Ideas for Beating Summertime Boredom

By Heather Simmons on July 1, 2019

It’s finally summer!

You’ve probably been eagerly anticipating the break for months. Still, after a few days of naps, Netflix, and no deadlines to worry about, maybe you’re ready for something new. Although the freedom of summer can be great, it can also be a let-down if you’re used to having a full schedule.

If your summertime isn’t monopolized by vacations and work, here are some ideas you might try:

via Unsplash

Volunteer

What causes do you care about? There are probably ways in which you can help.

Call your local library, animal shelter, or favorite nonprofit organization to see if they need some extra hands over the summer. They may need someone to answer phones, address envelopes, or play with puppies. Volunteering has several advantages. You have something new to fill your time, you get to help others, and you may even meet some interesting new people.

Learn a New Skill or Hobby

Just because you’re not enrolled in classes doesn’t mean you can’t learn something new. Summer can be a great time to gain a skill or get into a hobby you’ve always wanted to explore. Best of all, without having to consider grades or deadlines, you can learn at your own pace.

Why not use some of your free time to learn a language? Learning a new language not only keeps those neurons firing during the summer but also allows you to communicate with more people across the world. Free apps like Duolingo allow you to practice speaking, listening to, and typing in a new language. They offer many language courses, including Spanish, Japanese, and even Klingon.

You could also pick up an instrument. Ask your friends, look in local thrift stores, or check online posts for inexpensive used guitars, keyboards, or other instruments. You can usually find free or inexpensive music books and accessories using these methods, as well. You could take formal lessons, ask a friend to show you some basics, or experiment with teaching yourself. You can also look up tutorials for playing specific pieces on Youtube.

You can also find video tutorials for drawing, painting, and other crafts or DIY projects. Get as creative as you want! As long as you’re having a good time, it doesn’t matter if what you create doesn’t look great. However, you might surprise yourself and discover a hidden talent. Many community centers and galleries offer art classes, as well.

Summer can also be the perfect time to try yoga or to add a new step to your workout routine. Take a look at the fitness classes offered at your local gym, or sign up for a run or charity walk.

Go on Adventures

If you have sufficient funds and freedom, summer can be the perfect time to travel somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. However, even if you don’t have a vacation planned, you can still go on adventures. With friends, or on your own, plan small trips to interesting places. Set aside a day to go visit a National Park, zoo, or aquarium, for example. Look for scenic places to camp or hike. Aside from supplies, these trips can be fairly inexpensive.

You could also stay local and treat yourself to a meal at a restaurant you’ve never tried, or to a fancy beverage at a café. If you’re feeling especially adventurous, why not hop in the car—or on a bus—for a spontaneous trip, stopping at whatever looks interesting?

Embrace Unlikely Friendships

If your friends live far away or are busy working or vacationing this summer, spend time meeting and bonding with other people you meet through church, volunteering, or other common interests. Often, we think that the best friends we can make are the people most similar to us, but you can gain valuable insights from people who are older, younger, or interested in different things. Make an effort to spend time with a neighbor you don’t know too well. Take a sibling or cousin out for coffee and conversation. Reach out to acquaintances from the gym. Breaking out of your comfort zone might just lead to a lifelong friendship.

Get Introspective

Getting to know yourself is important, as well. The unstructured summer days offer a great opportunity to pick up a habit like journaling. Writing not only allows you to reflect or vent about what’s on your mind, but also acts as a time capsule that you can look at later and see how you’ve grown or changed over time.

Give some thought to your goals—both professional and personal. Make a list of things you’d like to do, accomplish, or learn in five years (or ten, or twenty). Can you start making small changes now that bring you closer to your goals?

Giving yourself a “retreat” can be a valuable and rejuvenating way to spend a long summer day. Whether you decide to go camp in the wilderness or stay home, turn off your notifications, block out distractions, and spend a solitary day napping, reflecting, praying, meditating, or reading. Fill the day only with activities that are relaxing or refreshing.

Sometimes, humans need recharging just like electronics, and the rest gained from a retreat will doubtless prepare you for any adventure that this summer has in store.

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