The summertime countdown is on — and although I don’t generally adopt a scarcity mindset when it comes to life’s pleasures, we all know summer only lasts so long here in Canada, so we’ve got to make the most of it!
These days I’ve been been waking up earlier than usual, which can only be credited to pregnancy and my unfailing need to pee sometime between 6:00-7:30 AM. After years of groaning at the prospect of wrenching myself out of bed anytime before noon, I’m realizing that mornings are my favourite time of day! I’m currently reading Laura Vanderkam’s What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, and was particularly intrigued about how these “successful” individuals approach the use of their leisure time. They did a little planning ahead in order to schedule bucket-list activities into their week, and especially their weekends.
With this is mind, I’m sharing my 5 Tips for Your Best Summer, so you can make the most of your precious leisure time while the days are long and the sun is shining!
1. Turn Something Special into a Routine
What summer activity do you absolutely love? Is it going to the cottage? Camping? Cycling or swimming? For me, a day at the beach is a perfectly romantic and idealistic way to while away the summer hours. Beach days feel special — I don my bikini (yes, even with my 32-week baby belly), pack fresh fruit, and carefully select some reading material.
When I go to the beach to listen to seagulls and happy families playing in the sand, I feel like I’m getting the most out of my summer. So why don’t we make our activities of choice our summer routine — our ritual even? Work out the logistics of planning or scheduling the activity you love into your week, and make it happen on repeat!
2. Learn Something Unrelated to your Career
Most of us have a day job and it can be easy to deplete your creative energies into your 9-5, leaving nothing for your hobbies and other interests. I’m a designer by day; I go to a studio and work alongside other creatives to imagine the products of tomorrow. It’s exciting stuff, but I need to learn things unrelated to my career in order to enjoy what I do everyday.
In honour of my first pregnancy, I decided to expand on my Yoga Teacher Training with a course in Prenatal. Not only has it been awesome for my own practice, but learning something new brought me renewed energy and a boost of satisfaction. Whether you’ve always wanted to play the piano, or be able to name all the constellations, you’ll never regret investing in your curiosities.
3. Have a Bucket List (and get to it early)
No one wants to end there summer feeling like they missed out on the things they really wanted to do/experience. If you haven’t already, now is the time to write your bucket list specifically for the summer months. Writing everything down is key to making (at least some) of the list a reality! Your list may consist of activities big and small; some will require days of commitment (in the case of vacations) and others may only take a few hours, such as a picnic in the park, or a bike ride to a new part of town.
Besides actually writing your bucket list in a place where you will face it daily, I recommend knocking off one or two activities ASAP. This will get the ball rolling so you’ll feel motivated to conquer your list!
4. See More of Canada
I love Canada, and yet it’s not always the first place I think of when I’m dreaming up my next vacay. This is a seriously HUGE country, people — and there is so much to see! Last year the hubs and I planned a 10-day trip with our besties to Newfound. We drank flights of local Quidi Vidi beer, picked wild blueberries at the foot of the infamous Fogo Island Inn, and gathered ocean treasures along the East Coast Trail.
This is just one example of what Canada has to offer. From trips to either coast, to weekend jaunts through our many wine and maple regions, there’s always something yet to be explored right here at home — and the summer is a grand time to do it!
5. Find out What your City has to Offer
No matter where you live, it’s likely that summer brings out the best in your city! Playing the tourist in your hometown is a great way to experience routine stomping ground with fresh eyes. Toronto, for one, is bursting with festivals, markets, and concerts between the months of June – August.
Look into local events according to your interests. Maybe even volunteer (which usually comes with the added bonus of free admission). This summer I’m planning to check out the Toronto Flower Market next July 9th, the Leslieville Flea next July 19th, and the Lolë White Tour July 28th. What fun!