When we were kids, summer was a time to relax, to trade the routine of school for the much more pleasurable routine of summer camp (or perhaps the satisfaction of a paycheck from a summer job).
As adults, in our air-conditioned cubicles day in and day out, it’s easy to feel like we’re missing out on summer.
Here are a few ways to make summer feel more like vacation again — even if you don’t take a day off.
1. Get outside. If you’re lucky enough to be able to work from home, try to bring your laptop outside for part of the work day — a little extra vitamin D does a world of good. Don’t have that kind of a job? Try to make time for a 10 minute walk, or even just a 10-minute sit-outside-on-the-steps-and-soak-up-some-sun. You’ll return to your desk recharged.
2. Eat like a kid again. Brown-bagging your lunch is economical, but you don’t have to have the same boring sandwich every day. Eat like a kid again — but in a healthier way, of course. Grilled cheese, hot dogs, PB&J and other childhood staples can be punched up for grownup tastes.
3. Have your own summer reading list. It’s true that students suffer from “brain drain” during the summer months, losing as much as three months’ worth of their reading and math skills. While adults probably won’t forget how to reply to an email or write a report, it’s easy to forget about fantasy and fun. Visit your local library and put together your own summer reading list. Be sure to set goals and reward yourself when you reach them.
4. Do arts and crafts. But in a grown-up way, of course. Is there an exhibit you’ve always wanted to see at a local museum? Is there a new skill you’ve wanted to learn — sewing, painting, carpentry? Now’s the time to take it up. Check out offerings from local parks and recreation commissions, which have affordable activities.
5. Have a regular campfire night. Even if you’re not a camping kind of person, you can still enjoy the summer fun of hanging out by the campfire. Make s’mores, tell ghost stories, and enjoy one another’s company. After all, that’s what summer is about.