With the summer Solstice soon upon us, it’s a perfect time to think about doing some new or forgotten activities to honor the great outdoors. Traditionally, this Solstice time is seen as the beginning of summer, so those of us in the Northern Hemisphere can look forward to lighter, longer evenings and warmer temperatures. Spending time in nature is a very concrete and constructive way to reduce stress, relax, decompress from work and take some time for yourself with your friends and loved ones.
Think about all those fun things you always loved to do as a kid (and maybe still do) or those outdoor activities that you always wanted to do. Now is the time to do them! Number 1 is definitely on my personal to do list this summer.
Here are 8 great ways to enjoy these special Summer Solstice days:
1. Have a bonfire on the beach. I recently moved near the ocean and I often drive by a state park that allows people to rent fire pits and have their own bonfire at night. It looks like so much fun to invite some friends and have a night time beach party!
2. Continuing on this theme, some places even let you stay all night. So find an excuse to sleep out under the stars one night. Go find a nearby campsite or make a makeshift bed in the backyard or on your deck. The cool air of nighttime and the starry night is an incredibly fun way to spend an evening in nature.
3. Take your exercise outside. If you have been a gym rat all year, try taking some exercise outdoors. Dust off that old bike and take a ride around town or invite a friend do to some yoga in the park. Have your personal trainer meet you and do your workout in the fresh air. Try even walking to dinner to get some incidental exercise. Meet a friend for a walk date instead of going straight to happy hour one night. The nights are cooler so it’s more comfortable than a midday walk.
4. Plan on getting up early one morning to watch the sunrise. There is nothing that beats the tranquil witnessing of the world waking up right before your eyes. This is a good time to set your intention for the whole day.
5. Do some planting in your garden or buy some fresh flowers for your home. The farmer’s markets are usually filled with lots of affordable choices this time of year. Try finding a flower with a fragrance that makes you smile or reminds you of a great memory or person.
6. Walk barefoot on the grass, in the sand or dirt path. Try doing a walking meditation in bare feet and see how the feel of the earth makes a difference in your entire body.
7. Take a swim. Look for an opportunity to dip yourself in a freshwater lake, a salty ocean or even at a public swimming pool. Swimming and summer time go together like hotdogs on an outdoor grill.
8. That reminds me of this last one. Have an outdoor picnic or barbeque. Some of my favorite childhood memories of summer include those sizzling hot days followed by the smell of food grilling at a big outdoor family barbeque at night.
Plenty of daylight time to spare and nowhere we have to be first thing in the morning is a real luxury we should all try to indulge in more of this summer!
Originally published at medium.com