The summer is here, and often with the summer comes more free time. This increased amount of unstructured time can lead to both anticipation and anxiety.
On the one hand, we often feel anticipation about all the opportunities for learning and growth that open up before us in the summer. That holds the possibility for bringing more magic into our lives.
On the other hand, sometimes we don’t know how to make the most of these opportunities. And sometimes there are so many opportunities before us, we don’t know which one to pursue. Perhaps we worry that we will pursue the wrong one and miss out on the one we were supposed to pursue.
If you have problems with these worries, consider this:
If you pursue any interest over time with practice and patience, you will grow in ways that energize and inspire you. That brings more magic into your life.
You don’t have to worry about picking the exact right interest to pursue. All you have to do is pursue something that interests you and keep at it over time. And you are most certainly allowed to change your mind about what you want to pursue. Allowing yourself to change your interests and pursue different ones is one important way you grow as a person.
But it’s also really helpful to stick with an interest eventually, even though your interest in it may wax and wane from time to time. Sticking with one thing over time is also another way you learn and grow.
The more you actively pursue things that interest you, the more you grow in love, wisdom, creativity, and compassion, and those are the things that bring magic into your life.
So in case you want to pursue some meaningful projects this summer, here is a list of seventy activities you might want to try. Of course, don’t feel like you have to try all of them. Just pick a couple that interest you, try them out; feel free to switch activities if you want; and consider choosing one to stick with the whole summer.
You will likely be surprised and delighted at how you grow over the course of the next few months.
You will notice that some of these items are suggestions for an activity you can try one time. Some of the suggestions are for activities you can try every day or most days over the course of a week, month, or the whole summer. If you like, you can always make the “one time activity” suggestions into an activity you do consistently over the summer. You can also make some of the “do over time” suggestions into a one-time activity. You’re the boss of your summer.
Lastly, you may find that the items on this list don’t particularly interest you, but they remind you of another activity that does inspire you. There is nothing sacred about this list. It’s just a list of activities that you can try if you like or use as a brainstorm list to think of your own activities. You’re in charge. Let your imagination and interest guide you.
70 Things You Can Do with Your Summer
1. Sit or lie on ground and take ten, deep breaths. Inhale in your nose and exhale out your mouth. Try doing this every day for a month and notice how you change in the process.
2. Put on music you love—Move in a way that make you feel good, even if just for a minute. Wave your arms in time with the music; walk in place; step side to side.
Consider setting aside a time each day to do this. Do it every day or most days for a month and notice how you change in the process.
3. Go out in the morning and walk just a little bit—like a half a block or fifteen steps. Or, walk several miles if you like. Choose to walk an amount that feels manageable and that you know you can easily do without fail. Do this every morning or most mornings for the summer. Keep a journal about what you notice during your walks each day and see how it changes you.
4. Build a fort. Add Christmas twinkly lights to it. Have tea or hot chocolate in it or read a book.
5. Ask someone for help for something you are struggling with.
6. Try praying, even if you aren’t sure you believe in prayer. You can find some prayers at the links below:
An Intention or Prayer for Growing in Light and Wisdom
And this post about prayer is written for people who aren’t totally sure they believe in prayer but are curious about it. Maybe you will like reading it.
7. Do a loving kindness meditation each day for a month (You can use the one below). Practice sending this love both to yourself and to others. Notice any differences in your attitude or emotions that this practice brings.
8. Fix a new salad. If you desire, try a new salad each week or most weeks this summer.
9. Make a new cake. If you desire, make a new cake each week or most weeks this summer. Invite different friends to celebrate your cake-making adventures.
10. Learn a new board game and play it with friends.
11. Walk in a forest or a place near your house with trees and find an intriguing tree. What is interesting about it?
12. Imagine a goal you want to achieve. How does it look? What does it feel like? What do you look like doing it? What is one thing you would do differently today if you had achieved this goal already? Go do that thing.
13. Imagine feelings you want to have. Do you want to feel alive? Playful? Challenged? Mysterious? Daring? Famous? What is one thing you could do today to cultivate these emotions? Set an intention to do that thing today.
14. Imagine you are a movie star. What would you feel like? How would you act? What would you do? For a day or an hour for a few minutes, try feeling, acting, and conducting your day like you are indeed a movie star. How does it feel? How does it change the way you view yourself and others?
15. Go to a museum and find art that you like or that intrigues you. What do you like about this particular art piece?
16. Go on a walk and take a picture of something interesting or just note something you find interesting.
17. Paint, draw, write a poem or story. It can be simple or very brief.
18. Adopt a country this summer. Learn one new thing about it each day. Make a scrap book or create file on the computer to organize everything you learn.
