6 Summer Hobbies For the Mind and Body

Treat yourself to healthy habits while you’re on vacation

Your summer vacation is the best time to pick up new hobbies and activities – you have the luxury of time and space, and can explore different things you can incorporate into your daily life. Here are six things to try this summer that will feed your mind, body and soul:

1. Crack open some books

Many of us say we want to read but simply don’t have the time with work, school or other priorities. Try getting three different types of books to commit to reading over the summer: one fiction, one nonfiction and one biography or autobiography. You’ll learn something and become engaged in a book, rather than gluing yourself to Netflix. Take it to the beach, read before bed for better sleep or host a mini bookclub with friends to create a healthy new tradition.

2. Dive right in

Whether in the neighborhood pool or at the lake, swimming is one of the best overall body workouts you can do. Whether you want to burn serious calories or simply float around in the water, being immersed in water is so good for you. Try committing to a weekly swim exercise, once a week to start. Then, gradually increase if it feels right to you.

3. Craft a summer project

Whatever your passion is – scrapbooking, painting, cooking or writing stories, commit to one creative summer project that you will have something to show for at the end. Perhaps this involves redecorating your apartment, taking writing or painting class, or putting together a scrapbook for your mom or friend.

4. Get out of your comfort zone

Whether this means going on a solo hike or simply getting out more, challenge yourself to meet more people and experience new things by pushing yourself to get out there. Perhaps taking a road trip with no agenda or going to a new coffee shop or bar by yourself would be a great way to get out of your bubble, by meeting new people and having new experiences. You never know who or what you will encounter!

5. Catch up on rest

While you’re not scurrying to get out of the house at the crack of dawn every morning, create a leisurely morning ritual and be sure to enjoy this extra sleep. If you are not one to sleep in, incorporating Yoga Nidra – a form of yoga that’s essentially just as beneficial as a nap – is a great way to rest and restore. (There are free 20-minute sessions on YouTube). By giving yourself the gift of rest this summer, you’ll feel restored once fall comes.

6. Develop a self-care ritual

Pick one thing you can do that will benefit you and you alone – in addition to added sleep! This can be creating a daily meditation practice, yoga, daily walks outside, a monthly massage or pedicure, or simply sitting quietly with a book and tea – but no laptop or clock in sight.

A cheap and easy way to give yourself a massage at home is Abhyanga. Abhyanga massage is a daily, full-body, warm oil massage practiced in Ayurveda that acts as a powerful recharger and rejuvenator of the mind and body. All it requires is some oil.

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