As a child, there really is nothing better than summer break. Three months off from school, ice cream trucks driving down the street, late nights at the pool. It was great having those twelve weeks to regroup after a stressful year of third grade and intense handball games. We were able to recharge and spend some time doing what we wanted to for fun.
Sadly, as we get older, summer becomes less and less of a break. Nearly everyone I know is spending their summer taking grueling classes, interning at startups or working long hours. Whatever it is we’re doing, summer really isn’t a break anymore. When we’ve spent the past ten months working non-stop, we need time off. Risking burnout and mental breakdowns, it’s incredibly important to take time and breathe. So, even if we can’t take off a few well-deserved months, there are still some ways for us to feel rejuvenated and relaxed this summer.
Take advantage of your weekends
The weeks are long, getting up early to do homework and get to work. That’s why it’s so important to use at least part of your weekends to do something for you. Maybe that means chilling in bed all day. Watch some TV or read a book. Order takeout and don’t worry about cleaning anything. Or, maybe, it means going out for the day. Spend some time doing a classic summer adventure, go to the beach or cool off at the pool. Take a late night at a drive-in or visit the county fair. Either way, be intentional about using part of your weekends for yourself. You deserve that time, and your mental health will thank you.
Start a new book or show
One of the best ways to be sure you’re taking time to relax is by delving into something that really interests you. It might be that show you’ve seen all over TikTok or the book that’s been sitting on your nightstand for months. Starting something that keeps you entertained will encourage you to set aside time for it and actually follow through. It may seem like a waste of time, but that’s the point. When we’re using our brains all day, we deserve to let them shut off for a little bit every once in a while. Spend time doing something a little mindless and let yourself recharge.
Do something summery
There’s something about summer that’s so special. Making popsicles and going to the pool, going down a slip-and-slide and eating fresh fruit. Well, all of these favorite childhood activities can still be done! Think back to what made you happiest during your youthful summers, and spend time doing that. It may seem silly being an adult at a water park, but this is your chance to embrace it. You deserve to do something fun and fulfilling — you’ve earned it. So put on your flip-flops, grab some sunglasses and bring out your inner school kid. This is your chance to relish in your adolescent excitement.
The school year is long, and right now summer may feel even longer. Be intentional this summer about spending some time doing what’s good for you. Embrace what made you happiest from your childhood summers and take a well-deserved break!