6 Ideas to Help You Put the "Break" Back Into Summer Break
Summer break. Two words that used to hold so much meaning when I was little. I remember counting down the days until we would be free with my classmates; cutting each other off as we excitedly listed all the things we would be doing that summer. I remember the end of year carnival (specifically, the Harvey’s booth 🙌🏾) and packing up the desk that felt like it was more mine than the school’s property after all the time I’d spent with it. The wait was finally over and I always had “big” plans. Summer break meant fun in the sun, later bedtimes and freezies on the front porch. I don’t remember wasting many days, making sure to fill myself up with stories to share once school started back again.
Ok, now fast forward 20-25 years and the concept of “summer break” has become a bit hazy. Summer, I get that one. Break, well the definition is clear but implementing it can be a challenge. Now put those two words together: summer + break and I’m lost. Just how does one “summer break” whilst adulting?
As we headed into what I consider the last month of summer, I found myself looking for more ways to embody the season. I wanted it to mean more than lighter traffic on my commute to work or being able to debut the cute pair of sandals I got on sale end of season last summer — still both very legitimate things, might I add.
So here are a few ways I intend on summer breaking the next 31 days. I’ve included a few things I’ve already been doing in the spirit of sharing.
Plan #1:Get excited about something
Pull out your agenda (or your cellphone 🙄) and save that date! I find it energizing to have something to look forward to. Nothing is too small or too big to get excited about. Don't have any plans yet? Ok, then plan something. A weekend getaway or a short day trip. Staycate and explore your own city. Reserve a spot at a restaurant you’ve been wanting to try. Or maybe you have an upcoming trip abroad or family coming from out of town. Or a weekend off (finally!) and you're going out to party with your girlfriends. Whatever it is, get excited. Remove all the other emotions that try to dull out the positive ones, like worrying about what to wear, or what to feed people at the bbq or how behind you are in packing. Steal back you time and....can I say it again? Get excited!
Plan #2:Schedule, schedule, schedule!
Scheduling in fun sounds like a terrible thing, but dare I say it's kinda necessary sometimes? This summer I developed the habit of checking out events happening in my city the upcoming month and putting the ones that interested me into my calendar. Nothing was set in stone, but having everything laid out there was a great visual reminder and motivated me to make the most of my free time. I'm not saying to plan everything - the best moments are often the ones we don’t plan at all. I get that. I even love that. I’d love to let summer fun just find me spontaneously, but you see the way my work schedule is setup…… lol
All jokes aside, like everything else in life, it’s about balance. So please, please, don’t turn down impromptu drinks with the homie just because you didn’t schedule it in.
Plan #3:Day in the park
There are sooooooo many parks in my city and every year I swear I’m going to choose one and spend the day under some trees with a book. Parks provide the perfect blend of relaxation and exploration. I like heading to a park outside of my usual stomping ground so that when I’m done reading (and people-watching), I get a chance to explore a bit and discover a new cafe or restaurant to try.
Plan #4:Do more outdoors
Listen, winter here is no joke. Those of use who have to deal with it spend half the year cooped up inside where our extremities aren’t in imminent danger of falling off. Trying to conjure up that feeling of blistering cold against my cheeks and frozen pinky fingers is enough to remind me to take my butt outside more often. You don't need to suffer through winter though to appreciate being outside. The are so many benefits to health and overall wellbeing. Don't believe me? Google "forest bathing". So, whether it be to read, have a picnic, do some work, escape from work, swipe through Instagram, exercise, have a few drinks…..I’m going to make the conscious decision to spend more time outside.
Plan #5:Visit a local market
Certain foods obviously scream summer. Fresh berries, watermelon, crisp cucumbers, grilled corn on the cob and bright salads are always delicious, but buying the produce locally is a game-changer. Personally, I’m not the gardening type (yet, at least) so if I want the freshest of the fresh veggies and fruits, the market is the next best thing. PLUS, the whole experience is 10x more fun than doing your grocery is some oversized, overly air-conditioned supermarket. Am I right or am i right?
Plan #6:Be ok with doing things alone
Company is nice, but trying to coordinate with a bunch of schedules can eat up a bunch of time. Not to mention the lost opportunities to actually enjoy a summer activity. Are you really going to pass up on that play, festival or beautiful sunny day just because you can’t find someone to join you? If I want to maximize the balance of this month and put some of the above plans into action, I need to get comfortable with the idea of going places alone. It can’t be as scary as we make it out to be!
Happy summer ladies & gents!
P.s. If you have a moment, drop me a line and let me know if you enjoyed this post!