This week felt longer than most, and I can't be more excited to start the weekend after work today. To make it even better, it's Memorial Day weekend; the unofficial "kick-off" for summer. Most of us are taking road trips, seeing family, or spending a much-needed relaxation weekend. Whatever you're doing, I'm sure I'll have a suggestion of things to do for you in this post ;) Today, I'm sharing my Five Favorite Summer Activities (that you might not think of doing)!
drinks + dessert on the patio
After dinner, head to a restaurant with your girlfriends or S.O. for a drink and shared dessert! It's nice to hit restaurants after their busy hours because you can relax and enjoy time with the people you love instead of feeling rushed to get out the door, so the next table can be seated. If you're trying to save money (like me!), this one is also perfect for you. You'll save a lot of money (and calories), by eating at home then going for a shared dessert + drink than you would if you went to happy hour, had dinner, and then had dessert. Also, if you go past 9 or so , most restaurants have a "dessert deal" or happy hour starts again. Win. Win.
Be a Tourist in your own city
I'm pretty sure everyone says this, but it's such a great idea. We all get stuck in our same routines. We drive to work the same way. We eat at the same restaurants and often order the same things. We never really branch out and try new things because we are stressed or exhausted from everyday life. I'm guilty of it too. I have to push myself to cook new recipes, run different places, and go shopping at different stores. It's hard. But, that's also what makes it great. So, take an afternoon explore a place you've never been in your city, and then grab a bite to eat at a restaurant you've never been to. You never know, it might become one of your favorites!
Kayaking + Bike riding
If you live by any body of water, this is definitely a good idea for you! Most cities offer a place to rent kayaks or canoes for the day, so you can be out on the water. Not only is this good exercise, but I also believe it's great for the soul. Leave your cell-phone at home, and enjoy the peaceful silence of the water. My favorite times to go are at sunrise or sunset. There's something magical about watching the beautiful colors as you're kayaking through the water.
If you don't love being in the water, I equally enjoy renting bikes (or using your own) and explore new trails for an afternoon.
Picnics are one of my favorite things to do. This might be my number one suggestion from the list. Now that I've turned 21, I love them even more. What's better than packing up a great bottle of wine, cheeses, crackers, and fruits and spending the afternoon at the park or your favorite place? Not much if you ask me. After eating, you can take a nap or read a good book. Most people usually do this with friends or their S.O., but to be completely honest, I love going by myself. It's relaxing and reenergizing to have a little time to myself sometimes. I also love going to movies alone, so you might not want to take advice from me. ;)
Watching the sunrise
A lot of us make a point to watch sunsets during the summer. And, don't get me wrong, they are GORGEOUS. But, sunrises are, in my opinion, even more magical. So, wake up early one morning, brew your favorite coffee, grab your devotional/ a good book, and sit on your deck and watch the sunrise. Believe me, the experience of the day beginning and the the stillness of the morning might just turn you into a morning person.
I hope sharing my favorite summer activities gave you some inspiration to spend your summer soaking up the sun and making each day count. We only get so many warm summer days in SD, so make sure you're out living the life you love for each and every one of them.
Happy Friday, lovelies!
I cannot tell you how happy I am that its Friday. The semester is winding down, which means 1) I'm just ready to be done; 2) I have so much to do. Not the best combination, so I have to make sure I'm staying motivated and productive during my free time. I think it's so important for people to balance their responsibilities, while also taking time for themselves. Even when you're busy, it's essential to take care of yourself, so you can be happy + healthy. Today I'm sharing some of my favorite tips to how to get things done while staying happy + healthy!
Tip #1 Prioritize.
If you take anything away from this post, let it be prioritize. I know that we all feel like we have 200 things to do in a day and only time to finish 15 of them. I get it. It's hard with today's lifestyle not to feel overwhelmed with how much is going on. But, sometimes you just need to take a step back and say "What do I need to do today?" Just asking yourself that will help you prioritize what needs to be done that day. This will relieve stress and allow you to concentrate on the most important items. There are always things that can wait until tomorrow. Just don't put them off for more than 1 or 2 days or you'll be even more stressed about the things you let pile up.
Tip #2 Schedule.
I sit down on Sundays and plan out my week. From coffee dates, meetings, meal prep, homework, and blogging, my entire life goes into my planner (including scheduling free time). This is a necessity for me because graduate school itself doesn't leave a lot of free time, so when you mix that with two jobs and an internship, things get busy! I've learned that when I schedule out my time in advance, I realize that I can fit in 95% of what I have planned that week. Knowing that I'll have the time to get everything done, enjoy my workouts, and have free time is so relaxing for me and allows me to go throughout the week (almost) stress free. If things do come up and interfere with my schedule, I don't stress out either. I just try to rearrange things to best fit the time I lost because #lifehappens. And, sometimes we gotta roll with the punches.
Tip #3 Balance.
Balance is so important for everyone. You need to take time for yourself and have a mental break. People cannot work 100% of the time with 100% efficiency. It's just not possible. This has definitely been a learning experience for me in graduate school. I've always been the person to always say "yes," but after this semester, I've realized how important it is to take care of myself through relaxation. You need that time for yourself where you're not focusing on what you need to do for someone. Give yourself 30 minutes for yoga. Take a break from work and go for a walk. Balance is key to staying happy and motivated through the busy summer months. Those little breaks will help you come back to your work refreshed and ready to go.
Tip #4 Eat Well + Stay Hydrated.
I've always ate fairly healthy, but since I moved to Georgia I've made it a priority to eat fresh, clean ingredients and cook 90% of my meals myself. I cannot tell you how amazing I feel. I have so much energy, and I can get through 15-17 hour days without burning out. What you put in your body makes a difference, so try and work those veggies + fruits into your diet. Staying hydrated is also important. If you get tired in the middle of the day, it might be because you're not drinking enough water! I always suggest drinking 1/2 to 2/3 your body weight in water! I weigh 120 lbs, so I try to drink 60 to 80 oz of water a day. It may seem like a lot of water at first, but once you get used to drinking that much you wonder how you survived without it!
Tip #5 Get Those Eight Hours.
I'm a total grump when I don't get enough sleep, but I know when you're busy how hard it can be to get a full eight hours of sleep. I do my best, but usually I only end up with around 6-7 hours a night. Here are a couple tips that worked for me. Try setting a time when you'll try to be in bed every night. By setting this schedule, it'll force you to put the work away or skip that next episode of Netflix. If your schedule changes and that's difficult to do, try shutting down your electronics as soon as you're done with what needs to be done that night. This way you're not tempted to continue to work on things that don't need to be done right away. (aka Tip #1 Prioritize).
Hopefully these tips help you stay on track + motivated throughout the busy summer months and can become a habit.