Before you know it, the heat’s going to turn cold and the leaves will turn red-and-yellow. As much as you’d rather stay in the moment and enjoy the heck out of summer, you also want to check as many items off your To-Do list as possible by the end of the season. In case you’re not sure what to do with your remaining summer days, here are some ideas to help you get started. Go Hiking or Camping Going outside is always a good idea in the summer — especially if it involves venturing into nature and away from civilization. By hiking or camping, for example, you learn things about yourself and Mother Nature you wouldn’t have known otherwise. Before you take a trip to the nearest mountain, however, be sure to keep these basic tips for beginner hikers handy.Go for a Swim Swimming is one of the best ways to beat the summer heat. Aside from keeping you in shape, bringing out your inner Tracy Caulkins can help you meet friends, beat stress and have fun all around. Just make sure you get a good instructor! Watch a Summer Blockbuster The best movies usually come out in the summer, so keep your eyes peeled for them. Stay tuned to the latest upcoming movies through sites like MovieInsider, or ask your film-loving friends for recommendations. You could even hit up a drive-in movie theater! As the old saying goes, “Sit back, relax and enjoy the show.” Hang Out with an Old Friend Is there someone you’ve been meaning to reach out to for quite some time? Summer’s always a good time to catch up with old friends. Find a place where the two — or three, or four, or more — of you can chill, chat and reminisce. Better yet, invite everyone over for a ladies’ night to remember! Be a Volunteer A wise man once said: “Sometimes, the best way to solve your own problems is to help someone else.” Even if you don’t consider yourself an altruistic person, volunteering can make you happier and healthier nonetheless. Look up nonprofit organizations that align with your interests, sign up for them and make a difference in a way that only you can. Visit a Place You’ve Never Seen Before Tired of the same old sights and sounds? Take a slow stroll around your neighborhood, and keep an eye out for hidden gems that even travel guides miss. Sniff out a hole-in-the-wall cafe that offers cheaper but better coffee than the popular chains. Plan a short trip to a country you’ve always wanted to visit. Take this summer as an opportunity to go off the beaten track. Make an Outdoor Craft You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy outdoor crafts. With DIY materials, creativity and patience, you can beautify your gardens in no time. Also, creating stuff from scratch can help you meditate, combat depression and even slow down aging. What’s not to like? Grow a Garden If you don’t already have a garden, why not grow one from scratch? Caring for things that grow from Mother Nature does wonders for your mental health, after all. Besides, it’s a great way to save up on groceries, since you can literally pluck out ingredients from your backyard.Do Some Spring Cleaning Okay, “summer cleaning” is more like it, but you get the drift. Now that you have a little more space in your schedule, it’s a great time to give your house some TLC. Spread your cleaning tasks over a few days, or get help from a friend, so you won’t feel overwhelmed.Do Nothing In a world that encourages you to do more and more, the idea of doing nothing is almost sacrilegious. Still, if you can spare even a few minutes each day, giving yourself time to recharge is more productive in the long run. Next time someone calls you out for doing nothing, say “Well, let’s see how much I can do in the next hour after ‘doing nothing’!”Over to YouMost of these can be done within a day, or even within a few minutes. And yet, you’ll get more from them than from three months of doing the same things everyone else does every summer season. So why not switch things up this year, and give these tips a shot?
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