As I began counting down my last week of finals as a graduate student, I only had one thing in mind: SUMMERTIME! High temperatures, outdoor activities, beach, and the good times with family, friends, and my two-four legged friends. All these thoughts had me feeling excited and hopeful for the summer. But soon enough my exhilaration sort of wormed off, and here is why.
As someone who constantly needs structure and plenty to do, the idea of summer has raised some concerns and a bit of anxiety. What will I do with all my free time? How can I still be productive?
Below is my top 10 list of things I plan on doing this summer. And if you are someone like me who needs to stay busy all the time, feel free to try some of these things for yourself…or I will challenge you to create your own list.
- I will enjoy the outdoors
We may have all heard the benefit of vitamin D from the sun, so I will make sure to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible. Some things on my list: hiking, long walks at the park, bike riding, playing outdoors with my two four-legged friends, and plenty of beach days!
I have my sunscreen, hat, and shades ready!
- My mental health is as important as my physical health
Just as I schedule an appointment once a year to get a physical check-up, it’s important I give my mental health a check-up too!
Meditation really helps me. Here are some benefits of mindfulness meditation.
There are so many benefits of writing. I am not talking about writing up your bills or doing paperwork or academic papers either. I am talking about free style writing. Try blogging, keeping a journal and tracking your mood. Don’t worry about being perfect.
I particularly enjoy writing, so I am excited to spend some time using my creativity this summer. I know it gets difficult for me to find leisure time to write anything I want during my regular academic year.
First thing in the morning, I like to open a blank Microsoft word document and type for a couple of minutes… anything that comes through my mind.
I enjoy reading some non-fiction pieces and some self motivating books.
Again, during the semester I usually read books related to my graduate work, so it will be nice to sit back and enjoy a good book for leisure.
A strawberry daiquiri, a rocking chair in my backyard while listening to the beauty of nature and reading a nice book.
- Play an instrument
I wouldn’t call myself a Mozart, but piano has always been an interesting instrument. Since I know the positive benefits of playing an instrument, I’ll be sure to get my fingers back on the piano.
- Spend quality time with those you love
For me––it’s going to be with my family, friends, and my four-legged friends. I plan on enjoying some picnics, BQQ’s, and indulge in some Ice Coffee’s.
There are many mental and physical benefits from exercising. Some researchers revealed that exercising can have the same benefits as an anti-depressant.
Music always helps me moving.
- Organize closets and do some cleaning up
I don’t know about you, but my closets and room could use some re-organization. I plan on spending some time doing that and also cleaning up my social media.
- Give back
Whether it is through volunteer work or being kind––studies have shown the benefits in giving.
- Enjoy your summer for what it will be
And before I know it, fall semester will be around the corner! So may I enjoy my summer as it is––with no regrets and lots of good laughs and memories to look back to. My hope for you will be the same!
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And for now–––HAPPY SUMMER!
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