Advertising
Advertising

15 Things You Should Do To Make The Most Out Of Summer This Year

15 Things You Should Do To Make The Most Out Of Summer This Year

The summer season is here. Finally, we are able to spend hours outdoors. From sunrise to sunset, we long to be in the fresh air, enjoying the precious sunshine and warmth. Now that Summer is here, let’s make sure we make the very most out of this season. Some people feel as though they have to do extravagant things in order to make the most of the summer, however I will share with you a few things that you can do to make the most out of this summer doing simple everyday things.

1. Watch a sunrise

Sunrise

    One of the most wonderful ways to begin your day, is to watch a sunrise. Yes, the sun rises early and you may have to make special arrangements to actually be on time to see this spectacular show of nature.

    Check out when the sun rises in your area. Grab a coffee (or your favorite morning beverage). Grab a camera or your smart phone. Be ready to experience a magnificent art show in the sky. The reason I suggest this is that there is something so incredible about seeing the beauty of the morning sky painted by the rising of the sun. It gives you an opportunity to see how grand our world is. The vastness of the sky, the morning sun peeking through the horizon, and the parade of color that is exhibited is amazing.

    Something about watching a sunrise aligns me with the complexity and simplicity of life at the same time. If you make the extra preparations to watch a sunrise, your day will begin on a fabulous note.

    2. Be a tourist in your own hometown

    Tourist

      Let’s face it, we live day to day viewing our surroundings with our eyes half shut. Our area is pretty much “old hat.” This summer, I encourage you to take the eyes of a tourist and look at your town and the towns surrounding you, in a fresh way.

      Do a bit of research on what may be available in the area. Have you driven by a certain place time and time again, thinking, I really should check that out? One way to become a tourist in your own area is pretend that you have guests coming and you will need to be their tour guide. Find all the interesting sites and things to do in your area. Make an itinerary for the pretend visit.

      Now go out and enjoy your town. Make new memories while you trek familiar territory.

      3. Fly a Kite

      Kite flying

        Have you ever seen the sheer thrill on a child’s face when they see a kite flying in the air? Learn to enjoy the pleasure that comes from simple fun.

        A sense of freedom overtakes me every time I put my kite up in the skies. From the moment of catching the breeze and releasing it higher and higher into the skies until I reel it back in, I have a childlike abandon. My tensions seem to release whenever I am flying my kite. Time stands still as I gaze upward. I feel emancipated from daily cares. I know it sounds crazy and it is difficult to put into words exactly how it makes me feel but I encourage you to grab a kite, (it doesn’t have to be an expensive one), find a suitable place to fly it, and set yourself free in the wind for a period of time.

        Enjoy the refreshing feeling you get from a timeless activity.

        4. Build a Sandcastle

        Sandcastles

          Live by the seaside, what a wonderful thing! When I am able to sit by the shore, there is a magical feeling inside of me. Feeling the sea breeze, hearing the sounds of the waves crashing, and seeing the immensity of the ocean calms me in ways that nothing else can.

          Advertising

          9292b028202b57d3b560c3538b3dae56

            Another side to beach-life is to be carefree like a child. Building a sandcastle is a daunting task yet so enjoyable. Hauling the buckets of sand and water to make the castle is just plain ‘ole fun. The joy in watching your castle come to life is priceless.

            I used to think this was just a thing for kids to do; until one day when I joined in. In today’s world,which causes us to be so “busy” most days, a dose of sandcastle building is one of the simple things that can be so enjoyable. Go ahead and try it!

            5. Go for a Nature Walk

            Nature Walk

              So many articles and quotes have been written about the benefits of walking in nature. says,

              “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” –  John Muir

               

              “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

               

              ” An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.” – Henry David Thoreau

              I agree with these statements wholeheartedly. Spending time walking among nature is a satisfying experience for your soul.

              If you want to make the most of the summer, try adding a nature walk into your schedule. Not only will you be getting great exercise, but also be surrounded by the incredible beauty of nature. When you walk, take the time to be mindful of the moment. Bask in the raw beauty of all that surrounds you. 

              6. Plant a Garden

              Garden

                “The glory of gardening; hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. to nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul,” Alfred Austin

                Imagine your first bite into a vegetable that you just grew in your own garden!  The yummy juices and succulent flavors are indescribable. This is the harvest of your labors.

