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10 Surefire Ways to Have a Joyous Summer

Summertime is made for adventures.

Every kid looks forward anxiously to summer vacation: freedom, the outdoors & all the fun you can cram in from morning to night.

With the world finally opening up again, the push to get out and do all-the-things is strong for adults, too. Vacations and big plans are a summer staple, and what every kid (and kid-at-heart) looks forward to all year long.

While adventures and revisiting tried-and-true summer traditions can be the best things ever, it’s great to realize that magical summer moments don’t have to come with big plans.

It’s really all about how we view our summer experiences and how much intention we give to them that makes for special memories.

So whether your summer plans are large or small or somewhere in-between, here are ten ways to ensure a joyous summer…no matter where you are!

1. Set your summer intention.

While this may sound like the opposite of summer fun, sometimes the biggest challenge to truly enjoying summertime (or anything, really) can be our own unmet expectations.

Make sure you spend a few minutes and think about what is realistic for you and your people. It’s great to have big, elaborate summer plans to look forward to. And if that’s in the cards for you this year, then fantastic!

But if it isn’t, that’s okay, too.  The joy of summer isn’t just in some far-off tropical paradise! Summer joy is all around you. Make up your mind to create memorable experiences right where you are, whatever your situation permits.

2. Relish the small pleasures.

Wherever you are spending your summer, there are a thousand small pleasures that are unique to summertime alone. Give them the spotlight.

Eating outdoors.  Building sandcastles. A trashy summer beach read. Lemonade stands. Blowing bubbles. Popsicles and ice cream cones.

And unique to this summer in particular, cherish the ability to be with friends and family again.

3. Find some water.

The ocean can be one of the most restorative places on the planet. Make a day trip or weekend away and walk next to the water, try a paddleboard or simply float your cares away.

And even if the beach isn’t on the agenda, there are tons of other fun ways to make a splash this summer!

Lounge by a local pool or spend the day at a nearby lake or tubing down a river. Run through some sprinklers or have a water ballon fight.  Visit a water park or just a local water feature.


4. Try something new.

Something new can be big.  Like going camping for the first time or taking a road trip with friends.

But it can also be small. Have you ever flown a kite? Or made s’mores?

Or try mastering a new grilling recipe or a summer cocktail. Make a plan to step a little out of your comfort zone.

5. Engage all five senses.

Summer is for juicy watermelons, ice cold cocktails and licking sweet ice cream cones.

Spend time soaking up the sunshine, feeling the breeze on your face and getting your hair wet when you swim.

Try making a summer playlist or go find some live music to dance to. Or just listen to the waves crash on the shore.

Watch the sun set, the butterflies dance or some elaborate fireworks.

Enjoy the smell of the grill or the firepit, suntan oil and cut grass.

6. Go outside.

Now is the time to stargaze, forest bathe, picnic, or camp-out (even in the backyard).

Grab a portable hammock and enjoy the local park or set up an outdoor movie screen and invite the neighbors over.

If the heat gets too much, find a shady place to watch the world go by.

7. Support local businesses.

It’s been a hard year for small business. Make sure to support your favorites this summer.

And it’s a great time to give some new businesses a try! Visit a new restaurant and dine al fresco, take a local tour of an area you haven’t explored, or visit a local museum or shop you’ve never been to.

8. Give back.

Look around for ways you can give back to your community this summer. Could you volunteer for a food pantry? To clean-up a beach or park? To tutor a child?

Or try doing some simple acts of kindness in your neighborhood: chalking positive messages on the sidewalk, offering to get a neighbor’s mail if they are going to be out of town, or leaving some cold water for the delivery folks.

Giving back benefits your community and also ensures a summer experience that you can feel good about.

9. Take on a project.

Does your home interior need a summer refresh? Or is there a larger home improvement project you’ve been wanting to tackle? Now’s a great time to get it done!

Summer is also a great time to get a jump start on making those handmade Christmas gifts or caught up on photo albums.

10. Slow down.

Last but not least, in order to ensure a joy-filled summer, s…l…o…w  d…o…w…n.

All the things that you may have missed from this last year don’t have to be crammed into the few months between Memorial Day and Labor Day. (Wink.)

Delight in each day as it comes. Look for small ways to celebrate the season. Be thankful for all the experiences that are open and available again at last.

Summer is a magical time.

Wake up each day and look for summer’s joy all around you, wherever you are and whatever your plans may be.  Take it all in and don’t waste a minute.

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