17 Ideas for a More Productive Summer

(Dr. Clayton Lawrence, founder and CEO, shares his thoughts in a weekly column focused on community wellness and inspiring others.)

Although there are several historical theories behind the reason school-aged children get a nearly three-month break from school during the summer months – one involving the need for more farm-hands and another the need for wealthy families to escape the heat – one thing remains true: Learning is important all year ‘round. And it’s easy (and fun) to do!

While June through August are generally reserved for relaxing in the summer sun, the final day of break often sneaks up too quickly, leaving you wishing you would have done a bit more while you had the free time. Fortunately, it’s only July 11, so there is plenty of time and countless opportunities all around to make the most of the next month and a half.

Here are a few great ideas to expand your knowledge, enrich your community and fully engage in summer break.

Volunteering is a great way to help others and widen your scope on society.

Help out in the kitchen to gain valuable life skills.

Build upon a favorite sport by signing up for summer camps.

Discover ways that smart phone apps can encourage physical activity.

Explore internship possibilities in your field of interest.

Create academic goals for the upcoming school year.

Enhance memory and the ability to multitask by learning a second language.

Clean out closets and drawers and donate to a local charity.

Understand the complexities of human behavior by reading a few good books.

Learn something new every day through educational resources, like websites or documentaries.

Start a savings account by getting a summer job. The work experience looks great on the future resume!

Make a point to visit with relatives, like grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. You could learn incredible things about your family ancestry and have a deeper understanding of your own traits and tendencies.

Lace up your hiking boots and explore nature with a camera and journal. Relaxing AND rewarding.

Visit the local library to sign up for free classes or workshops in your areas of interest.

Form an accountability group with which to engage in regular fitness activities.

Stick to a healthy sleep routine that involves a consistent bedtime and wake up time.

Create a bucket list and get started! (Be sure to include overcoming a few of your greatest fears!)