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!
Symbolically, at least, July 4th marks the middle of summer. If your local schools let out before Memorial Day, that’s pretty accurate — you’ve already spent about six weeks of the season, and there are probably about six more to go before school starts again.
Even if your schedule is no longer dictated by a school calendar, you may feel like the clock is ticking on your summer fun. The warm weather is likely to stick around until September and October even in the Northern climes, but the pressure is on.
The answer? Get organized and make the most of what’s left of your summer!
Grab a calendar — a paper one, if possible. Is there a trip you’ve been meaning to take? Book your airline tickets or get the oil changed ahead of that road trip. Are there friends you’ve been meaning to invite over for a cookout? Text them or send an electronic invite, and pencil them in.
On a tight budget? And Then We Saved offers 23 ways to make the most of your summer, including finding a swimming hole, going camping or volunteering. Tackling your to-do list and joining a team are other suggestions, alongside just kicking back in a hammock.
If you want to improve your home while it’s nice enough to keep the windows open, consider taking a summer day to do a good decluttering. There’s no time like the present to sell, donate or trash the extra stuff that’s been spilling out of your closets since last summer.
Lifehack suggests a range of thrifty summer activities such as being a tourist in your own hometown and going for a nature walk. And while you’re at it, the site says, take lots of pictures so you can create fond memories of summer 2018.
It isn’t your imagination: The clock is ticking — just as it always is. But summer has that added connotation of “fun in the sun” and “vacation” that makes you want to pack all of the fun activities you can into a few short months.
Make a list of the summery things you want to do, and start checking them off, one by one. Don’t waste another minute if you want to make the second half of your summer even more magical than the first!