Making the most of leisure time this summer

Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start to summer. This summer, I want to embrace the carefree fun and recreation of childhood summers, especially since Mike won’t be working on his Ph.D. 

One thing I’ve learned about myself, and maybe it’s true for all of us, is that I’m most happy when I combine productivity and leisure. 

Even on days off, I feel cranky when evening comes and I’ve been lazy all day. I need a loose structure and sense of accomplishment. 

popsicleWhen I idle away free time between sleeping in, social media, mindless chores, and watching TV, I feel cranky and lethargic.

If I do one or a few of those things but I also invest in friendships, or take a walk with Mike, or make progress in a book I’m reading, then the day is a great balance of rest and purposeful activity. 

During childhood summers, I made up projects like drawing a chart of the food pyramid for my bedroom or organizing rollerblading contests. When children play, they are imaginative, active and engaged.

Recreation is, by definition, activity.  We can more fully recharge when we pursue something we enjoy than when we do nothing at all.

I am kicking off the summer with a view towards increased mental and physical rest, engaged and active leisure time, and more time with friends.

Weekends and summer evenings are perfect for pursuing the things that make for a full life: nurturing relationships, engaging your mind in new ways, enjoying hobbies or starting new ones.

Here are a few items on my summer recreation wish list:

  • $5 movie nights at Cinebarre
  • Frequent trips to the James Island Dog Park
  • Read fiction (check out Modern Mrs. Darcy’s summer reading guide for ideas!)
  • Pick up tennis again
  • Volunteer my time
  • Catch up on Season 5 of Parks and Recreation (LITERALLY the best show on television)
  • Brainstorming and thinking time 
  • Beach days
  • Creative writing projects
  • Afternoon naps
  • Invite people over more often
  • Try new restaurants
  • Day trips
  • Hike in the mountains with my family

Question: How do you plan to spend your summer?

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