Things to do post-summer solstice

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Hannah Cooper/File

You have an entire summer before you: no responsibilities, no alarm clocks, nothing to do. At first, May is pretty cool. You clean your room (finally), you go to the beach like you’d been planning all of finals week and you drink that refreshing cold smoothie every morning. But now, it’s June — you’re a few weeks in. That smoothie isn’t so tasty anymore and you really don’t feel like watching “Breaking Bad” again. Days are moving quickly but things aren’t really getting done. It seems that with every week passing later into June, you have less and less on the agenda than before. Who knew that was even possible?

You could give your friend a call … we guess. Or you could walk your dog … we suppose. But with nearly one month left of summer vacation, this break should be deeply and sincerely enjoyed, not half-assed or piled with filler activities around the house.

Rather, this may be that mid-summer moment to begin something new. With summer solstice on June 20, this marks a time in which many cultures hold festivals to celebrate the entrance into long and sunny days, the earth and creative energy. The sun is often a symbol of fire or power, so it’s the perfect time to get crafty. Summer solstice has been celebrated in cultures since ancient times — ever heard of Stonehenge? So perhaps, following along the traditions of the cultures of the Chinese, indigenous Americans, Greeks, Romans and more, we can utilize this time to begin new projects. I mean, with all this fine summer time on our hands, why not? The sun will be out longer so there’s no excuse to spend it all indoors!

And so we’ve crafted a list of a handful creative activities that you may want to indulge in when you find yourself at a loss for things to do this summer.

  1. Paint! Whether you’re 15, 35, 55 or just 5 years old, painting’s the perfect activity to do on your balcony or patio (with an icy drink on the side). Dollar stores have all kinds of watercolor products if you aren’t looking to spend too much money. Go outside and turn on some music if you’re feelin’ it. Enjoy the breeze, get lost in a painting and before you know it, three hours have gone by! Who cares if you think you suck at it? Practice makes perfect and mess-ups are masterpieces. Harness that sun energy!
  1. Start a garden Following along with ancient tradition, gardening is a perfect way to get out and connect with Earth. There are plenty of summer seasonal veggies that can be planted in a small at-home garden. Super easy and DIY, having a garden at home or at your apartment is also extremely rewarding. A small planter is all you need — or a small space on your side yard. Many people give away organic dirt and compost. You can probably Craigslist whatever you need. Remember, zucchini, peppers and tomatoes grow oh-so-well in the warm months. (This’ll also give you a little something to do daily because plants need watering.)
  1. Pick flowers Yet another brilliant way to commune with Mother Earth. If you’re bored, go get some exercise and take a loop around the block. On your way, pick one of every beautiful flower. Make a cute little bouquet and give it to your mom, sister, friend or lover. It’s a time-passer and its enjoyable!
  1. Actually pick up one of those Pinterest hobbies I know we’ve all done it: spending hours perusing Pinterest, saving and re-pinning all sorts of creative activities — from macramé to handmade lotion, giant bubbles to rainbow cupcakes. I challenge you to pick one of those activities you’ve thought about for so long, but never mustered up the energy to actually do it. Actually doing it will feel really good. You’ll have fun and you might even have a finished product at the end (or a new hobby).
  1. Write Writing is a classic way to vent out all that stagnant creativity bottled up inside you. Write a poem, write a story, heck, write a book! Or simply just journal your day. It’s amazing what can we learn about ourselves just by writing our thoughts down. Who knows, you may have the poetry skills of a young Shakespeare or the late great Tupac Shakur.

Contact Allie Friesel at [email protected].