Summer has officially started here in the northern hemisphere and the weather is nice and inviting. During summer, things slow down a bit at work while everyone is taking their vacation and we get more free time to do the things we love. To get you inspired, I compiled a list of 25 free summer activities to boost your happiness and wellbeing and enjoy the nicer season. Let’s dig in!
Healthy summer activities
One of the first things that can boost our happiness is to feel better physically. Now that the weather is nice, we can be active outside and get our bodies moving. Here are a few ideas to get you in shape.
1. Play a sport
A good way to get together with friends is to schedule a match of your favorite sport. You can play Frisbee at the park, play basketball at the local school playground or flag football in the field. Choose any sport that can get you moving and having fun!
2. Go Swimming
If there’s a community pool in your neighborhood, get yourself wet on a sunny day and swim for an hour or so. You can feel refreshed while getting that heart rate up!
3. Take a bike ride or a walk in your neighborhood
Play tourist in your own city and explore the area where you live. Take a walk or a bike ride on a street that you never take time to explore. Look at the flora of those streets, discover new shops. You will surely find something surprising or unexpected. I never fail to be amazed when I find wildflowers growing in the concrete!
4. Go Hiking
Probably my favorite summer activity! I like to go hiking in nature because I instantly feel like I can unplug from my daily life and I feel so energized by the beautiful nature and the good vibes of the forest. Good night’s sleep assured after your hike! Bonus points if you take pictures on your hike and put them up as a wallpaper on your desktop. It sure will put a nice dose of nature in your workday.
5. Go to the Farmer’s Market
What a nice way to feel inspired to cook a beautiful healthy meal! You can find new ingredients and fresh fruit and vegetables directly from the farm, and cook a delicious meal for a very reasonable price. Try a new ingredient and make a quick search online to find a new recipe to try.
Inspiring summer activities
I like to take time in the summer to learn something new and to explore interesting topics as I get more time outside of my daily obligations. Here are a few ideas of things you can do to learn new stuff this summer.
6. Read at the park
I like to stop by the park on my way from work to soak in the nice weather before the craziness of evening chores. I choose the nicest bench with the most beautiful sight and sit down for 20-30 minutes with a nice book. It makes me feel like I’m on vacation even though I’m not. It can be your backyard with a nice drink or any place you feel comfortable, as long as it’s outside.
7. Museums free days
Here in Montreal, we have a few free days in the Metropolitan Museum network. Fine arts, history, science, any museum can be interesting and inspiring. It can be a nice activity to do with your friends or children, or even on a date! Who said you can’t have fun and learn at the same time?
8. Hit the Public Library
When we get older, we tend to forget about the wonders of the public library. You can find books on any topics, documentaries or novels, all under the same roof and you can borrow them for free! There is a huge library in downtown Montreal with more than 2 million books and I like to spend some time there each week browsing the aisles and working on my projects. It has become my sanctuary.
9. Binge listen to a motivational podcast
I made a list of my favorite productivity podcasts in a recent article. What’s nice about podcasts is the vast array of topics ranging from actuality to personal development and beyond. Check out the podcast app in your Apple device, or download Antennapod on your Android device and start listening to something nice!
10. Learn a new skill
I plan to learn sewing this summer as I just bought my first sewing machine. It’s a skill that I have been wanting to learn for the longest time. I’ve been checking out books about sewing at the library and YouTube videos to actually see how it’s done. We’ve learned so much at home just by watching YouTube videos, such as fixing our washing machine and plumbing in the house, to specific skills in Adobe Photoshop. With books and Youtube, you can teach yourself just about anything.
11. Start a blog
A nice skill to learn is blogging. I believe that we all have an interest in something that we can share with the world. Blogging is a nice way to connect with your community and to meet new people interested in the same things you are. There are many good articles online on how to start a blog, but I like that one from Michael Hyatt, which is the step by step advice I followed when I started Productive Happiness.
Happiness boosting summer activities
12. Have a power hour
I first heard about this idea on Gretchen Rubin’s podcast, Happier. The idea is to make a list of nagging tasks that you never take time to complete and schedule a power hour, an hour of your time when you will get through your list and check off those pesky little tasks that are weighing on your mind as open loops. The power hour may not be pleasurable de facto, but after it’s done, you will feel the comfort of knowing that they won’t be weighing you down anymore.
