Written by Aliyah Hurt

Follow Aliyah @ThatOneHurt

Summer tends to bring about its own set of expectations. Get tan, have the right body, hang out with people every chance you get; the list goes on. For some of the people out there, this time of year means a much needed break from school has finally arrived. As for others, life goes on and there isn’t a specified amount of time off from work and/or education. In reality, it’s just a hot weather season. Here’s how you can make the most of it:

It’s about friends, family, and the little things. Take time out of your schedule to see people you might not usually have the time for. People lead busy lives, it’s understandable to get consumed in work, school, and various other time consuming priorities. Grab lunch with old friends, or even go out to meet new ones. Summer is a social season! Take advantage of the good vibes out there and make memories.

Make the effort to actually plan things. In my life I have come to realize that many things fall through because there was no definite plan in the first place. When an event/get-together is properly organized, as well as planned ahead of time, people are more apt to attend. Having difficulty getting your large friend group together at one time? Unfortunately schedules don’t always align, which is why you shouldn’t be afraid to hang out with different amounts of people! Set a specific time and date for an event, and whoever comes will be there. You’ll still have fun with the people involved.

Also, just be spontaneous! Summer is also for adventure, am I right? Not everything needs to be perfectly planned out. Get some people together for a night drive, or have an at-home movie night. Send out a mass text to meet up somewhere and see who shows! You’re sure to get an interesting mix of people that way. If there’s something you’ve always wanted to do, make time for it, and just do it. That’s all it takes.

Try to eat healthy, stay hydrated, and exercise. Many summer events and places such as concerts, state/county fairs, amusement parks, movie theaters, as well as backyard BBQ’s don’t involve the healthiest food choices. Nothing is wrong with eating your guilty pleasures, enjoy them! It’s all part of the summer fun. Try to incorporate fruits, vegetables, and plenty of water into the mix so you have enough energy to make it through the long summer days. Cool summer nights are perfect for walking or jogging, and the warm days are great for exercising outside. You can do yoga in your local park, stadium runs at your local schools (since the kids are gone), and get some fresh air while you work your body!

Don’t forget sun protection! Sunburns interfere with summer fun, there’s no doubt about that. Apply and reapply sunscreen as necessary. Don’t forget some is bound to wash off if you’re out in water (a pool, river, lake, beach, etc). Sun hats, sunglasses, umbrellas, and clothing with built-in sun protection are all ways to protect your skin from the harmful rays.

Remember, your summer doesn’t have to be “epic”. This time of year is also for your own personal rest and relaxation. With some people’s schedules opening up, this is the perfect opportunity to take some time for self-care! You don’t always have to be out and about with other people. Learn about yourself, try some activities alone. Find power in your ability to enjoy alone time. Read a book, find a television series to binge watch, take a class, and feel free to explore. There are so many opportunities.

In the end, you make your summer what you want it to be. Having a fun, enjoyable time is what it’s all about.

@ThatOneHurt