It’s hard to believe tomorrow is July 1. Here is the Midwest we had a long winter that blended into an even longer spring. I was really late getting my plants and flowers in this year and never really got around to spring cleaning. No worries, I’ll get to the major stuff early in the fall. I plan to enjoy summer because it looks like it’s not going to last very long.
Not everything made it onto my spring todo list, but I have begun and plan to make the following five activities part of my summer plans.
1. Thoroughly clean my closets and garage. I would by no means consider myself a clutter bug, but I certainly have a few items that belong in the growing ‘donate’ pile in my garage. Besides giving one a sense of clarity and Zen, clearing and organizing spaces provide opportunities to donate to worthy causes, make extra cash on Ebay or have a garage sale. Who needs clutter? If your extra ‘stuff’ is a little out of control and weighing you down, set realistic goals like working on one closet per week or enlist family and friends to help. If there are things you absolutely cannot let go of, don’t, just move on to the next. The key is to keep moving. If there is good stuff to give away, keep in mind that there are plenty of people out there who really would be happy to wear that suit you haven’t worn in two-years on an interview next week.
2. Eat better. One of the great things about summer is the availability of a HUGE variety of fresh produce, baked goods and much more. Farmers Markets are everywhere and variety and prices are wonderful. Mix it up, make it a special outing for the whole family. I like to visit different markets around the city and check out the different varieties available. Strive for colorful fruits and veggies while supporting local growers. You’ll probably run into your neighbors at the market too!
3. Get moving. Make exercise a priority, even if it’s just a walk around the block, get going. More hours of daylight and nicer weather gives everyone an opportunity to get out and exercise, in many cases for free! I usually exercise indoors, but during the warmer months I like to get outside for several miles each week. You might start a walking group on Saturday mornings, take a yoga class, take a spin class or a run with the dog. Work to a capacity that’s safe for you and get the whole family involved. Make it fun, stay hydrated and don’t forget sun protection.
4. Make time for a hobby. I know we’re all busy but having a creative outlet can be food for the soul. Science has proven that creativity produces positive emotional responses. Over the years, I’ve heard so many people say “I’m not very creative.” This still surprises me because I’ve never met a person who does not have creative talent of some variety. The word creativity for many years has been tied to the worlds of art and publishing, but creativity can be found in just about everything. I began an art class with a small group earlier this year and found that I enjoy sketching but I also enjoy organizing and writing. Whether it be gardening, scrap booking, playing sports, coaching sports, baking or assembling fun facts, express yourself!
5. Read a great book. One can get the impression that eReaders have made books extinct! Not so fast. Call me old school, but like Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City, I still love libraries and I especially still love holding and reading an actual book. Oh yes, iPads, electronic tablets, eReaders and other forms of media have made carrying a story anywhere a breeze, and that is fabulous! Whatever your preference, pick up a good book. My favorites these days are of the spiritual variety but there is no shortage of great novels, autobiographies and the like available online and in stores. Let’s keep writers writing and readers reading. Who knows, you might be inspired to write your own novel this summer!
Have a great summer!