School is out for almost everyone by this time. For some, this means three full months of unlimited freedom and no curfew. For others, this means finally getting a mental break from school and being able to focus on themselves for once. And then there are those people who want to do it all. The barbecues, the pool parties, the late city nights, along with having the perfect summer body of course.
For those of you who tell yourselves this summer is going to be different and you are actually going to be healthy and productive- listen up. Follow these 5 simple tips in order to feel rejuvenated and be the best versions of yourselves. I can guarantee you will not be disappointed with the results.
1. Make a set routine that you can mostly stick by.
As a teenager, I completely understand the urge to be impulsive or spontaneous by making last-minute trips to the beach or getting a tempting text from a friend to do something crazy and adventurous. As much as I love the spontaneity, I make sure to stick to my routine as best as I can. In order to do so, I discovered that waking up early actually does wonders. I find myself with so much more time during the day to make plans with friends only after an early morning walk followed by breakfast and then a workout session. By sticking to this simple morning routine, I am able to organize my time so much better instead of cramming in a late night workout and tiring myself out. I also feel so much more energized by starting my day off with exercise and a big, healthy breakfast.
2. Try to make home-cooked meals as much as possible.
I have recently been going through junk food withdrawals. Being a college student who lived off of uber eats for an entire year, coming back home for the summer has made me realize that I need to stop putting junk into my body or all this exercise will have been for nothing. These days, I feel like hanging out with friends always includes eating out or getting ice cream. I mean, that's what I would do myself every summer. But this summer, I have been limiting myself to at least one treat per week (or I'd actually go crazy) and making most of my meals at home. Looking up recipes on Youtube, buying the ingredients, and then making the meal. It's much cheaper and healthier than the ten dollar sandwich you're ordering from Panera.
3. Start reading again. Like an actual book from the library.
I couldn't remember the last time I went out of my way to check out a book from my local library and just read a book for fun. With school, English classes always required buying books to read for class and then writing a book report on it. It almost ruined the concept of leisure reading for most of us. But, I remembered how much I would love reading books as a child and how productive it is instead of binge-watching TV shows on Netflix. Reading a book that I cannot put down helps me stay focused as well, especially considering the fact that I have the attention span of a goldfish.
4. Find a hobby that you have always wanted to try but never got around to doing so.
Whether it is playing the same musical instrument you used to play in middle school orchestra, learning how to play the guitar for the first time in your life, or painting on a canvas and calling it abstract art, everyone has a hobby that they are good at, even if they don't know it yet. Summer gives you the time to explore various skills and interests that you have been meaning to try but never had the time or motivation to. You never know, you might even be the next Picasso or the 21st century Beethoven!
5. Keep yourself busy.
As they used to say back in the day, "An empty mind is the devil's workshop". I used to always find myself getting lost in my own thoughts, unable to snap myself back into reality. I would waste time overthinking about the most trivial matters which would just take up my time and energy. But when I keep myself busy by either working at a job or even writing, I notice that I am more engaged in the present instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. I thrive on living in the moment and have a newfound appreciation for my surroundings.