I’ve always struggled with summers. As a teenager, I’d feel sick with nerves at the thought of returning to school in September with nothing to share with friends in regards to summer plans. And as an adult, that same pressure continues. I’m not sure if it’s exacerbated by us Brits forever waiting for Some Sun, or if it’s a globally inherited trait, but the summer ultimately still instills some sort of fear in me and an insistence to mAkE tHe MoSt of it!1
Now that I’m far older and wiser, I feel the fear far less. In fact, nowadays I’m a big embracer of all of the seasons and the small moments in the everyday. But if you’re feeling like you’d like to make the most of summer, here’s a fun little ‘it’s not too late!’ summer bucket list:
Take yourself on a beach date
Of course this isn’t accessible for everybody, but make use of summer and take yourself on a beach date! Be it a half day to grab food and read a book with salt air and rolling waves as the natural ambience, or a full day packed with adventure and a friend, there’s something really special about beach life. I’m yet to make it to the beach this year, but I definitely want to get a little salt air in my lungs soon.
Grab a BBQ and enjoy an alfresco evening meal
If you’re lucky enough to have a BBQ grill to hand, why not prepare an alfresco evening meal on it? Barbecues don’t always have to be a weekend party affair. Make homemade burger patties, grill corn (and slather them in a lime and chilli dressing), smoke aubergines and courgettes… And enjoy it all outdoors with an ice-cold drink!
Make your own ice lollies
I always forget about our ice lolly moulds until a heatwave comes around and then I can’t get enough of them! You can make them healthy or do what I do: add Ribena and lemonade and live my very best life. I’m also hoping to make vegan Mini Milks from frozen strawberry yoghurt and soy milk blend.
Move your at-home workout class outdoors
Although I personally much prefer working out at the gym and rarely take classes anymore (my beloved Barre studio has moved a 25-minute drive away!), I really enjoy an outdoors yoga or Pilates session with sunbeams on the skin. If you have a garden space, then this will feel much easier. Just grab your mat, water bottle and laptop and be on your way.
But when I lived in Hong Kong, I also really got into taking my mat out to the communal garden or a public space, popping my earphones in and going for it. It’s certainly one of those summer activities that you’ll look back at in months to come and think, ‘hey, that was a fun summer memory!’.
Take some annual leave to do (almost) nothing
Since the pandemic, I think we’ve all started to get better at using annual leave for things that aren’t a holiday. And once the busy summer has hit, it’s all too easy to let self-care slip and let a busy schedule get on top of you. Make use of your annual leave allowance to take a random Wednesday off as a mid-week weekend, and do almost nothing.
Pick a random city on a bus or train route and go!
My beloved Granny and I LOVED doing this years ago, while she was still alive. I’d take a day off work, head to hers and we’d head to the bus or train station, pick a stop and go. Once there, we’d find a nice spot for lunch and a wander, and always came away with stories to tell. It’s a great way to discover more spots in your local county, too!
Host a garden movie night or indoors ‘picky bits’ night with friends
It’s incredibly hard to plan in time with friends. In fact, it’s notoriously a bit of a military operation once you’re in your 30s! Pick up your phone right now and start whittling down dates, to host a garden movie night (candles, a bedsheet, a projector) or an indoors ‘picky bits’ (a.k.a. British tapas) night with your best friends.
Have you got any fun summer plans scheduled in for the remainder of summer?