I love the sweet, slow days of summer. And summer is a great time to enjoy the simple things in life. During the summer, life seems to slow down in general. We take more vacation time, the kids are out of school, most activities take a break, etc. There is often less structure and routines, and more freedom, relaxation and play. If you want to have a simple summer like this, it’s not only possible, it’s easy! With a little planning and forethought, you can have a simple summer filled with wonderful, simple moments!
We declutter and simplify our lives to give ourselves more time, space and freedom to enjoy what we value most. Choosing to have less stuff gives us the opportunity to have more life. More life to enjoy the people and activities we love most.
We give ourselves this time, space and freedom to enjoy all seasons of our life. But there is something about summer that makes it the perfect time to slow down and soak it all in. Here are a few easy ways to have a simple summer where you can relax, breathe and enjoy a slower, sweeter summer!
1. Keep it simple
Making the most out of summer doesn’t mean you have to be on the go all the time, planning one activity after the other. An awesome summer doesn’t require expensive vacations or an endless summer bucket list. In fact, it doesn’t have to be expensive or busy at all.
As you plan your summer, remember to keep things simple. The simple, low key, unplanned moments are often the ones where the most magic happens. Often becoming the moments we remember the most.
Another easy way to have a simple summer is by doing some easy meal planning. Taking a few minutes to plan your meals on a weekly or monthly basis lets you spend less time trying to figure out what to cook, and more time enjoying your days. Summer is a great time to cook simple meals that are quick and easy to prepare.
2. Keep your focus on gratitude
One of the easiest ways to have a simple summer full of happiness and memories is to keep your focus on gratitude. Notice and appreciate everything – the big things, and the small things. This is important all year, not just in the summer. But having a grateful attitude is a wonderful way to make awesome memories during a simple summer.
As you go about your day, look for and notice all the wonderful things you can be grateful for. The more you look for things to appreciate and be grateful for, the more you’ll find! Keep things simple and you’ll give yourself the time and space for more gratitude.
The best things in life aren’t things.
There are so many little pleasures during the summer to notice and appreciate. The wonderful feeling of walking barefoot in the grass. Taking a moment to watch the clouds pass by. The magic of spending a warm summer evening outside. One of my favourite things to notice on summer days is the dirt left in the tub after my kids get out of the bath. To me, that’s a sign of a summer day well spent playing, exploring and soaking it all in.
Going for a walk can be a great chance to practice gratitude. Take the time to notice the warm breeze, the sunshine on your face, the green leaves, etc. Your days will be what you make of them. Choosing to focus on gratitude will turn a simple summer into a memorable one!
3. Be intentional with your time
You are working hard to declutter and simplify your life to give yourself more time, space and freedom. Protect that time, space and freedom you’re creating by being intentional about what you commit to and how you spend your time.
Decide what is most important to you, whether it’s more time with your family, more travelling, more time for a hobby, etc. Then make sure to say yes more often to the things that are most important to you. And say no to the things that don’t align with what you value most.
Saying no isn’t always easy. But remember that every time you say yes to one thing, it means saying no to something else. Make sure the things you’re saying yes to are the things that really matter most to you. The more you practice saying no, in a gentle, loving way, the easier it becomes.
4. Give yourself plenty of unscheduled time
Part of being intentional with your time to have a simple summer is making sure you don’t overschedule or overcommit your time. Remind yourself that you don’t have to do everything. An important part of having a simple summer is leaving plenty of space in your schedule for unscheduled time and downtime.
By having fewer scheduled activities and commitments during the summer, you give yourself the opportunity to have spontaneous adventures or just take time to rest and relax.
Decide ahead of time what activities you really want to do this summer and plan for those. Then, plan for unplanned and unscheduled days too. Days when you can go with the flow and do anything you feel like at that moment. Don’t feel the need to fill and plan every moment of your summer. Try not to panic if you feel bored at first without a full schedule. Giving yourself the chance to be bored is often when our creativity kicks in the most!
5. Get outside
One of the easiest ways to enjoy a simple summer is to spend as much time as you can outside in nature. We live in a place where our summers are brief, so I try to make the most of each summer day. Summer is a great time to aim for less screen time and more nature time.
Take time to be outside. Go for a walk, eat a meal outside, build a campfire and make s’mores, go for a bike ride. Planting a garden or a container garden is a great way to spend time outside. If you have a black thumb like me, plant something hardy that can grow despite your lack of gardening skills! You can even simply pull out a chair and enjoy the sunshine or the starlight. It doesn’t have to be complicated or exhausting, just get outside and enjoy the beauty all around you!
6. Have rhythms but stay flexible
During the summer I love relaxing the rules and routines for our family and allowing for more flexibility. Figure out what works best for you and your family. I like having some simple, flexible rhythms we follow, to keep our days running smoothly, but also letting them feel more relaxed.
If you have kids, they often do better with some structure and routine in their days. But letting go of a rigid structure and opting for more flexible rhythms is a great way to find a balance.
For example, the structure of our day is more relaxed in the summer. But we follow a fairly consistent rhythm at the same time. This gives our days some consistency but also leaves us open to fun, spontaneous adventures. Sometimes the best moments are the ones we don’t plan or expect but just happen naturally.
Have a simple summer you’ll enjoy!
The key to having a simple summer is deciding what is right for you and your family. Then making intentional choices to create a summer you will enjoy, rather than survive.
What are your favourite ways to have a simple summer? Leave a comment and share your favourite simple summer tips below!