13. Try Meditation
Meditation is the single most important habit in my daily routine, the one that makes me feel relaxed and poised in (almost) any situation. I recently blogged about the surprising benefits of meditation and gave tips to get started in only 5 minutes a day. Give it a try for a few days and see if you can experience the many benefits that meditation has to offer.
14. Create an uplifting summer playlist
I just love to create playlists! My favorite playlists are one named Feel Good in which I put all the songs that instantly lifts my mood and another named Friday that I like to put on when I want to get in party mode. There are tons of cool playlists on Spotify and you can even select songs and create your own!
15. Reread your favorite book
I like to do that from time to time, when I feel nostalgic and it feels like a nice warm blanket every time. Some of my favorite books from my childhood are The Little Prince and a French book about a cat and his different lives throughout history called Edward’s 9 lives. Lately I have reread The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod and picked up on some wisdom nuggets that did not hit me the first time I’ve read it.
16. Read a summer novel
If you are anything like me, you like to read inspirational and practical books and do not allow yourself brainless reading. Summer can be the perfect time to choose a mass market paperback, something silly and light that you can read just for fun. Try it out, see how it feels!
17. Watch an uplifting outdoor movie
We get more and more free movie screenings in parks and squares in my town since the past few years. Check out your community calendar to see if there are screenings of uplifting movies in your area. Bring a warm blanket and a nice vest and enjoy your movies outdoor.
18. Start a journal
I’ve written before about the impact that journaling has had on my mental health and wellbeing. An easy way to get you started is to create a gratitude journal. Each day, be it in the morning or before bed, write down 3 things you are grateful for. Do not write down a few words, but instead try to make whole sentences and explain why you are grateful for the things you write down. You will see that your perspective on life will be more and more positive by focusing on what’s great in your life.
19. Get rekindled with your favorite hobby
Summer is a great time to pickup a hobby that you enjoy but never get the time to do. Allow yourself one full evening in your week to work on your hobby project and feel the joy of being creative and doing something you truly love.
20. Tackle a small home improvement project
There’s always something that need to be done at home and we put it off because we just have no time to do it. This summer, choose one project and dedicate a day to get it done. In my case, I’m in dire need of a closet overhaul. I have put it on my list and promised myself that I will get it done by the end of the summer. What will be your home project?
Summer Activities to improve your relationships
21. Schedule one or two date nights
Date nights can be a great way to get away from the kids and spent quality time with your significant other. But it is not necessary to break the bank! Here are a few ideas of free stuff you can do on your own date night :
- Netflix marathon
- Board games night
- Massage exchange
- Cooking a special meal
You can find many more ideas online if you search for free date night ideas.
22. Reconnect with an old friend
Sometimes, life gets in the way of our relationships. But, from experience, our old friends are always happy to reconnect with us after a while. Here’s my challenge to you, contact an old friend you haven’t seen in a while and offer them to have a drink at your place. As simple as that. Try to make it work only for this one time and who knows, maybe you will get to rekindle a friendship that has fallen to the wayside!
Plan for the future
Summer can be the perfect time to plan for what you want to get done in the near future. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
23. Assess your life satisfaction
I like to do this exercise every 3 months. It’s called the Level 10 Life exercise and it consists of evaluating each area of your life on a scale of 1 to 10 to know where you need to put your efforts in the coming months. I’ve created an exercise sheet that you can use to do your own exercise. You can get it here.
24. Plan your next quarter
June brings the end of the first half of this year, but also of the second quarter. I like to plan in quarter because it allows me enough time to get significant momentum on my goals, but it doesn’t lead me to let them fall to the wayside, as it tends to happen when you plan for the whole year. Read this article to learn about how I use the quarter planning system.
25. Create your own life plan
If long-term planning doesn’t scare you, the best exercise you can do is create your own life plan. It takes a full day of your summer to create yours, but if you follow this detailed method, you can create something very inspiring that will lead you to achieve your wildest dreams and make sure that you aim for satisfaction in every area of your life.
Create your summer bucket list
Choose a few activities from the list above and create your ultimate summer bucket list. Write it down and check off each summer activities as you complete them. Let me know in the comments below which ones you chose and which ones you’ve completed! Sign up for my mailing list to get more ideas to make your life happier directly in your inbox every Friday. You can also like my Facebook page and Instagram for the latest updates.
Until next week, I hope that you have the happiest summer ever!