It’s finally summer: the season of supposed relaxation and ample time to get things done that you didn’t quite have time for in the school year. However, summer is also the time when mornings effortlessly breeze their way into evenings, and days promised to be spent in productivity melt into the warm laziness and lack of obligation that come with the summer sun.

Days of relaxation are definitely necessary from time to time, but if you’re looking for a way to stave off the elusiveness of summer months and days off of work, this is for you!

1. Get moving.

Whether you walk your dog, go for a run or water the plants, if you get your body moving first thing in the morning, your mind will often follow. From my experience, walking your dog (or cat, lizard, imaginary friend, whatever) can be one of the most therapeutic, uplifting activities out there.

2. Make a to-do list.

Just the action of naming and prioritizing the things you want to accomplish can not only motivate you, but it can also help you recognize how much time you actually have to get things done, and reasonably plan accordingly.

You may not be able to read an entire book by 7 p.m. when you also have to go grocery shopping, clean your room and go to Lake Calhoun with your buds. However, setting a timed agenda for the day can reveal a couple hidden free hours that you can spend chipping away at that 600-page novel you plan on finishing this summer.

And honestly, making a list just makes you feel like you have your life together even when you don’t. See, I’m making a list right now and I feel great!

3. Read the news.

You don’t need to spend hours sifting through the complexity of every issue that’s going on in our world, but simply checking what’s on the front page can be enough to expand your consciousness beyond your small town or the worries that are bound by self-interest.

However, don’t let melancholy dominate your mood if some of the stories aren’t exactly the cheeriest of tales. Yes, there is heartbreak, tragedy and hate that takes action every day, and that is something to be felt deeply and taken seriously. But what’s just as important to remember is that there is so much good in this world, and so many efforts driven by hope, and every day you’ve been given is an opportunity to bring your own goodness into the world.

4. Write down what you’re thankful for.

Okay, okay, I know this sounds dorky… but this can truly go a long way, I promise! Being grateful has such a powerful effect on your attitude, and if you simply give thanks for the possibility within any given day and your ability to reach your potential, you are much more likely to seize the opportunities that are presented to you.

Alright, hopefully at this point you’re geared up enough to do something productive or at the very least have a somewhat enjoyable summer day! Now get out of bed and go make a list or somethin’!