More hours of daylight mean more hours for summer fun. Wake up early to enjoy the sunrise, then get out and enjoy the sun by taking a long hike in the wilderness, Ecological Calendar suggests. Invite friends and family to enjoy the twilight hours at a cookout after work, or take the day off to go swimming or boating. Cool off with an ice cream cone or tall class of lemonade. Starting Saturday, the days will slowly get shorter and shorter until there’s as little as nine hours of daylight in the lower 48 states, so the #solstice invites you to make the most of summer while you can.
You’ll cast the year’s smallest noontime shadow when the summer solstice arrives at 11:54 EDT on Friday, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make big plans. Use the sun’s extended presence to get recalibrate yourself toward life goals, Vogue suggests. “Energetically, it’s a great time for a check-in,” says healer Emily Mikaelah. “Take the time to ask yourself, ‘What progress has been made on my dreams?’ and ‘Have I been doing my part to make them come into fruition?’ The fruit is ripening soon, and we want to pick it off the branch when it’s at its peak.”
Friday, June 21 marks this year’s summer #solstice — the longest day of 2019. Every location north of the equator worldwide will have at least 12 hours of daylight, and a few U.S. cities — in Alaska, naturally — will see no sunset whatsoever. Celebrate the sun by making sun tea, planting a garden or making a solstice feast of fresh (yellow) summer ingredients such as lemons and summer squash, WikiHow suggests. As the sun finally sets, light a candle or bonfire and keep it lit until the sun rises again, as the ancient pagans once did to honor of the gifts of dark and light.
Water is generally the answer to keeping cool in the summertime — the more, the better, whether you’re drinking it or soaking in it. When it’s hot out, there’s nothing like a splash in in the pool, lake or ocean to really cool off, the Barefoot Nomad says. If all else fails, you can pick up a cheap kiddie pool to soak your feet, or take a run through the sprinkler. Evaporation helps you keep cool, too, so find a spray bottle to mist yourself with when the temps become unbearable. Add botanicals such as lavender or cucumber slices and keep it cold in the fridge — instead of sweaty, you’ll feel like you’ve gone to the spa!
Dressing for the (hot) weather? Start with loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing. Clothing and hats block the sun’s damaging UV rays by providing your body with its own portable patch of shade, and light colors absorb less sunlight. Keep garments loose to allow airflow to cool the skin, NPR says; use sunscreen to protect exposed areas, but don’t forget that it can actually make you feel hotter by preventing sweat. If your closet is short on sheers, try the local thrift store for a few lightly used summer garments; shopping thrifts supplied by ClothingDonations.org helps veterans!