19. Try a new recipe every week or most weeks this summer.
20. Become pen pals with someone and write them letters throughout the summer and perhaps the year.
21. Dress up your dog and do photo shoot (but only if your dog is cool with it).
22. Find an organization for which you could volunteer that makes you feel excited. Volunteer there regularly this summer.
23. Plant a small garden and weed and water it consistently this summer. Keep a journal and write as little or as much as you like about what you learn about plants and about yourself. Write daily or weekly, if you like.
24. Listen to a new music genre. For instance, you could listen to jazz, punk, classical, goth, classic rock, blues, etc. Consider listening to different artists in this genre each week throughout the whole summer.
25. Do one yoga pose every day for a month. Note how you change over a month of doing this pose every day. Consider journaling about it.
26. Do a research project. Maybe you want to learn about an animal or a social/political problem or a person or a hobby. Read several books or articles about it and write a summary or discuss what you learned with a friend over coffee.
27. Organize a closet or a cupboard in your house.
28. Create a new ritual like breathing, drinking tea, or writing letters. Do your ritual every day for a month and notice how you change.
29. Foster kittens or dogs.
30. Draw a picture every day or most days for a month. It’s okay if you think you are really bad at drawing.
31. Join aerial acrobatics for the summer and notice how your skills progress over the course of a few months.
32. Learn about geography of your state and visit some place that intrigue you.
33. Go to the library and peruse the shelves. Find a new book to read.
34. Write loving and encouraging notes and leave them in public places. Your note may be just the thing a stranger needs.
35. Go to a local forest or park and enjoy some new scenery.
36. Research local birds on the internet or check out a book on birding from your local library. Learn about a different bird each week. Go bird watching at a local park and see how many birds you recognize.
37. Try watercolor paints. It doesn’t matter if you are good or horrible at watercolors. Just paint whatever comes to mind.
38. Check out a book on scientific experiments from your local library. Do an experiment that looks interesting.
39. Call or text or email a different friend or family member every day or most days for a week or a month. Tell them something you love about them.
40. Write one good thing about yourself every day for a month and notice how it improves your mood.
41. Build a model plane or car.
42. Try using affirmations each day for a month to build your confidence. If you don’t really like affirmations but are interested in them, you can read about this here. If you already like affirmations and want to try new ones, you might like this list.
43. Write a song, even if it is short and feels silly.
44. Take a picture of something outside or inside you find interesting every day for a month. At the end of the month, reflect on something you have learned in the process.
45. Climb a tree. It doesn’t matter if you succeed or not. Just try.
46. Clean something in your house every day for a month, even if it is something very small.
47. Every day for a week or a month, take 1, 3, 5, or 10 minutes to be silent and look out the window.
48. Make play dough and make a family of monsters (or whatever you like) out of it. Here is a recipe.
49. Take a pottery class.
50. Call a friend to go on a walk.
51. Practice doing hand stands. If you are interested in hand stands but don’t know how to do them or feel afraid, you can read a beginner’s guide to doing handstands here.
52. Do twenty jumping jacks each day for a month and notice how it improves your strength over time.
53. Choose an old-time movie star or a movie star you don’t know much about and watch their movies. Here are some folks whose movies you might watch: Audrey Hepburn, Katherine Hepburn, Spencer Tracey, Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable, Paul Newman, Ingrid Bergman, Alfred Hitchcock, Marilyn Monroe.
54. Start a blog.
55. Start learning a language.
56. Visit a state park.
57. Give yourself a massage as a practice of self-love. You can read more about self-massage here.
58. Give a friend a massage (but only if your friend is okay with it, of course.)
59. Go to a sushi restaurant and try new sushi.
60. Walk downtown and notice architecture. What is a building you like a lot?
61. Google events going on in your town. Go to one that interests you.
62. Google events going on at your library. Attend one of them.
63. Learn to play pool.
64.Write some friends secret admirer notes.
65. Learn to play ping pong.
66. Play frisbee.
67. Learn to juggle and practice juggling most days this summer.
68. Do one to five push ups a day for a whole month. Notice how it changes your strength and endurance.
69. Have friends over for a theme party
70. Go to a flower garden and smell flowers. Notice at least three different fragrances.
The world is a big and beautiful place. It has a lot of magic waiting for you. You will find it.
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I originally wrote this post as a part of a two-part series, which you might enjoy: