Figuring out what to do outside when the AC is making your living room the preferred habitat can be tough. Especially if you’re a cool-weather fan, summer can feel like a drag. But, to support your mental health and keep the fresh air flowing, here are some summer fun prompts to get you out the door and back into nature!
Find the perfect rock.
Slowing down enough to notice and appreciate the little things is an art form. Take a few hours out of your busy schedule and cultivate mindfulness by going to a river or lake shore to examine rocks and pebbles! Notice their colors, textures, and shapes. Perfect your skipping skills. Collect a few to paint positive messages and leave around the neighborhood. There’s so much potential in simple rocks
Take a waterfall hike.
Are you in an area that features waterfalls? Some people are surprised at the number of falls in their home state. Do some online searching to see what’s nearby. If you’re lucky enough to have some options, plan some exploration! Be sure and check into any rules about wading into the creeks and pools so you can set your expectations accordingly.
Try a new watersport.
There are so many watersports to try! Wakeboarding. Water skiing. Scuba diving. Cliff diving. Paddleboarding. Kayaking. White water rafting. Fly fishing. Trying a new sport can be intimidating, but taking a friend along for the ride can make it so much fun! Laugh at your attempts and enjoy the feeling of water against your skin.
Have a nighttime adventure.
When the sun is just a little too much, plan your time outdoors when it’s not around. There are so many things you can enjoy in the dark as well as the light. Obviously, safety is a key consideration. Make sure flashlight and phone batteries are fresh. Let someone know where you are and when you plan to be back. Consider having a means of self-defense. Remember that there’s safety in numbers, so consider bringing a friend along for the ride!
Summit a mountain.
With altitude comes coolness! There’s a reason mountain towns see a spike in tourism during the summer as well as during the ski season. All the lowlanders are fleeing to the mountain tops to escape the heat that gets trapped in the valleys! You can join them for some crisp air and enjoy plenty of cooler hikes, camping, and other activities. Be sure and plan ahead if you can. A lot of overnight accommodations fill up quickly. Dispersed camping lands may be a good option if you’re up for some unknowns!
Plan a ‘Golden Hour’ photoshoot.
Try your hand at photography for an evening of taking advantage of ‘Golden Hour’ lighting. It’s that perfect hour of immaculate glow just before the sun sinks below the horizon. It may still be pretty warm at the beginning. But capturing the backlit trees or the perfect portrait of your family and friends will be accompanied by the cooling evening air. Be sure and wear bug spray if your area is prone to swarms. The mosquitos tend to love this time of day as well!
Another nighttime activity everyone should try is oh, so simple. Get out of the city and find the stars! Find a place you can spread a blanket or, alternatively, enjoy the feeling of the grass on your skin. See how many constellations you can spot. Wait for a comet. Breathe deeply as you gain perspective about your life and problems.
Explore your city’s green spaces.
Taking time to get out of our hometown can be hard. Thankfully, the growing trend is for cities to invest in green spaces and outdoor venues. Summer is a prime time for outdoor concerts, movies, and food truck festivals. Check out your cool local spots and get some fresh air without taking a drive!
Hit as many swimming holes as you can.
How many natural swimming holes are in your state? Do you know? Now might be a good time to find out! See how many you can hit before it starts to cool back down!
As always, be sure and keep hydration in mind as you venture outdoors in! Water loss increases in hot climates, so water intake needs to as well! Check out THIS BLOG for tips on how to stay hydrated during the summer.