10 Ways to Make the Most of Summer

10 Ways to Make the Most of Summer

Photo by Blubel on Unsplash

Every summer, I write something about summer being my favourite season of the year. That is how much I love it. I love the freedom of not having to check just what level of freezing it is before I get dressed for the day. I love leaving my jacket at home. I love seeing everyone on the street shed their ugly black puffy coats for colour and fashion again. I love how the city comes alive — it’s as if people come streaming outside after being released from that prison we call winter.

But the big problem with summer is that it goes by far, far too fast. You’ve barely set up the patio and tucked away your heavy sweaters when the temps start cooling again. Which is why it is imperative that we dive fully into the beauty of summer when it hits and not take it for granted.

10 ways to make the most of your summer starting now:

    1. Become a regular at the farmer’s markets. When I lived in Mountain View, California for a short time, there was a beautiful little market within a five-minute drive from our apartment. Because the weather is pretty temperate there all year long, the market was available every day, not just on weekends. I used to love heading there to pick up fresh tomatoes, Basil and Bocconcini cheese to eat for dinner that night. Those tomatoes were some of the best I’ve ever tasted and the scent of huge bouquets of fresh basil permeated the whole market. Talk about a sensory explosion. Make a weekly date with your market– support local farmers, eat as fresh as you can while you can and enjoy it as an experience, not just another shopping trip.

    2. Go barefoot. I wrote recently about my experience with an energy healer. She had recommended that to loosen my energy flow and to be more heart-centred that I should find ways to have more fun. But she also recommended that I find ways to connect to nature. The most simple prescription? Take off those shoes and socks and connect to the earth.I grew up on the east coast, and while I lived in the town, we were surrounded by nature. Grass, lakes and forests were within walking distance and of course, the ocean was only a few kilometres away. Those of us who live in cities especially are so disconnected from nature. Be purposeful about the time you spend in nature even if it's your backyard or local park. Lie under a tree with a book. Dip your toes into the lake. Dig your hands into the dirt. Smell the flowers. Yes, even hug a tree. Just get as close to nature as you possibly can.

    3. Wear all the jewelry. I admire women who are always well accessorized. Stacked bracelets, a chunky necklace, amazing dangling earrings. But in the winter months, I can’t be bothered. My bracelets get caught up in my heavy sweaters, the chunky necklace gets tangled with my scarf and those earrings fall out when I take off my wool toque. So, summer is the time to embrace accessorizing. Think of it as a time to get super creative and pull out all those pieces you’ve collected over the years that you love but never wear.

    4. Go for after-dinner walks. One of my favourite secret summer activities is to go for walks after nightfall. I love enjoying the softness of summer evenings — the harshness of the sun has faded, the air is still warm and there is a slight tickling breeze. But the other reason (which is why I called it “secret”) is that I love peeking into the homes of people who are too lazy (or just don’t care) to pull their shades down. Before you get all freaked out, I’m not peering into windows at close range (haha!) but just gazing from the safe distance of the sidewalk. I like to admire beautiful lighting, art or décor and imagine what life is like for the people or family living there.

    5. Wake up a little earlier. Why not take advantage of the extended daylight hours by rising a little earlier than usual? Whether you consider yourself a morning person (I am) or not, there is something glorious about rising when it seems that the rest of the world is asleep, especially when the day has already begun. You could use the time to get outside before the streets fill up, or to exercise or to read something inspiring in the sunshine. I try to wake up at around six and do some reading and writing before my daughter wakes up. I think I’ll aim to do it outside as much as possible.

    6. Put your jeans on your wardrobe back burner. I don’t know about you but I live in jeans all winter long. My uniform is essentially jeans, sweater and boots on repeat and frankly by mid-February I’m so sick of it. This summer I’m going to actively put my jeans on the backburner and choose dresses and skirts, twill and linen pants and fun patterned bottoms into heavy rotation. Consider summer your creative-dressing season.

    7. Make a park date with a friend or your partner. When my husband and I first started dating, we had our deepest, most soul-revealing conversations on a lowly park bench. There is something about being outside with someone you love without other people or your drink or a waiter as a distraction. We did usually had a coffee with us (and of course the occasional ice cream), but I look back on those early meetings in the park as magical (and romantic). Grab a friend or your partner and head to park to chat and just hang out.

    8. Eat all the salad. Summer is for salads. Eat your fresh-from-the-garden greens layered with veggies and nuts and seeds and herbs. Try all those delicious salad dressing recipes you haven’t gotten around to. We all want to feel light in summer and salads are the way to do it. And it is the one time of year that they just taste so damn good! I have my eye on this one and so many on this list.

    9. Create a lovely outdoor space. Whether you have a huge backyard, a tiny balcony or a windowsill, spend a bit of time cultivating a little outdoor space. Consider it to be an altar to summer. Roll out an outdoor rug, add colourful pillows to your outdoor furniture, light a few lanterns and string up some lights. And don’t forget to plant some flowers to admire all summer long.

    10. Book a staycation. The best time to enjoy your city is in the summer. After all, that’s when all the tourists visiting enjoy it too! Take some days off just to enjoy the beauty of your own city. Plan a day or a few days and visit some of the places you take for granted. Go out of your way for the best ice cream place, the new hipster coffee shop or that choice patio seat. Walk and walk and walk and experience your city from a visitor’s point of view. You’ll come away with a new appreciation for your own neck of the woods.

Until next time,