2019 Summer Bucket List
This year really is going to be your year — the year you take full advantage of your summer. Check out our favorite summer activities to make sure you’re getting the best of the best of what the season has to offer. By the time September rolls around, you’ll be thinking “that was the best summer ever.”
Support your local Farmer’s Market
Even if going to the Farmer’s Market does not sound like your ideal summer activity, challenge yourself to spend a day exploring the booths and perusing the aisles of your local market. Find the freshest ingredients and make a meal using only what you picked up that day. If you love the Farmer’s Market as much as the pool come summertime, ditch your grocery store for the season and stock up on produce each week at the market. Either way, commit to spending the summer supporting local businesses and eating organic, fresh produce instead of sticking to your usual supermarket.
Read at least 3 books you wouldn’t normally choose
Need a good beach read or looking to put together your comprehensive summer reading list? Instead of the usual romance novels or psychological thrillers, pick up a non-fiction book that you know nothing about. Think about the self-help books available that cover subjects you may need help in (whether it’s about mindfulness, relationships, or is work-related). Our favorite happiness books are The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky, Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor, Solve for Happy by Mo Gawdat, and Choose the Life You Want by Tal Ben-Shahar. Spray on your sunscreen, spread out your beach towel, and get ready to learn a lot.
Spend a weekend learning a new skill
Is there something you’ve always wanted to know how to do but just never have gotten around to learning how to do it? Maybe it’s a skill that will advance your career like photoshop, or a hobby you’ve always been interested in like playing the guitar. Spend a weekend perfecting and practicing your skill (or use online classes for things like photography, design, or creative writing). By the time Monday rolls around, you’ll already feel accomplished, proud, and eager to learn more.
Take a detox from technology
A tech detox should be a part of your wellness routine year round, but what better time to get serious about your screen time than during summer? Turn your phone on silent and keep it at the bottom of your beach bag for days at the pool, or challenge yourself to a three-day detox on your next road trip or summer vacay. Delete any time-wasting apps (like games) for the entire season, unfollow or mute Instagram accounts that don’t make you feel inspired, and turn iMessage notifications off on the days you need to be more present. Get outdoors and live in the moment!
Summer-clean your home
Sure, you’ve heard of spring cleaning, but now it’s time to summer-clean your home. Clean off your patio/balcony/window sills (or any outdoor part of your home), and go through your pantry to clean out any unhealthy or processed foods (since summer is all about fresh ingredients!). Add fresh flowers and house plants; trade darker accents with more colorful pillows, throws, and home accessories; and switch out your bedding for lighter or linen sheets. Don’t forget to fill your home with a signature scent — try diffusing a mixture of lemon and eucalyptus essential oils for a summer smell that’s as intoxicating as it is refreshing (or purchase a home diffuser with citrus or exotic notes).
Take your fitness routine outdoors
Remember how this is the season for trying new things? It goes for your fitness routine, too. If you’re stuck in a rut because you do the same yoga class everyday, or you spend your entire fitness routine lifting weights in the gym, add in some time outside — bring your mat and your sun salutations to the park, or go for a walk during your lunch break. Also try something you’ve never done before — go for a run, try an outdoor class, or ask a friend to join your workout. Switching up your routine will keep you from plateauing, and the extra sunlight ensures you’ll have more energy to push yourself harder than other times of year.
Cut one plastic consumption from your life
Whether it’s swapping plastic straws for stainless steel straws, trading in paper towels for reusable wipes, or using a cotton bag to carry your produce instead of grocery bags, make an effort to make at least one reusable swap you can stick to all summer long. To live even more sustainably this summer, bring reusable cups or mason jars to Starbucks to fill up your iced coffee, air dry small loads of laundry instead of machine drying, carry around a refillable water with you everywhere, and walk or bike instead of driving. Whatever way you want to challenge yourself to live more sustainably, stick to it through the entire summer, and feel empowered knowing how a little goes a long way.
Volunteer your time to a charity
If you want to get outside more, why not get outside while you’re doing a good deed? Commit to volunteering for a charity you’re passionate about after work or on weekends — take shelter dogs for a walk, attend beach clean-ups, or help out at your local nature center or forest preserve. Because nothing feels better than doing a good deed, except maybe doing a good deed on a warm, sunny day.