By ALLIE MYSZKA

When we were kids, summer was the ultimate vacation. It didn’t matter if you weren’t actually traveling anywhere—you didn’t have to go to school! Your days were suddenly open, and for the most part, you could spend them having fun.

As adults, we don’t have that same summer freedom. The work grind continues straight through the hottest days of the year, and we don’t get the luxury of running through the sprinklers or taking a bike ride to a friend’s house whenever we please. That doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy the slower pace of summer! Even as you go about summer obligations and events for yourself and your family, here are a few ways to get back in touch with that nostalgic summertime feeling.

  1. Spend some time in nature.

You may be in an office all day, but summer’s longer days leave you plenty of time to get outside and enjoy some fresh air in the evenings. Plan a family hike in Percy Warner Park on a weeknight, or keep it simple with homemade lemonade on the back deck while you listen to the crickets and look for fireflies with your friends or spouse. Nature is on full display during the summer, so take a few moments to pause and truly enjoy it.

  1. Unplug.

In our society, it’s difficult to avoid screen time altogether. The constant onslaught of emails and notifications makes us feel like we’re running on a hamster wheel! Choose to step off the wheel—even if only for an hour each day—and leave your phone behind. Real life goes on all around you, so take time away from your electronics, give your brain some breathing room, and focus on being truly present exactly where you are.

  1. Make something from scratch.

Instant gratification can be addictive, especially when we have the world at our fingertips. Even so, there’s much to be said for patience and following a methodical process. Whether it’s a simple sewing project or a homemade ice cream recipe (check out this article for ideas), make something amazing from start to finish. Enjoy the process, and relish in the pride of the finished product when you’re done.

  1. Read a book.

Whether you’re a bookworm or not, reading a book is a wonderful way to slow yourself down. Unlike watching a television show or movie, reading truly engages your brain. Pick up a novel or a nonfiction book on a topic of interest to you and find stillness with a storyline.

  1. Break your routine.

Part of summer’s appeal for school-aged kids is, of course, the break in routine. Maybe you can’t ditch your day job for two months, but chances are good you can change things up just a little! Take a long weekend to try something completely new close to home, or head out on a day-long or overnight trip in a city close to Nashville (find some ideas in this article). Sometimes, breaking up the monotony and repetitive cycle of our “normal” days can be just the thing to get us out of a rat-race rut.

What are your favorite ways to slow down and enjoy the summer season?

 

Allie was born and raised in Georgia, and moved to Nashville after graduating from the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!). She’s a freelance writer, Pilates instructor, old soul, and chronic DIY-er. Connect with Allie at alliemyszka.com.