Summer is almost here! And with it, the promise of long, warm days and evenings spent outdoors!

For many of us, summer is the favorite time of year. The weather is warm, flowers are blooming, and the salty seaside air beckons. There’s ice cream to be had outdoors; and plenty of hikes, picnics, and spontaneous road trips await!

Summer is also the time of year where our jam-packed schedules tend to give way to a bit more blank space and breathing room. Taking some time off to relax and spend with the ones that you love is a priceless part of the season.

Regardless of what you have on your plate, summer can be the season to kick back, relax, and enjoy yourself. While pursuing your goals and passions is important, take time to enjoy the little things as well.

With this in mind, here’s a look at a few ways that you can squeeze the most out of your summer!

1. Be Intentional With Your Time

The summer months can fly by quickly, so it’s important to be intentional with your time. Sure, you may have a little bit more free time, but that doesn’t mean that you can say yes to everything that comes along. Saying no to demands on our time doesn’t always come naturally, but it’s important to remember to keep some time free in your schedule to relax and spend time doing the things you love.

2. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Summer is the perfect time for doing those things that you’ve always wanted, but perhaps haven’t had the time to do. Book a getaway to a new location, plan a road trip, visit a museum that you haven’t been to yet, or go on a bucket-list adventure. Choose something fun to do this summer. You’ll grow from the experience, and will be glad that you did!

3. Get Lost in a Book

Summer’s the time to stock up on some good reads. After all, what better way to unwind? This summer, why not challenge yourself to read a good book—or three! You could check out some from the library, get some new titles for your Kindle, or even join a book club.

4. Focus on Gratitude

All too often, it’s easy to get trapped in a cycle of negativity. We focus on the worst in others, and tend to dwell on what-if scenarios. But instead of constantly worrying or focusing on fears, stress, and guilt, it’s important to refresh our minds regularly; and make a conscious effort to find the good in life. Focusing on gratitude and expressing appreciation for the little things in life can help you to view the world in a whole new light. Take time to make memories and enjoy the little things that life has to offer. Take a walk and notice the sunshine and warm breeze. Then, make it a practice to write down one thing you’re thankful for every day, and watch as your outlook begins to look lighter.

5. Leave Some Room in Your Planner

While it may seem to contradict itself, scheduling time in to have unscheduled time is important! As the season goes on, summer schedules tend to get chaotic and busy. Before you know it, you’re trapped in an endless cycle of go-go-go! Before your calendar fills up, take the time to make sure you have plenty of downtime scheduled into your planner. A little bit of blank space will help you to find balance in life.

6. Find a Good Rhythm

While summer is a great time to be spontaneous and carefree, it is also important to develop a rhythm—one that’ll keep you on-track and help everything to fall into place far more easily. Having a basic schedule for your day can be helpful for ensuring that everything gets done, while still giving you plenty of time to step back and enjoy those beautiful and all-too-fleeting lazy summer days.

7. Share the Love

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, look to create meaningful downtime by prioritizing and spending it with the ones you love. As Abbas Abedi of Health Guidance wisely suggests, “Don’t push yourself too hard trying to please everyone. You just can’t. And it never seems to be worth it anyway. When you want to make somebody’s day, start with your loved ones.”

While it can be tempting to cram everything into the summer months, be sure to keep in mind that simple is often better; and frequently provides more enjoyment than more elaborate plans. At the end of the day, who you’re with counts a lot more than what you’re doing; and leaving time for friends and loved ones is the best way to create memories that will last.

What are your plans for this summer? We can’t wait to hear from you in the comments below.

P.S. Still looking to plan out your summer (and your year ahead)? Day Designer is your ally in leading a balanced life—allowing you to map out tasks that need to be done while ensuring that you leave enough white space for summertime spontaneity. Try a free sample page today!