To different people, the word ‘summer’ elicits varying impressions of the next three months in the year.
For some, it’s bikini season; for others, an internship, and to others, perhaps, an excuse to sloth around for a good while before life picks up again.
Either way, summer tends to pass in a flash and before you know it, it’s back to the daily grind and suddenly Christmas seems just round the corner.
Regardless of your summer plans, you’re bound to want to squeeze out every last drop of these three months and make them count, especially with summer practically lapping at your fingertips at this juncture.
Don’t fret because we got your back.
Here are 7 ways to maximize your summer.
Make a To-Do List
This seems painfully obvious and unnecessary but trust me, getting everything you want to accomplish by the end of the summer down on paper or a word doc helps you plan and manage your time better.
Don’t be afraid to write down seemingly insignificant or smaller goals like 'make pancakes at least once a week'.
All goals are important!
Having everything out in a list also enables you to prioritize so that you don’t end up realising that you were supposed to get a driving licence with only a week of summer left.
Plus, if you strike out the things you’ve done, you’re going to feel pretty good about yourself by the time your summer draws to a close.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Even if you’re mooching about the house, pushing just a little bit beyond your regular routine goes a long way in making you feel like you’ve done something great.
It doesn’t have to be something major or spectacular like signing for skydiving (although if you would like to, by all means, please), it can also be something smaller and maybe, even more sustainable.
Maybe it means smiling at the person you always see on the same bus in the mornings or listening to a different genre of music.
You could try volunteering at a charity, exploring a different part of our island (or one of our offshore islands!) or picking up a new hobby!
At the end of the summer, you’ll be able to say that you’ve given dubstep a try but it’s not really your thing, or that you’re now an expert at painting your own nails.
And just like that, you’ve stretched your personal boundaries just a teensy bit more!
Count Your Blessings
Again, this sounds cheesy and cliché but you know how to really get the most out of your summer?
It’s by appreciating it.
All of it.
We tend to get caught up in the experience and the general flow of events but if you just took five minutes every day to pause for a second and think about the best part or parts of your day, you’re guaranteed to be even more satisfied.
It doesn’t have to be monumental, like striking it rich, it’s what you consider your favourite part of the day to be.
You can do it while waiting for the train or in the shower or type it out on your phone just before you go to bed.
Pick out something in your day that made you smile and when you look back on your summer, you’ll have about ninety things that made your day.
Memory is supposed to be selective, isn’t it? So why not remember your summer as one chockfull of happy incidences.
Put Your Phone Down
In such a tech-savvy world, pics or it didn’t happen, right?
But viewing life through the lens of your phone camera often detracts from the actual experience.
It’s completely understandable that you want photographic memories as a takeaway but those shouldn’t be that all you have to show from your trip.
Even if it’s for five minutes, just put your phone down, and be present.
It’s honestly overwhelming when you realise the amount of sounds filtering in when you stop to listen, or the different scents in the air or the number of things unfolding around you.
And you can always take a photo after that!
If you allow yourself to be fully immersed in your experiences, you get so much more out of your day and eventually, your summer.
Life is too short to do things you don’t want to do and summer is even shorter!
It might seem as though there are a billion things to get done this summer; some of them are things on your personal to-do list and others may be things that you’re being pressed to do.
That is not to say you should avoid important things or obligations just because you don’t feel like doing them!
I’m talking about the things that you end up doing because you felt bad about saying no and wound up hating yourself while doing, like that survey that turns out to be half an hour long.
Ain’t nobody got time for that and you certainly don’t this summer!
As long as you aren’t rude about it, you aren’t a bad person for rejecting things you have no interest in doing!
Pick up a Hobby
Maybe you’ve been putting it off for a while but here’s your push to go sign up for that dance/cooking/MMA class you’ve been eyeing for a while.
If you were looking for a sign, this is it.
This is your prompt to go buy the materials you need to start knitting/painting/drawing.
If you’ve been thinking about trying out a new sport, go for it!
Try running, swimming, team sports, yoga, whatever you’re interested in.
There’s never going to be a good time to pick up a new hobby so if you keep waiting for that, you’ll never start!
You just have to decide what you want and go for broke!
You can float around and try a few things out if you’re not sure what you like but having a hobby allows you to gain an immense sense of satisfaction from doing something you enjoy!
So get off your butt, find what you love and do it!
Don’t Overthink Things
This list gives you a lot of things to take into consideration for making the most of your summer, but the key is really not to overthink it.
No point getting hung up over what you’re doing or not doing if it’s just going to prevent you from enjoying the next three months.
There’s no right or wrong way to maximizing your time so do what feels best for you and don’t be afraid to go with your gut feel!
Ultimately, this summer is yours to spend and these are simply a few tips that may help you milk it for all it’s worth.