Mindfulness Diaries: how to have the best summer


Nidhi Thomas

In this weekly column, guest contributer Nidhi Thomas writes about bringing mindfulness into everyday life.

Nidhi Thomas, Guest Contributor

It’s the middle of June. You’re in sunny California, with the wind blowing in your face, the sand between your toes, and the water gently tugging at you. This is how your life’s been recently; absolute paradise. 

Hey, it’s great. You haven’t had to think about school for a good month, you’ve finally had the opportunity to do absolutely nothing. And, you’ll do the same thing for the next two months, until school starts up again, what could be so wrong about it? Well, though it’s important to just chill and give your mind a break when you know you really need to, taking too long a break can actually negatively affect you. Being a student myself, I’ve made this mistake countless times. I go on summer break, do nothing, and then get extremely overwhelmed when the school year starts again. It’s key to balance fun with productivity. 

One thing you can do over the summer to keep your mind stimulated is take on or improve upon a skill. It doesn’t have to be something academic. You don’t need to pull up Khan Academy and finish an entire year’s worth of math work. It can be something fun, like learning how to paint or play an instrument. Make it something you don’t have to put a time limit on that’s low stress. Set a goal for yourself, like, for example, “by the end of summer, I want to be able to play this song on the piano, and get there at your own pace.” Go slow, and take your time, that’s what this stretch of 3 months is for. 

Another thing you could do over the summer is volunteer. I don’t think a lot of people consider this one, probably because it’s a bit unconventional. But it definitely should be something you try doing. 

Oftentimes, during summer break, people go to summer camp, mainly because it gives them a chance to hang out with their friends. The truth is though, you don’t know how much you’ll really enjoy these camps. You might go there, and regret it immediately. I’ve experienced this a handful of times myself but had to continue going for the allotted time because my parents had paid for it. If you just want to do something fun with your friends, maybe ditch the summer camp and go volunteering instead. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to go back, because it’s free. Also, you can volunteer at multiple different places, so you never get bored.

So, take it from me, don’t watch YouTube all day. Be active, physically or mentally, in whatever way you want. 

The start of the school year will be much less bumpy, because you’ll have kept your mind running, and you’ll feel much more fulfilled after doing something other than just sitting in your bed and staring at the ceiling. With that, I leave it to you, anonymous reader. 

Happy summer break, and good luck!