I used to hate summer. As a lifetime busy body, summer was just too slow for me. My parents had to solve that problem for me growing up. There weren't enough camps, books or vacation bible schools to handle me, however. Can ya'll back-pray for my parents? I was a lot! Now, as the one responsible for filling my life, I find that summer is still a time of great boredom for me. I work in higher ed and while I certainly don't have summers off, the days are a little slower. This is how I find myself working on 100 projects at a time each June, July and August. It's a terrible habit. I'm hoping to be a little smarter this summer!
If you're like me and looking for ways to be productive and not just busy this summer, I've come up with 3 things you can do to fill your days that will help you live a better life.
1. Connect with Your Tribe
Whatever your niche (and we all have a niche or two), there is a tribe out there for you. For me, it's creatives and entrepreneurs. Those are my people! Because my 9-5 isn't related to either of these areas, I plan to spend the summer connecting with my tribes.
It's super important that we find ourselves in spaces with people who think, act and believe like we do. I truly believe the more you go out and connect with your tribe the better your life will become. You need your tribe. Especially if you don't have contact with many likeminded individuals in your everyday life. It's easy to feel isolated or to feel like something is off if you never have the opportunity to express yourself to people who "get it".
One of the best ways to find yourself in spaces with your tribe is to attend conferences and workshops. Conferences like Blavity's EmpowerHer Conference or Shelah Marie's Curvy, Curly, Conscious are great places to connect with women who are positive and driven this summer. Empowerher Conference kicks off this Friday, June 9th in Chicago and CCC makes it way to Chicago on Sunday, June 11 and Atlanta and LA later this summer.
Although I wanted to attend EmpowerHer, other commitments prevail. I'll still get to connect with my blogger/writer tribe this weekend by attending a Lunch & Learn with one of Alabama's top bloggers and writers, Javicia of See Jane Write. I'm super excited for that!
I'm also HYPED that I was able to snag one of the coveted (and sold out) tickets to Myleik Teele's My Taught You LIVE Podcast in August. Word on the street is that Myleik is working on a second show. Keep your fingers crossed!
Whether you can make it to one these amazing national events or if you only have time to meet up with a book club in your city, connect with your tribe this summer and watch your life change for the better.
2. Create New Habits
It's kind of crazy that we decide to make resolutions at the top of the year when life is literally heading towards 100mph. Because summer is generally a slower time of the year, it's a great time to introduce new habits into your lifestyle. Whether it's getting more sleep or learning to manage your finances better, you can use these summer months to try out new habits and find the right fit before those inevitably busy fall months roll around.
I'm spending the summer cooking at home and working out more. Can ya'll pray one more time?
Whatever new habits you choose to incorporate into your life this summer, make a plan for them. We usually give up on our new habits because we don't know HOW to implement them into our lives. New habits are going to disrupt the status quo. Be prepared for them.
3. Re-Connect with Yourself
We are usually the last person on our to-do list and that's a terrible truth. Hence why self-care has been the buzzword for the last few years. We just don't naturally think to care for ourselves first. The summer is a great time to change that, however.
Take a solo trip or spend a few Saturday mornings in your own company rediscovering what you like and dislike. There is so much that has changed about you since you last spent time alone. And trust me, the more intimately you know yourself the better you will be for the people in your life.
I plan to spend a few days alone this summer reconnecting with myself, writing, reading, laughing at my clumsiness and simply enjoying my own company. The rest of the year is crazy (I work in higher ed!) and time alone is hard to come by, but the summer gives me an opportunity to take few days to myself. I hope you'll do the same.
In fact, I hope you'll use summer '17 to get intentional about your life and making it better than its ever been.
What are your summer plans? Tweet me @whitandlove and let me know!