Summer’s a good time to…

Wimbledon. Festivals. Downpours. Must be summer.

Note: Summer’s also a good time to update this post 🙂 so I’ve added some new and updated links. When the days are long and it’s still light when we leave work, we can view life a little differently. There may be just as much work to do, depending on what you’re doing and where, but the mood is usually different. Don’t let the moment slip away.

Here are 20 suggestions to get you thinking and, hopefully, doing something different this summer, as it’s a good time to:

  1. Catch up with loved ones before summer’s out, instead of writing yet another apologetic Christmas card.
  2. Deal with your smartphone addiction. Too many of us let the thing distract us and then we drift off track. For some, there’s a linked addiction, such as gambling. As a first step I recommend Help Guide’s signs and symptoms checker, followed by self-help tips. Their common-sense, step-by-step approach acknowledges that we need to Think of it more like going on a diet. Just as you still need to eat, you probably still need to use your phone for work, school, or to stay in touch with friends.”
  3. Go somewhere different. If you and yours are in the habit of going to the same café/cinema/restaurant/shops/bar, try somewhere different one evening.
  4. Read that book. You know, the one you downloaded / were given / bought at a station months ago.
  5. Exercise more. Get off the train/bus a stop earlier and walk the final stage of your journey. Take an evening stroll.
  6. Make a new habit. I stand corrected on the ’21 days’ point in the earlier version of this post. How quickly we can hardwire a new good habit varies according to the extent we’re trying to change. Meaning some habits could be installed in 21 days – and some will take longer, according to UCL’s Jeremy Dean. But if what you want to change is walking more,  or getting out of your office at lunch time, now would be a great time to start.
  7. Go to the beach. Whether it’s a jolly, crowded shrine to games and candyfloss or a rugged wild retreat, try one you’ve not been to before.
  8. Rekindle a hobby. If you want to get some help, there are heaps of summer schools where you can get back in touch with a childhood passion such as painting, craft or drama. Check out your local galleries and museums for short summer courses. And yes, if you really want to regress with LEGO, or playing on diggers you can do that too.
  9. Start a kitchen table business. If you’re spending less time fiddling with your phone, the idea that’s been in the back of your mind just might make it to the table.
  10. See something ancient. Stonehenge is an obvious one, or try a Roman ruin, or the Jurassic coast.
  11. Have a clear-out. Start with your wardrobe – donate what you’ve not worn for a year (or more).
  12. Have a picnic. A simple sandwich or a lavish outdoor banquet. Or something in-between.
  13. At work, have walking meetings, or head to a park for a meeting.
  14. Eat simple, fresh food. It’ll help offset all that ice cream.
  15. Take a boat – get on the water to change the view.
  16. Take to the hills. For me, it has to be the Surrey Hills. But any high point can be a great place to revisit and see the seasons change.
  17. Learn a new skill or language.
  18. See something new, outdoors. A new exhibition, play, outdoor screening or sport. Check out 101 things to do outdoors in London.
  19. Combine any of the above with seeing people you haven’t seen in ages.
  20. Celebrate!

Here’s a list of things to do in London in July and August, and a similar list for Manchester – enjoy!

You may find this post useful:‘Time for a mid-year review?’

Dawn is the author of ‘The Feedback Book’ and ‘How to be Zoomly at work’.

Image by Katya_Bra / Deposit Photos

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