As a teacher, I have summer breaks between the academic years. Although some people may believe that this makes my job so easy, really this is a major reward for an incredibly grueling job during the other 10 months.
Summers have, historically, been my least favorite season; I'm still not totally sold on the blistering heat and unneeded sweating. This was primarily because of severe boredom which led my brain to wander and over-think. For someone with my energy and expanse of imaginary capacity, this usually results in totally ineffective vacation time.
However, this summer I made a huge, huge change. I decided that from the very first day of summer — the day immediately after school ended — I would wake up just as early as I did for work. I would maintain a regular schedule day-to-day with a daily goal to study for a standardized test that I had signed up for which would take place at the end of the summer. I, also, gave myself daily writing and creative time, as well as, time to socialize with my friends and family.
1. Reconnecting with old friendsGiphy
Summer did have one redeeming quality -- the fact that my friends would be coming back home from their faraway temporary-homes. Seeing my best and oldest friends after months of separation is one of the best feelings I could experience.
Not only do I get the benefit of a break so that everyone will come home, but at least the length mean I can spend more time with my loved ones.
2. Casual day tripsGiphy
This summer I have been taking short, one-day drives with my family and friends. Instead of planning out and booking long trips, these make it so I can just leave my town for the day and see new scenery (even if this usually means that I go two towns over to study in their library).
3. Waking up early in the morningGiphy
This seems absolutely blasphemous considering that summer is a break from the trials and tribulations of the working year. However, this was the best choice I ever made. Waking up early means that I get more hours of daylight and there's nothing fresher than a chirpy, summer morning.
4. Having a daily routineGiphy
...and along with waking up early, having a relatively-set daily routine has been incredibly helpful. The usual summer boredom and over-thinking is usually born from a lack of anything to do AND a lack of a clue of what I could do. Having addressed both concerns in one solution, my summer has been productive and mentally-healthy.
5. Trying something brand newGiphy
I am trying out swing dancing! Taking up a new activity (that isn't just another course prep class) has been refreshing.
6. Taking time for myselfGiphy
I have been taking myself out more and more this summer. This seems counter-productive with the whole 'thinking to myself' issue. However, this is the best way for me to be engaged with myself in a productive environment like watching a movie or going to lunch and enjoying myself.
7. Getting myself heavily invested in Love IslandGiphy
But, what has centered me the most has been my introduction to "Love Island..."
...just kidding. This show is definitely enlightening in some ways, I guess. The biggest thing with this show is that I found myself having a good time and laughing along with a genuinely comedic show and with some of the biggest personalities I've ever seen.
Because of these change, and some other personal #summergoals, I am confident that I am going this summer and declare it a resounding success. If you usually end your summers feeling that they lack something for all the hype they get throughout the year, I suggest you take the next couple of days to consider adopting a schedule for the rest of it. Routine and goal-setting has made a major difference in my summer mindset and I hope it will for you, as well.