Can you believe it? The calendar has already turned on May; June’s the new kid on the block. With Memorial Day now in our rearview mirror, we’re now officially in summer mode and for small businesses this often means leaner times (unless of course you are selling fishing equipment or renting boats). Instead of focusing on how you can cut costs and save this summer, I have decided to instead focus on what you, yourself can do to rejuvenate your body and mind.
With that, I give you my top eight tips on how to refresh, relax and rejuvenate the mind and body this summer.
I know, I have already killed the 866th horse with this comment. Everyone who has a mind, keyboard and nary a thought running through their mind, offers this tidbit of advice. My approach to this tip takes a little more commitment. My challenge to you: unplug your phone, iPad, laptop and any other device you use to communicate with the outside world for one weekend. Obviously, this is tough to accomplish if you’re sitting in an apartment in a bustling city on a weekend. This brings me to my next point…
2. Immerse Yourself in Nature
Don’t half-ass this one. There is nothing more repulsive than seeing someone out fishing with pole in one hand and an iPhone in the opposite hand. Don’t be that guy who brings his work laptop on a camping trip and justifies this decision by claiming that he is “just checking in.” Those emails that you customarily check on Saturday mornings won’t grow legs and run off. They will be there when you return from your trip, I promise you that.
Get out in nature this summer and fully immerse yourself for a weekend. Yup, that’s right, an entire weekend. Leave all the electronic gizmos and gadgets behind that have made us more drone-like than humans between Monday and Friday. If you can’t do this, turn them off and stow them away in a place where you won’t get the urge to check them. Do what you’re supposed to do and enjoy the sounds, smells and taste of nature.
3. Take Care of Tasks That You Have Been Putting Off
Those nasty looking shingles have been starting at you from above for the last 18 months. They’re laughing at you…and falling on you. You’re reminded of this every time you pull into the driveway. On a nice weekend, put together a plan of action that takes you from step 1 (assessing the state of the shingles) to step 10 (replacing them) and don’t press yourself to get this done all in one-day (most likely not possible). It’s a proven fact that a task that is divvied up into digestible chunks of time is more likely to be seen through to completion. Do this and you’ll be amazed at the results.
4. Create a 100-mile Circle Around your City and Go for a Trip
The same old grind can get well, old after a while, don’t you think? Running through the same parks, frequenting the same restaurants and seeing the same construction projects gets old. Without breaking the bank and dipping into those precious vacation days, look within a 100 mile radius of the city you currently call home. You’ll be amazed at how much opportunity lies outside your city. Me? I haven’t been to Philadelphia in 5 years. What makes this even more pathetic is that I live 90 miles away. Just like that, I have my first destination of the summer.
5. Remember Your New Year’s Resolution…Yup That One
Seems like a while ago, right? We’re nearly half done with 2012 and you still haven’t registered for that half marathon that you should have been training for in January. There are no excuses now. If you’re one that has a tough time sticking to a regimen, set daily reminders in your phone. If you can’t do this, make it a competition. Try downloading one of these 15 apps and achieve points, rewards and in some cases, even money, for accomplishing your goals.
6. Surprise Yourself Once a Month
Full disclosure: this piece of advice is literally copied and pasted from one of my previous posts in February. Unoriginal? Yes. Still relevant: absolutely. Now on with this tip:
Not the spontaneous type? That’s ok, that means that only once a month you will have to submit to your fears and try something completely out of your comfort zone. Looking to shake things up? Try something you have always wanted to do, but have never had “the time” to do it. Hot air ballooning, wind surfing and base jumping are a few crazy ones I want to try. These may take a little planning. How about shoot for smaller, more digestible surprises, such as trying that meatball shop in the Lower East Side you have been meaning to go to for months or exploring Prospect Park in Brooklyn?
7. Wear Sunscreen
Heed the advice dispensed in The Sunscreen Song by Baz Luhrmann (source is Chicago staff writer Mary Schmich): don’t forget to wear sunscreen. Too many of us walk confidently out into the sun without even batting an eye, or worse without applying sunscreen and spend days recovering from a few hours of vanity. Don’t ruin a weekend or a week complaining and nursing bad burns. Take care of yourself before you get in the sun and you’ll see that your summer is much more enjoyable (and less painful).
8. Hold Meetings and Work Outside
When it’s 82 degrees outside with a slight breeze, I want to be outside just as much as the next guy. Take advantage of the nice weather and find opportunities to work remotely from outdoor cafes and restaurants. If this is not possible, find a bench outside your office in a courtyard or on the rooftop. If you have neither of these, hold your daily or weekly status meetings outside. My point being: do whatever it takes to extricate yourself from your desk and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of being outside.
What did I miss? What activities and ideas do you have in place for this summer to refresh and rejuvenate your body and mind? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.