Summer is here, and we are no longer trapped in the dark hole that is finals week. While I once found it acceptable to lose hours to Netflix during the school year, now that the weather is beautiful, there are no more excuses to condone hours of mindless television. In fact, TV has been shown to stifle creativity, something that, as a writer, I certainly can’t afford. It’s time to get outside, to relax, and to enjoy your summer to the fullest. These ideas might help you find a little extra serenity this season.
1. Find A Great Book
Find a great summer read that you never want to put down. Some of my favorites include memoirs by comedians, they’ll make you laugh and can often be relatable. Try Bossypants, by Tina Fey, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling, Official Book Club Selection Kathy Griffin, or Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler.
2. Roll Out Your Yoga Mat
Everyone knows the unlimited health benefits of yoga: strength, flexibility, bone health and increased blood flow, to name a few. Creating your own practice doesn’t have to be intense and laborious, just spend a few minutes on your mat. If you need pose inspiration, pick up a book, such as Light on Yoga, by B.K.S. Iyengar or watch a YouTube video, like this one with Tara Stiles. Put on a great summer playlist and get your endorphins flowing; you can even try yoga on the beach!
3. Start A Journal
Before you roll your eyes, expressive writing has been proven to improve psychological health. This is true especially in the case of people who have suffered trauma—this article shows how writing has been studied to help wounds heal faster. Writing can definitely be a cathartic experience, so take a few minutes to express yourself and to create something meaningful. Or you can submit your thoughts to a blog and hope it goes viral…
4. Get Creative
Looking for a productive way to relax? Crafts can be the perfect combination of meditative and adventurous. Try sewing a pattern from Simplicity, or taking a knitting lesson at your nearest craft store. If you’re broke like I am, DIY summer clothes are everything and more. Lastly, if the weather is especially beautiful, take it outside—try painting with watercolors or sketching the view from your front yard!
5. Have A Meaningful Conversation
How much time do you spend on the phone texting? On Facebook? I’m definitely not proud of my reliance on technology. The warmer weather makes going outdoors way easier—it can be fun to meet up with friends to go to the pool or for a walk or even to FaceTime or Skype your friends from school. By having a meaningful conversation with someone you care about, you’ll be building on a lasting relationship and investing in an important connection, much more significant than sitting on your couch alone in front of the television or computer screen.
While it can be fun to invest time in a movie every once in a while, there are so many other ways to enjoy your summer. Here’s to hoping you can find time to relax and become inspired by the incredible occasion that is summer vacation.