What was your experience growing up when summer was approaching? For me it meant no school, no routine, long days in the sun, water – pool, sprinklers, water balloons – and freedom.
Even though that transition out of school doesn’t exist for many of us as adults, there are ways to cultivate the same fun-loving summer freedom this year. Below are a few ideas how.
Outdoor Lifestyle – Play
Cooking, eating, visiting, playing, and exercising are best when the weather is warm and the nights are long. My husband and I like to play Pro Kadima, also known as Smash ball, in our yard. My Dad and I used to play when I was a kid. It’s an easy game with two wooden paddles and a small rubber ball that can be played just about anywhere, as long as you have 10 feet or so between you. Summer is a time to incorporate play – when was the last time you blew bubbles or ran through the sprinklers? Take an opportunity to spark the feeling of your youth this summer and play outside.
Summer is the time for colorful flowers and vegetables in the yard. If you don’t have a yard, do you have a front step or a place in a window where you can put a potted plant or veggie with color to watch it grow? While life may slow down a bit in the summertime for some of us, the plants and flowers are abundant – chasing the sunshine. Watching them grow creates space for creativity and reflection.
This is a popular time of year for many people to take vacations. Whether the kids are out of school or the summer weather calls, plan some downtime where you can get out and see some new sights. If you’re like me and your calendar fills up quickly, plan time for trips or local adventures. Google festivals and events in your town or city to see if one sounds interesting.
Have you been waiting to start an exercise routine? This is a great time to start a new exercise habit! Early morning light and beautiful days make it that much easier. If you’re not sure where to begin, text a friend and meet for a weekly walk, join an active Meet Up group, or walk on your lunch break. Your body and mind will appreciate the activity outside. Also, with the long summer days, exercise will help you get to sleep on time.
Fruits and vegetables are plentiful in the summertime. What can you incorporate into your diet that is new, fresh, and in season? Check out the Seasonal Food Guide to see what’s in season in the United States by date. Challenge yourself to try a fruit or a vegetable you haven’t tried before and incorporate it into a meal.
While many of us long for freedom, it’s often a choice of how we design our life. Yes, we have obligations and bills to pay. However, we can bring in simple pleasures like these that help us appreciate the summer season while giving us that light and airy feeling of the summer days of our youth.