Use these five ingredients to make every weekend a holiday. You deserve to be your happiest self.
Maximizing summer happiness is no easy task. It’s easy for days to get lost in puttering around the house doing miscellaneous tasks, wasting the shrinking summer daylight. By budgeting your time and getting a little more ambitious, you can take your average Friday-Sunday and turn it into an I-love-my-life wake up call. All it takes to be your happiest self are these five key ingredients.
1. Plan Ahead.
Make at least one plan for the weekend in advance. That way, you know that you won’t “accidentally” spend Saturday in your pajamas. Having one scheduled event helps create some structure for your weekend, so you can get your mundane tasks done efficiently and get on with your day.
2. Get Your Pale Behind Outdoors.
Studies show that spending time in nature directly improves your happiness and overall mental health. When the sun’s out, you have absolutely no excuse not to get your buns out (the door). Budget half of your day – yes, half – to be outdoors. Whether it’s a long walk that ends in a picnic, a shopping adventure at a local farmer’s market, or a simple but satisfying day at the beach, you’ll immediately notice yourself feeling better on Monday about how you spent your time. Don’t forget to load up on sunscreen and water (“OK, mom”).
3. It’s Never Too Late For a Bucket List.
Get your friends together and make an Epic Summer Bucket List. Write things down that require planning in advance (cross-country road trip, trip to a theme park, weekend camping trip) and some that can be impulsive (going to a brewery, trying a talked-about restaurant, or hitting up a free concert). Make an effort to cross off an item every week and your summer will be full of memories that are anything but vanilla.
4. Say Yes.
Someone asks you out on a date? Say yes. An acquaintance invites you to a barbeque? Go. Be social, get yourself out there, and meet new people. I have had enough with the “Oops I just watched twenty-four hours of Netflix” jokes. This is your life. Having meaningful relationships is central to your happiness and well being, so stop saying no in favor of petting your cat and surfing Pinterest. That’s what winter is for.
5. Get into something new.
Practice one fairly doable skill, like playing a quirky instrument (ukulele anyone?), grilling like a champion, or riding a skateboard without ass-planting. Spend your downtime practicing, and by the end of the summer you’ll not only be better at something, you’ll have a lot less wasted time. Bonus points if you find someone to teach you, you’ve now combined #4 and #5.