If you are like most people with autoimmune disease or chronic illness, chances are you are looking at everyone having fun this summer and wondering how you can fit some fun in between pain and fatigue and all of the annoying symptoms. Here’s your Summer Bucket List for a more mindful and fun summer, especially if you have health challenges. Plus a FREE printable to download!
I’ve seen them. The summer bucket lists which look simply divine. Like… who has that much fun in the summer? Dealing with autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue, and a whole host of health issues throughout the years, summer to me is trying to find that happy balance between having fun, being exhausted, and doing the Goldilocks with the heat outside and AC inside (hot/cold sensitivity solidarity anyone?).
This Summer Bucket List is for you. If you are struggling with health challenges. If you can’t get out and about as much as some people. If going on vacation sounds exhausting.
So let’s have fun this summer in a more mindful and intentional way.
It’s time to enjoy your summer… YOUR WAY.
Oh and PS – everything is listed here and I also included a free printable you can download too!
Summer Bucket List
As I said, I know what it’s like. I made this Summer Bucket List for you. Because I’ve experienced it myself. I love summer. I love the warm weather. And I wanted to still be able to enjoy it to the fullest even when my health was the worst. So I’m sharing from my heart and my experiences. I’ve included a few photos too.
Are you ready to have fun this summer on your terms?
Take a mindful walk in nature.
Some people call it mindful walking in nature. Some people call it forest bathing. It doesn’t even have to be a long walk. Enjoy your surroundings. Enjoy nature. We live close to some great wooded space and Hannibal and I love walking through the woods. I also love experiencing nature’s beauty through his lens.
Stargaze in silence.
When was the last time you looked at the stars for more than a second? Get a comfy chair or blanket and spend a few minutes before bedtime gazing at the stars. Do you remember the constellations?
Any outdoor activity.
What does this mean to you? Taking a walk or riding a bike? Canoe? Mini golf? Free outdoor concert? Before cancer, I raced in Xterra off-road triathlons. After cancer and autoimmune and chronic fatigue, I swapped hours of training rides on my dual-suspension mountain bike for a 1941 vintage Columbia and easy rides around the neighborhood.
Plant a garden.
Hashtag favorite summer activity!!! You don’t need to have a yard with a veggie garden. Plant some herbs in small containers inside and enjoy adding freshness to your favorite summer dinners. For me… this is my summer happy place.
Green your beauty routine.
The summer sun and heat can be rough on our skin. Green your beauty routine with non-toxic and skin-friendly products free of formaldehyde, oxybenzone, parabens, phthalates, SLS, and triclosan. And look for non-toxic sunscreen products as well.
Watch the sunrise.
I know many of you don’t like to get up early. But there is so much beauty in watching a morning sunrise. It’s God’s promise of a new day. New love. New hope. New beginnings. Normally, I will check out the sunrise from our kitchen window. But if I’m feeling adventurous, I’ll walk down to the river and enjoy the quiet moment. Take some time and reflect on the new day.
Have a picnic.
Is it me or does it seem like commercials and TV shows make going on picnics look so much fun and so romantic (even if it’s a picnic for one)? But in reality… it always seems like so much work. Plus the time and effort to pack… it can be exhausting. I do like to picnic, just not in the idyllic movie kinda way. I’ll pack a few snacks, some water, and a blanket, and take Hannibal along. We hang out, maybe even nap. And enjoy the day.
Walk barefoot in the grass or sand.
It’s called “grounding”, or sometimes “earthing”. Walk barefoot in the grass or sand. Let your body connect with the earth. Feel the solid foundation of the ground. Remember when you were a kid and you ran around all summer barefoot? Yeah. That. Only the adult version. PS – bonus points if you get a pedi too!
Shop at your local Farmer’s Market.
I love supporting the local farmers at our Farmer’s Market. It’s a win-win for everyone. And you walk away with fresh, (and organic) produce and goodies.
Go on a digital detox.
Summer is THE PERFECT time to unplug and go on a digital detox. There are so many benefits including having more free time, decreasing stress, and being more mindful. And guess what… you have an entire bucket list of items to fill your time!!!
Make ice cream or popsicles.
Ice cream. Seriously. The best summer activity. EVER! Even though I’m dairy free, there are sooooo many nice cream options out there. Go to your favorite ice cream shop and enjoy a cone or dish. Slow down and savor the moment. Or even better, make your own!
Take a nap outside.
Yeah, so there’s ice cream. And napping. Napping definitely wins. Relax on the chaise, or get a blanket. And nap. PS – don’t fall asleep for hours in the sun! Make sure you have your sunscreen on and/or are in the shade and/or set a timer!
Go for a swim.
Back in the day when I was a triathlete, swimming was a workout. A mile or two-mile swim was just another day. Nowadays, it’s more of some easy laps. We canceled our pool membership a few years ago so I don’t go as often. This photo was taken at my sister’s pool in LA. Whether it’s a pool or lake or ocean… enjoy a little time in the water. It’s one of the best summer activities!
Meditate by the campfire.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s winter or summer. To me, watching a fire is simply mesmerizing. Hubby said that in the Army, they called it “Joe TV.” That’s so true. You can literally watch a fire for hours. PS – bonus points if you make some s’mores while you are hanging out at the campfire.
Write a letter.
Who writes letters anymore? With texting and DMing and email… writing letters is so last decade. But hand-written letters are that much more appreciated. Sit in a cozy spot and write a few letters to your loved ones.
Outdoor yoga is a thing! Look for a local class, or take your tablet outside and watch a free class on YouTube! Yoga is one of the best ways to practice your breathwork and practicing yoga outside is that much better.
And I don’t mean open a jar and scoop out some mix. Learn to make real, refreshing lemonade and enjoy a few quiet moments to sip in silence.
Get a pedicure.
Back to the grounding activity above. Yes, it’s indulgent. But sometimes a girl just needs a pedi. Do it yourself or go to a salon. Our tootsies need some TLC too!
Eat dinner outside.
Whether it’s out on your deck or at your favorite restaurant, take an evening and enjoy dinner outside. It’s fun to get out of your routine and do something different once in awhile. Even if it’s the same thing you do every night!
Dance in your PJs.
Yup. It’s a thing. Download your favorite summertime playlist or your favorite songs and dance in your PJs.
As a kid, this one was a lot of fun. Now as an adult, I’m like… why? But humor me here. Get a jar. Catch a few fire flies. Be a kid again for a moment in time. Enjoy the magic. And release them, along with all of the cares and stresses in your world.
Look through old vacation photos.
Whether they are digital or actual photos, take a rainy afternoon and look through some old vacation photos. Gather your loved ones around and take turns sharing your favorite vacation memories.
Dance in the rain.
And we’re back to dancing. And rainy days. Grab your wellies and dance in the rain and puddles. Even if it’s just for a couple of minutes.
Read a book.
Find your favorite cozy summer spot and grab your summer read. Let everything go and focus on your book and the journey that you are on. PS – bonus points if you take a nap after reading time is over.
Let’s finish off your summer bucket with the quintessential summer activity. Making S’mores! Whether they are traditional S’mores by the campfire or any creative recipe you can dream of, it’s not officially summer until S’mores are made.
CHEERS to summer.
CHEERS to being more mindful.
CHEERS to you.
Are you Inspired?
Love, hugs, and having fun in the sun.
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