Do you ever feel that summer is going to quickly? Do you ever worry that Rosh Hashanah will arrive before you have really truly felt like you had time for summer?
If so, here are some tips to make the most of summer, even if you have limited time:
First make a list of your favorite quintessential summer activities. Add some highlight activities, for example things you might only do once a summer, such as taking a backpack trip, climbing a 14er or going to an outdoor concert. Write others on your list that are foundational activities, things that sing the essence of summer to you and that you can do easily like eat corn on the cob, soak your feet in an icy stream or read a novel.
(See more ideas below. )
Now, schedule time on your calendar for some of the activities you listed. Perhaps you only have time for one this summer. One is better than none! But maybe this is the summer when each Shabbat you make time for one favorite summer activity. Imagine how special Shabbat might become to you if it was linked to your favorite summer activities. Be realistic but get those activities scheduled!
3. Get up early or stay out late.
The long days of summer are a here. There is a unique world on the trails and neighborhoods early in the morning and late at night. Don’t miss out on the outlier times of day, when the sky boasts dramatic colors and the roads and trails are quiet. Make sure, at least once this summer, to go for an early morning or evening bike ride, hike, dog-walk, run, paddle, walk through your neighborhood etc.
4. Summer Foods.
Even if your life is too busy for vacation this summer or you have an injury preventing you from hiking, everyone eats. It’s easy to fall into a rut and eat the same food year-round. Make sure you are infusing your diet with the delectable summer treats like peaches, watermelon, tomatoes and fresh greens.
When someone asks how your summer is going, avoid comments such as, “Busy!” or, “Too fast!” Remember, life is not a contest in which the busiest person wins, especially in the summer.
Comments like these reinforce negative feelings of summer being fleeting. Rather, try out answers that focus on the positive parts of your summer, even if you are not doing anything big and exciting. When someone asks how your summer is going try, “Great! I love eating my breakfast on the deck; its such a calm way to start my day.” Or “Great, I stopped at a kid’s lemonade stand yesterday.” Or, “The clouds this summer have been so incredible. I`m really enjoying watching them when I drive home from work.”
You may also want to focus on one thing you have done or will do such as, “What a great summer. I’m looking forward to some hikes I have planned.”
The wildflowers in Colorado are extraordinary this year because of all the rain. Down in Crested Butte the locals report seeing flowers that have not blossomed in years. But even here in Boulder, the flowers are extraordinary. Walk along the Mesa Trail right now and you will be treated to expansive fields filled with purple Wild Bergamot.
7. Find some water.
The water has done wonders for the wildflowers; imagine what it will do for you! Get in the water, or on the water, or next to the water. Hike by waterfalls, swim in a lake, wade in a river, boat on a reservoir, boogie board in the ocean. Ah water.
8. Eat outside.
Grill. Have friends over for a beer. Sit on your stoop and eat ice cream. Sometimes just a small shift in your routine such as where you cook or eat meals can make a lasting impact on how you feel about your summer experience.
9. Learn for next year.
Consider booking next year’s vacation now, so you have more choice about when to take off. Some people find that if they vacation early in the summer, the relaxation effects their entire summer.
10. Celebrate Shabbat with Outdoors
The Adventure Rabbi community will be on Flagstaff this August 28, 2015 for a relaxing and joyous Shabbat service 6:00 – 7:00 pm followed by a picnic.
Our summer Shabbat hikes have also been delightful this summer and there is one Sat Aug 8 Shabbat Hike for families w/ kids. Visit www.AdventureRabbi.org for details.
Nothing says summer like Shabbat outdoors, surrounded by old friends and potential new ones, while looking out at the great views over Boulder, Colorado.
Here is a checklist of great summer activities to get you started:
- Go on a longer than usual hike/ bike/ run/ swim
- Attend an outdoor concert
- Have a picnic
- Draw on the sidewalk with chalk
- Bake something with peaches
- Have friends over for dinner
- Spit watermelon seeds
- Run through a sprinkler
- Eat an ice cream cone
- Pick (i.e. harvest) something from a garden or farm
- Read a novel
- Sit under a tree and read a book
- Do nothing
- Celebrate Shabbat
I hope these tips help you soak in summer! Let me know how it goes or what ideas you have.