Summer break is almost here, and in some parts of the world, things are slowly opening back up. But, it's unlikely that the world will be back to "normal" anytime soon. We all kind of have to accept that this summer vacation will not be the same as the last one. For example, your summer camp might have been canceled or been switched to virtual. Here are some tips for how to start planning your summer around this and to make the most of this summer vacation.
When times are hard, or there is a lack of structure to your day, it is especially helpful to have a schedule that you follow. Near the start of everything shutting down, I made a google spreadsheet for my schedule. I think it significantly helped me get up and get through the days until I started to get used to life stuck at home.
I suggest using a spreadsheet for your summer plan but you could also use a calendar. First, add all the things already planned for a specific time, like classes or meetings. Then, fill in any empty spaces with other fun summer activities like some reading. If you have a lot of spare time, I recommend taking an online course. Make sure to schedule some things that are outside and off a screen. A trip to the park is good as long as you follow the social distancing guidelines. It's also important to get some exercise. Ideally, go on a short bike ride, walk, or run at least three times per week. Keeping active helps you stay healthy, both physically and mentally. Also, lookout for a virtual summer program to keep yourself busy for extended periods of time.
Summer vacation... Currently, nobody knows if we will be able to travel even by the end of this year. Despite this, if you can find a fully refundable flight the tickets should be less expensive. I would not recommend booking a summer trip before October or November.
Not being able to see people in person is hard. Especially now, is it important to maintain connections and socialize as often as possible. I try to talk with friends for at least 45 minutes every day. You can do this over the phone or by text or email. If you decide to make a summer schedule, I would certainly budget in some time for this.
It's not healthy to spend too much time doing one thing. A good summer plan has a mixture of activities. Some inside, some outside, some on a screen, and some off. Make sure to consider this when planning your days. I choose to spend 4 or so hours on assorted screen-related activities, at least 1.5 hours outside, and some time doing other fun non-screen activities like summer reading or a trip to the local park.
By: Ilan (NY)