5 Easy Ways to Care for Your Soul This Summer
Summertime brings back many memories of childhood days gone by for me. While I absolutely loved school growing up, I could not wait for the lazy days of Summer. Those where the days when the hardest question I had to answer was “Which swimsuit am I going to wear to play in the sprinklers with my friends?” or “What sweet treat am I going to procure from the ice-cream truck?” Those were the days!
Those memories stand in stark contrast to my present day life. Summer no longer promises long lazy days of sitting on the porch, laughing with friends, barefoot races down the middle of the street, or afternoons spent running through the sprinklers in the front yard. For me and many others in youth ministry, Summer is all about preparing for camp or mission trips, transitioning students through our ministry, recruiting new volunteers and building programs for the Fall. As a result, many of us have lost our ability to relax and enjoy this season of longer days and warmer weather. We now use the additional hours of daylight to do more work, instead of taking the opportunity to slow down a bit and simply enjoy the life that we’ve been blessed with.
Here are 5 quick tips to help you get back to enjoying Summer (Like you did when you were a kid):
Sometimes, because of our many obligations, it is almost impossible for us to get out of town. This is what makes a staycation a perfect choice when you only have a day or two to relax. Take the opportunity to enjoy your city as a tourist. Stay at the local bed and breakfast that everyone has been raving about or find a nice hotel and spend the night. Visit a new restaurant or your old favorite. Whatever you do, take the opportunity to enjoy your city in a new way.
2. Spa Day
There’s nothing like a relaxing massage to work out all of the kinks from a good, long year of ministry. Do your best to make a day of it and get all of the extras. Pro-tip: Check out Groupon or other online coupon site to discover the local deals (I’ve had some amazing experiences and discovered some hidden gems this way).
3. Visit Family
Summer is a great time to check in with grandparents, parents, siblings and cousins; especially those that live out of town. It’s an opportunity to get into a different space and build some new memories with people that you’ve loved for a lifetime.
Summer is a great time to get into a healthy groove and exercise is a wonderful way to decompress. Take morning or evening walks by yourself or with the family. Go skating in the park or ride your bike on a new trail. Get outside and spend some time in God’s creation.
5. Road Trip
If you have two or three days, and a heart for adventure, take a road trip and explore a new city or town. Or, you can take the time to revisit an old favorite and create some new memories. If you’re near a national park, do yourself a favor and take some time to check it out. I promise you won’t regret the decision. Pro-Tip: Try to keep the destination within a 4-hour driving distance. You want to be able to spend the majority of your time enjoying your destination, not getting to it.
No matter what you decide to do, make sure that you’re taking some time to focus on yourself and rejuvenate your spirit. We may no longer have a Summer full of lazy days, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a Summer full of peaceful moments and opportunities that create great memories and keep us smiling the whole year through.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.