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You Mean Summer Doesn't Last Forever...?

Stacy Taubman

I have bad news for many of you…the school year is right around the corner. Whether you are headed to college or high school, it will be here before you know it.

I feel like summer is a tricky time for many.  Throughout the school year, you long for the summer and many of you even count down the days.  When it finally arrives it can feel kind of weird to have so much free-time on your hands. Early on, you may have struggled with feeling bored.  It takes awhile to transition from the rigid schedule of the school year to the mass quantity of time that you now have on your plate.

It also seems like right when you get into the swing of things, summer is almost over and it is time to start thinking about the next school year.

So the question is, “How do you enjoy the time you have left?”. There is absolutely still a decent amount of time and it’s important to focus on making it count.  I think it's easy to get sucked into the stress of the school year being right around the corner, but it's so important to learn to stay in the here and now.

I will be the first to admit I struggle with staying present and not dreaming about what the future may hold (both good and bad).  However, it’s so important to not let this remaining portion of the summer fly by without really having a chance to enjoy it.  I encourage you to set aside some time to reflect on what you want the rest of your summer to look like.

Below is a list of ideas for how to make your time count.

1.  Do something you love - we all have hobbies or activities that we really enjoy doing. Whether it's playing tennis, scrapbooking, cooking, etc set aside time to focus on what you love doing.

2.  Try something new - it's easy to stay in your comfort zone and it can be intimidating to put yourself out there.  However, the benefits of trying something new far exceeds the few moments of discomfort. Think about what you have on your bucket list and get one crossed off.

3.  Enjoy the summer heat - I know this one sounds a little crazy, but I feel like people spend so much time complaining about the heat in the summer and the cold in the winter.  I recognize no one enjoys walking out of the house and instantly sweating, but I still think the summer heat is something to appreciate.  Maybe this means going to a waterpark or reliving your younger years by playing in the sprinklers.

4.  Have a game night with your parents - if I didn't lose you on the last one, I know I may have lost some of you on this one.  Look, no matter how good or bad your relationship is with your parents, your time with them under their roof is limited (unless of course you live with them forever ;).  I know sometimes it can be difficult relating to them, but setting aside time to connect and having fun with them is powerful.  It may surprise you how much you enjoy it.

5. Spend quality time with your friends - this is easier during the school year because you see your friends on a regular basis.  In the summer you have to make more of an effort.  Sometimes we can get stuck in a rut and forget to reach out to our friends or we wait for them to contact us.  It is easy to get sucked into wasting countless hours sitting on the couch watching tv or playing games on your phone like candy crush.  Also, it is not enough to just go to parties with your friends.  Make a point to do other activities too such as going to lunch, shopping, or seeing a movie together.

6.  Do something for yourself - it is important to take care of yourself.  People often spend a lot of time worrying about everyone else and forget to do something that is strictly for themselves.  When I need to recharge, I love to have a mani-pedi day.

7.  Give back - doing something for others is extremely gratifying. It can take your mind off of your troubles and give you perspective on how great your life really is.  Volunteerig is one way to give back, but there are many other possibilities.  Maybe it's just a matter of doing someone a favor or helping out.  Try to do something for someone else at least once a day.  You will be amazed at how great it feels.

8.  Be active - I love a good couch day as much as the next, but after awhile it can start to bring you down.  Get up and moving.  It doesn't mean you have to be in the gym everyday.  One idea would be to get a pedometer or fitbit and make it your goal to take 10,000 steps a day.

9.  Activate your creative side - I know this is another one that can sound kind of weird to some of you. Whether or not you consider yourself a "creative person", it is important to engage that side of your brain.  Creativity is not just about arts and crafts, although that can be a fun way to activate your creative side. Being creative is about looking at life from a different point of view and thinking outside the box.

10.  Feed your soul - No matter what your religious or spiritual beliefs are, I believe it is important to take time to feed your soul.  This can look different for everyone.  It is about doing things that help you get in touch with the core of who you are.  For some it looks like meditating or doing yoga.  For others, it involves going to church or taking time to express gratitude.

I hope this list helps you enjoy the rest of your summer to the fullest.  The school year is coming one way or another.  You might as well enjoy the time you have, instead of just letting it pass you by.

Now it's your turn.  Please share in the comments below one thing you plan to do to make the rest of your summer AWESOME!