- Zachary Sullivan and Sydney Blunschi
Avoiding Summer Stagnation
As summer approaches and school comes to an end for many people, I think it’s very important to remind everyone to find ways to keep themselves busy. The stagnation that can come with the freedom of summer can be, oddly enough, quite exhausting, mentally. The best weapon against this is to keep your mind and body active as much as you are able. We have compiled a short list of some possible ways to keep your mind, body, and routine active throughout the summer.
Keeping an Active Mind
Read a Book (or several): One of the best ways to keep your mind active over the summer is by finding a few good books and reading them regularly. This will help you to avoid getting a bit of “brain rust” before school, college, or whatever else you may have that picks back up in the fall.
Start Learning an Instrument: Playing an instrument is commonly pointed to as a great way to increase your brain capacity, but for this, we’re just going to use it as a way to keep your brain active for a little while. Maybe there’s an instrument you’ve wanted to learn for a while now or maybe you’ve never really thought about it. Whatever the case, learning an instrument of any kind can be a great way to keep your mind in shape this summer.
Explore Some: If you’re not really a fan of reading and you aren’t exactly musically inclined, then maybe just try to explore some places around you with some educational value. Maybe your town’s cultural arts center is having an art exhibit this weekend. Maybe there’s a museum a short drive away that sounds really interesting. Or maybe your town just happens to have a historical society that you could attend a meeting for. Going out and learning something new in any way will help to keep your mind active this summer.
Keeping an Active Body
Exercise: Yes, I know this is probably the last thing you want to hear. But it’s also extremely helpful. No matter who you are, there’s probably something that counts as exercise that you would actually enjoy. So go find it. Whether it’s working out, yoga, biking, or dancing, there’s something. It makes a world of difference, and it’s not all that bad. I promise.
Go Places: This one sounds deceptively simple, but I personally think it’s one of the most important things on this list. If you’re able to, get out of your house. Go somewhere, adventure into the world. Even if that adventure just leads you to your local grocery store, it’s better than staying at home. That being said, spend time with friends, go to a park, explore your town or even your backyard. Get out and go do something. You’ll probably feel pretty great afterwards.
Keeping a Diverse Routine
Activity Jar: Over the course of the summer, you are bound to run short on ideas of things to do, whether it be by yourself or with other people, so an activity jar is a great, simple way to keep things interesting. Take an old jar (or even just a plastic cup you don’t use anymore) and write somewhere around 20-25 different activity ideas on strips of paper and drop them in the jar. Ideas for activities can be anything from simply going out for a drive, going to see a movie with some friends, or going on a picnic lunch with someone. It’s best to keep the majority of these ideas relatively cheap so money isn’t too much of a concern. Then, whenever you find yourself short on ideas of things to do, reach into the jar and pull out a new activity! (Probably also best to throw strips away after use rather than risk pulling the same one four times in a row)
Friends: This one is fairly simple. Makes plans with friends! Maybe you want to go see a movie with a group of people one night, or go have dinner with a friend you don’t see a lot outside of school. Schedule is really important to a lot of people, but adding in activities like these provides a great way to diversify your routine and still keep things fairly structured, if that’s something you want or need.
In short, take the time and spend the effort this summer to keep yourself from becoming complacent. In order to save some energy and keep yourself from putting your mind into a kind of loop, try to keep your body and brain active and keep your routine diverse. Hopefully this list has given you a few good ideas of ways to keep yourself away from the dreaded “summer stagnation” that drags so many people down. These are, of course, only a few that we came up with. Go out and find your own ways to keep your summer active, but remember to leave some time to sit back and relax. After all, you deserve it.