                Advertising

                In most things, the best part is the finished product, but in gardening there is joy all along the process; from the planting of the seeds, to seeing the blossoming of the buds, and then the glorious taste of freshness. You don’t have to grow vegetables, you can grow herbs or flowers instead.

                Planning for bursts of color in your garden beds will brighten up each day’s view. The first time I planted a garden, it was so rewarding to look each day at the progress of growth. I could sit for hours just to enjoy the beauty of the blossoms. As the saying goes, life begins in a garden.

                7. Watch Fireworks

                Fireworks

                  Fireworks are fascinating! The colorful display lights up the night sky and the eyes of all those watching. The powerful booming sounds echoing add to the show. Many of the firework shows have displays that are timed to music.

                  Young children have bright eyes and animated expressions on their faces when they see the sky light up. Even if you aren’t a child any longer, fireworks can make you feel like a kid again. I remember seeing fireworks at Disney, as an adult, honestly for a few fleeting moments, I believed in fairy tales!

                  8. Go Camping

                  Camping

                    Camping refreshes the soul. Quality of life is added when we take time away from everyday life to simplify life and unwind in nature. In today’s world we are running full pace living lives of frenzied activity and packed with electronic devices. When is the last time you unplugged and spent time with your family connected to nature?

                    In the quietness of nature, you can clear your mind. Camping exhibits the simplicity of life and all the beauty around us, that so often we take for granted. Waking up to the morning light with the sound of birds and other wildlife starts the day off on a relaxed pace. Spending hours outdoors with the ones you love will bring you life time memories.

                    camping (1)

                      One of my favorite pictures of my dad was taken during a camping trip. Every time I see that photo, I smile and have a special memory of our times together. Spending the evening beside the campfire talking can be just what you need to reconnect with your family. Don’t forget to enjoy the amazing starry skies that are on display once it gets dark.

                      9. Go to an Outdoor Concert

                      Outdoor Concert

                        “Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” Plato

                        Lucky for me and my family, we have a few places in our area that offer free outdoor concerts in the summer. Of course, not everyone knows about them. I stumbled on them years back. When my daughters were young, it was traditional that we went to a beach concert every Thursday evening.  It was so fun to hear the music and see the kids dancing and playing around in the sand. This is a family friendly event and it doesn’t even cost anything! I am happy to say that now my daughters and I are bringing my grandchildren to this event! We look forward to it each week.

                        The kids have a blast, as well as the adults. Check out what is in your area. Outdoor summer concerts are quite popular now and many towns and cities are having them.

                        10. Go to a Sporting Event

                        Advertising

                        Outdoor Sporting

                          Take me out to the ball game! Take me out to the crowd! Can you hear that song playing in the back of your memories? Family ties are strengthened whenever you go to an event of some type. Memories are made that last a lifetime.

                          It can get costly if you go to the major sporting events, however, there are many local teams that play in the summer. Search around and find a game or two that you can go to with your family. Outdoor car tracks, tennis, softball, volleyball, soccer, and baseball are just some of the outdoor sporting events available.

                          I recently had so much fun with my 4 grandchildren at a car race. We would pick out a car we would want to win. Every time that car came around the track we would cheer and scream. Even my 2 year-old grandson got into the action. I laughed so hard at the expressions on everyone’s face. What a great time had by all!

                          11. Spend Time with Family and Friends

                          Friends and Family

                            The best way to make the most out of this summer is simply to spend quality time with your family and friends. Summer is an awesome time to “make memories” that will last a lifetime. During the summer, the days are longer; allowing us more time to be outdoors.

                            Make sure to schedule times together with the ones you want to be with. Often times, we say we want to do “such and such” with someone and before we realize it the days have come and gone without even getting together.

                            Make family dates throughout the summer. Dedicate a special day of the week that you meet up with them and spend time doing something special. Maybe have a cookout once a week, or go for an evening walk together, or have a movie night. If you plan these events, you will be sure to be able to spend special times together.

                            12. Take Photos

                            Photos

                              “Every photo you take communicates something about a moment in time- a brief slice of time of where you were, who you were with, and what you were doing.” Kevin Systrom

                              I overheard a young lady saying she needed to get a new phone because her pictures were full on her phone. I had to chuckle to myself. I guess she hadn’t learned how to save and remove her photos. I also thought to myself, wow, she has taken a lot of photos and made a lot of memories.

                              It is always good to remember the special moments we make each day. How much better when we can have that memory in a photo!

                              So many hours have gone by just looking at pictures we have taken.  Remember when… Oh I remember this day and place….. Laughter fills the air as we sit and giggle over funny expressions, old hairdos, out-of-style glasses and so much more.

                              Summer is an awesome time to take photos! Now with smartphones it is so much easier than ever to smile, snap and click!

                              13. Star Gaze

                              Stargaze

                                “For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” Vincent Van Gogh

                                I don’t know all the scientific names and locations of stars and planets in the sky, but I don’t let that get in the way of stargazing.  I love gazing into the skies above me and seeing the magnificent display of stars. Laying on a blanket under a starry sky isn’t just romantic, it is also very relaxing. Hot summer nights offer us the opportunity to do this.

                                If you live in or around a city, you may want to find a location that offers a darker sky for better viewing. Another excellent tip: download an app on your phone that will tell you exactly what you are viewing. There are many different apps for you to choose from. It is really cool to actually begin to learn the constellations and where they are in the night sky. Enjoy the vastness of the skies.

                                14. Host an Outdoor Costume Party

                                Costume Party

                                  Costume parties are so much fun.  Most of the time we are limited to wearing costumes just for Halloween. I suggest hosting a summer outdoor themed Costume Party.

                                  Invite a bunch of your family and friends to a Luau Party,  a pirate party,  a princess party, a superhero party or plan your own costume themed party. Along with being able to wear a costume, you will be able to enjoy fresh air and games and some party themed food too.

                                  Every now and then I will do some internet browsing for fun parties to plan. The list is endless. I am certain that you can find one that suits your party needs this summer.

                                  15. Travel As Much As Possible

                                  Travel

                                    “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” Saint Augustine

                                    I know as soon as the word “travel” is mentioned, many of us have ideas of far away exotic places. While it is awesome to be able to visit those places, sometimes it doesn’t fit into our plans or budget.

                                    Travelling obviously will take more time, money and planning than the other activities. I have found that there are some trips that you can find, with some research, that are not overly costly. I think of travel as a form of investment. Travelling is an education. The more places you are able to visit, the more knowledge of the world you acquire.

                                    No matter where you go, there is a learning experience waiting for you. Stretching our minds through travel is a wonderful thing. The world is a big place; try to take in as many places as you possibly can.

                                    This summer, no matter where you are or what you are doing, I wish you  sunshine, love and laughter.

                                    Featured photo credit: Close up portrait of happy smiling couple in love laying in wood white floor. Wearing retro clothes and sunglasses. Reflection of palm trees in glasses. via shutterstock.com

                                    More by this author

                                    Charlene Tops

                                    Charlene is a certified life coach who is passionate about writing, speaking and teaching.

                                    8 Things To Do When You Want To Give Up 30 Fun Things to Do at Home 10 Don’ts to Avoid Unproductive Mornings 15 Things You Should Do To Make The Most Out Of Summer This Year 7 Ways to Beat the Summertime Blues

                                    Trending in Leisure

                                    1 18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life 2 10 Benefits of Reading: Why You Should Read Every Day 3 How to Enjoy Life In a Way Most People Don’t 4 25 Best Self Improvement Books to Read No Matter How Old You Are 5 30 Fun Things to Do at Home

                                    Read Next

                                    Advertising
                                    Advertising
                                    Advertising

                                    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

                                    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                                    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                                    We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

                                    We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

                                    So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

                                    Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

                                    What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

                                    Boundaries are limits

                                    —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

                                    Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

                                    Advertising

                                    Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

                                    Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

                                    Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

                                    How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

                                    Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

                                    1. Self-Awareness Comes First

                                    Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

                                    You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

                                    To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

                                    Advertising

                                    You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

                                    • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
                                    • When do you feel disrespected?
                                    • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
                                    • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
                                    • When do you want to be alone?
                                    • How much space do you need?

                                    You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

                                    2. Clear Communication Is Essential

                                    Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

                                    Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

                                    3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

                                    Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

                                    That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

                                    Sample language:

                                    Advertising

                                    • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
                                    • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
                                    • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
                                    • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
                                    • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
                                    • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
                                    • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

                                    Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

                                    4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

                                    Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

                                    Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

                                    Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

                                    We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

                                    It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

                                    It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

                                    Advertising

                                    Final Thoughts

                                    Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

                                    Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

                                    Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

                                    The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

                                    Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

                                    Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

                                    They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

                                    Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

                                    Read Next