Summer Clean

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I know that every year people get all excited for a “spring clean”, but personally spring has never been that for me. Whilst in education it’s always been a time of much stress, exams and deadlines so there was always little time to organise and sort ones life out. Plus these past couple of years spring time has seen my health at its worst so personally I think the season is cursed. Not to mention the weather is never what it promises to be – often it is still confused as to whether it is winter still or not, maybe through in the odd summer day but still thinks it’s better to rain throughout.

But summer is my favourite season. As a kid it meant holidays and my birthday. As an adult I just feel like the world is more positive during summer, people are happier, and everything has potential. And it signals change: there’s always something new to start in September so the months before are spent getting ready and building excitement (you can tell I’m still in student mode even after a year…)

So here are a few things that can help turn summer into a season of fresh changes, and feeling good about yourself!

Declutter

When my dad sold the house and I had to pack up my belongings, it felt so good to finally rid myself of all the useless garbage that had been filling my room for years. And by garbage I mean clothes, broken toys, ancient school books etc. As someone who has no idea where they’ll be living in the next few months or next year, I try to keep my necessary items to a minimum (which is hard…), so it’s good to also reduce all the material baggage I’ve left forgotten about at home. So to feel less tied down by stuff, have a good sort out and rid yourself of the things you don’t need anymore. And of course give the still usable stuff to charity or something, and feel good about doing a good deed!

Clean Eating

When the days are really warm I find myself craving chocolate and heavy meals less, and increasing my fruit and veg intake. Carbs still remain part of my world, because carbs are amazing. But it’s a good excuse to dive into the world of healthy eating more and snack and cook healthily, which is not just good for the body but helps the mind feel more active. The odd ice cream is allowed too of course.

Read

Going on holiday without a book is like going without sun cream. DON’T. (But less likely to cause cancer if you forget…) But you don’t need to be on holiday to soak up a good novel. Studying English literature meant I would spend September-June reading what I had to, and other novels I would buy for fun would be stored away on the bookshelf. So that meant come summer time I could read whatever I wanted, and it was great (probably should have spent more time reading in advance the next semester’s books but oh well). Reading is the best exercise for the mind, and are what lazy summer days are meant for.

Bit of Sunbathing

Enjoy sparingly, and make sure you’ve applied sun cream everywhere of course, but summer is unsurprisingly the best time to soak up vitamin D, which helps us stay in a good mood among other benefits to our health. In Britain we reportedly don’t get enough sunlight to keep our vitamin D levels up to a satisfactory level, so that’s the perfect excuse to spend lunch times outside.

Picnics with Friends

Or anywhere with friends. But there’s something fun about grabbing an assortment of snacks, rugs, and just enjoying watching the world go by. Some of my favourite days spent with friends are picnics in parks, from going to the castle in my home city to wandering over to the local park in London (where it seemed half of East London would gather on a sunny day). But it allows some much needed bonding time with friends, and a chance to put worries to the back of the mind and have fun!

(Dog) Walking

Walking can be enjoyed with or without a dog, but everything’s better with a dog. So if you don’t have one, grab one. (Offer to walk an elderly neighbours or borrow a friend’s or something, I shouldn’t encourage dognapping…) During the colder seasons dog walking can be a bit of a chore, as the weather is bad and my dog has a habit of getting mud all over me during this time. But when the weather is glorious it is so much better, and it’s heart warming to watch the dogs running about in their element, rather than hurriedly exercising them so you can return home and get warm again. Plus it’s easy exercise to get you out of the house and soaking up the sun.

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