Kendall here today! As I write this post, I’m racing the setting sun on my patio — and soaking up every last drop of this summer evening. With the “official” last day of summer being next week, it seems like everyone has already turned their attention to fall. While I love the fall season as much as the next person, I’m not ready to wish away summer just yet.
If 2020 has taught me anything (and let’s face it, it has taught us more than we could have imagined, and we still have a few more months to go) ???? it’s to appreciate every day that comes, to be present, and to let go of expectations.
At the beginning of the summer, we asked you all via Instagram how you were pivoting summer travel, which activities you’re were looking forward to, and how you planned on filling your summer days. There was an overarching theme from your responses — to adopt a more European/slower lifestyle full of al fresco dining, more time spent with loved ones, and taking the time to focus on yourselves, rest, and explore nature You planned on spending your time with long, drawn-out meals, leisurely strolls, soaking in baths, reading all afternoon, and rediscovering neglected hobbies.
On the cusp of a season that is traditionally very busy — back to school, work ramps up, activities and schedules become more regimented, it’s natural to have some anxiety and hesitations about what fall 2020 will bring. In anticipation of this change of pace, I’m harnessing this quote from poet Christian Bosse “you can’t pour out what you haven’t poured in.”
6 Ways to Appreciate the Last Days of Summer
If you feel the summer season has passed by too quickly, that you haven’t taken advantage of all the daylight and leisurely days, it’s not too late to fill up your cup to take with you into fall. Here are 6 ways to make the most of the last days of summer:
Throw out the bucket list
While I’m all for making lists and having a seasonal bucket list is a great way to plan out your months ahead at the start of a season, I think Summer 2020 has taught us to let go of all expectations and plans. Instead of checking things off a list and potentially feeling like you’re just going through the motions, focus on simply being present and doing exactly what you’d like to do. Tired? Sleep and rest without feeling guilty! Restless? Take a drive, explore a new place, or throw yourself into a hobby. Nowhere to go? Dress up anyway! Bust out all those summer outfits you never wore this season! Inject some spontaneity into your life and do exactly what you want to do each day.
Reflect on your favorite memories
While June seems like forever ago and yesterday at the same time, think back on the past few months and identify your favorite moments. Walks in the park? Chats with old friends you never had time to call before? Time spent alone? Whatever it is that you enjoyed most, use that as your guide as you move through the final weeks of this season. Do more of those little things that make you happy and make the most of where you are!
Take a social media break
While social media has been an extraordinary tool this year, especially when it comes to science, politics, and fighting for equality, it’s also been all-consuming and at times, anxiety-inducing. If you find it difficult to unplug, be away from your phone for long, or can’t stop mindlessly scrolling, try implementing a social media detox. Whether it’s limiting your time on social media to a certain amount each day or taking an entire day (or more) off, assess how you feel afterward and what you were able to accomplish or appreciate instead. Social media will be there in the coming months when you’re cooped up inside — for now, here’s to more living, more creating and less consuming and scrolling.
Take advantage of these longer days and soak up the fleeting warm temperatures before the season changes. Extend your walk, read outside, or spend the whole day outdoors — bonus points if you can find some nature or explore a new spot. Vitamin D is essential for several reasons, including improving focus, boosting your immune system, and decreasing cortisol levels. Seize pockets of sunshine whenever you can throughout the day for the next few weeks!
Before transitioning into a traditionally “busy” season — take time to really rest free of guilt and without feeling like you have to earn it. We’ve all been through a lot this year, whether we truly realize it or not. Remember that rest in and of itself is productive and tap into activities that make you feel refreshed and rejuvenated, whether it’s spending time alone, sleeping, reading — anything! The end of summer is the only “occasion” you need to get all the rest you’re craving.
Mark the occasion
Lastly, celebrate the end of summer in some way! Whether it’s a backyard hang with a couple friends that you can look forward to, or a simple dinner at home using fresh, seasonal ingredients, toast to the end of one season before welcoming in the next! GG readers said they enjoyed outdoor movie nights this season, which would be such a fun way to cap summer! Whether it’s just your laptop, a blanket on the grass, an official screen or projector set up (like this one from Amazon), or a socially-distanced outdoor movie night in your area, what a great idea to make the most of the final nights of summer!
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