The first long weekend of summer is just finished here in Canada, and just about to arrive if you’re in the United States. It’s a time to relax and unwind from the whirlwind of daily life. But have you ever noticed how fast that feeling of relaxation disappears once you’re back at work?
Today I’m looking at some ways to recapture the feeling of a summer long weekend — anytime.
1. Get outside. Summer evokes beaches, parks, and long walks. Or gardening and barbecuing in your backyard. Or maybe hanging out on an urban restaurant patio. Whatever form of the outdoors makes your heart sing, don’t wait until a long weekend to go looking for it. Maybe you can’t get out of the city, but even the city is full of hidden gems of nature: green and sunny spaces — or even a lake or river — that can give you the feeling of a mini-holiday.
2. Do something different. You probably have a well-worn routine, places you go, things you do. Even if you enjoy them, they’re still familiar…which means you go through them on autopilot…which makes your day feel shorter. Next weekend, try going somewhere new, and watch how your senses come alive and you start to live more in the moment. As a bonus, if you’re a writer, this might just jump-start your creativity.
3. Eat summery food. Cold watermelon. Ice cream from the ice cream truck (can you hear the tinkling down the block?). Corn on the cob. Gelato. Peaches. Frappuccino. Hot dogs. Tastes like these are bound to put you in a summer mood.
4. Find time to indulge. One of the most relaxing things about a long weekend is the luxurious sense of time stretching out before you — extra time to get everything on your list done, and even time to do just as you please. That sense is sadly lacking in our everyday lives. But maybe we can still find part of an occasional evening, or a weekend afternoon, to spend without watching the clock, just doing our favourite things. Reading, knitting, listening to music without doing something else at the same time…what do you love to do?
5. Set off fireworks. Hmm, maybe not.
Now it’s your turn. If you just had a long weekend, think back to how you spent it. If you’ve got one coming up, be mindful while you move through those three days. Hold onto those feelings of relaxation and the activities — or mindsets — that generated them. Try them next weekend and let me know how it goes, and I’ll do the same.
What says “long weekend” to you? What are your favourite ways to make a weekend seem longer?