areas of your life — notably on your mental health.
Fall in Love
If you’ve never fallen in love in summer before, you don’t know what you’re missing. Summer is as romantic if not more romantic than any other season. Whether it be your first date, or falling back in love with a life-long partner, summer is the perfect time for it. Those long walks at sunset in warm evenings can’t be replicated at any other time of year.
Take a Break
You don’t have to quit your job to give yourself a break during the summer. Maybe there are extra curricular activities that have been burning you out during the year. You may love them most of the time, but taking a break during the summer can really help stimulate the free time you need to reinvent yourself. Maybe you have a daily gym routine during the rest of the year. Go for a walk instead. Or simply enjoy having the extra free time to apply to any other hobby or spending vital hours with family members. You can’t always control being busy during the 9–5. But you can cut out the fat during your free time. Don’t feel guilty! You deserve it.
The ease of doing this undoubtedly hinges on the success of how you can do these other things on this list. But the reality is, summer is the best time to just let time go. Why not, anyways? You can’t control time any better than anybody else. Might as well let it slip — wether that means late-night talks on the porch, or days flying by on an extended camping trip. Relax and get off the high speed train to success even if only for a couple of months.
Don’t Get Caught Up in FOMO
Summer is so well loved that it can be easy to get caught up in the comparison game. If you aren’t in Vegas at a pool party or traveling Europe, you’re missing out. Right? Well, not necessarily. Sometimes, staying right where you are is the best thing you can do for yourself, and chasing what other people define as a “good time” or “fun” can just wear you out.
I’ve never spent an entire summer traveling — and I don’t think I ever will. Summer is not the time for busy obligations. Instead, it’s the ideal time to get back in touch with yourself, learn something new, and create lasting memories with loved ones. Plus, traveling is always the most expensive during the summer — why not just keep it to local trips nearby and travel for greener pastures in the fall or winter?
With the right mindset, no matter where you’re at, you can make this summer one to remember.
Originally published at https://www.josephwriteranderson.com on July 31, 2020.