6 Ways to Brighten Up Your Summer
It was late June when I marched through Penn Station and saw the first fantasy football publication on display at the newsstand.
Wow. We live in a “can’t stand still” culture where slowing things down is a real challenge. And in summer it’s critical to find the time stop to smell the flowers before their bloom gives way to autumn.
Guy’s Guys are optimists, and we love summer. The days are longer and the skirts are shorter, but that’s just one reason why your Guy’s Guy has pulled together a handful of nuggets to help you make the most of summer. I won’t be breaking any new ground here. Think of it as Guy Guy cheerleading. You see, I don’t want to imagine you hunched in your cubicle on a rainy day this October, slurping ramen noodles and wondering what the f-ck happened to summer. So here goes, amigos:
1. Get Outside – For context, I know it’s no fun walking around in the city with the temperatures in the nineties and that a hint of a breeze only wafts the smell of the rows garbage bags lined up along the sidewalks. That can drive any urban dweller indoors to the comforts of a cold shower, a frosty brew, and binge watching your favorite show. But before you close the curtains and turn up the AC, let me remind you that there are many wonderful respites from the heat outside.
In New York, we have the wonders of Central Park, the cool breezes along the Hudson River Walk, sexy outdoor cafes, and just a reasonably short ride to one of our local beaches. But regardless of where you live, summer is the best time for outdoor activities like running, tennis, softball, fishing, kiting, a long walk or even a quiet meditation under a shady tree. Your choices are endless. But at the same time, when you live in the Northeast, you’re on the clock when it comes to the seasons and the nice weather.
So make the most of those short summer months and get your butt outdoors. Trust me, even when it’s hot, if you’re in decent health, your body will acclimate to the heat. Personally, I rarely use the AC. My body adjusts naturally and I find that even the slightest breeze cools me off. In fact, I feel cool and refreshed while perspiring profusely during a long run.
2. Seek Water – There is something relaxing about water. Even my two-year-old son often takes a break from his wandering to sit by the Harlem Meer and watch its tranquil waters. I love sitting by the ocean and quieting my mind with the crashing waves providing a calming soundtrack to my thoughts. Swimming, surfing, sailing, water-skiing, fishing, rafting… need I say more? There are so many things to do when you are in the proximity of water. And if you prefer relaxing, pull up a blanket and catch some rays, people watch, or take a nap.
3. Get Physical – Spring blows by quickly these days. Here in NYC it seems like the temps jump from the 50’s directly to the 90’s. There is no smooth slide into summer anymore. So many people get caught off guard when out of the blue the temps hit the 80’s. They panic, thinking, “oh shit, I’m so out of shape and it’s summer. It’s too late to get in shape. I’ll just stay covered up.” Nonsense. The long days of summer provide a perfect opportunity to begin a new workout program or turn your current fitness regime up a few notches. Summer mornings are great for a run or any physical activity. The key is getting out there and doing something. In no time, you’ll see results. And even if the weather turns cold earlier than usual, you’ll have built a solid foundation and jumpstarted your efforts for staying fit in shape and looking good for the holidays.
4. Read – Most of us are glued to the computer screen or the television. How do we find the time to kick back with a novel? The good news is that summer often harkens a more leisurely pace at work due to vacations and in some industries a slowdown. With a little effort, I’m sure you can find time during the summer to crack open a good book. May I recommend my novel, The Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Love?
5. Fall in Love – If you ask me, people seem to let down their guard a bit and act friendlier when the weather is pleasant. Take advantage of it and paste a smile on your face, amigo. Once Old Man Winter comes calling, there will be plenty long cold nights where you will not want to bundle up and venture outside, no matter how bored you are. Summer is the perfect time for making new connections. It doesn’t mean you have to get serious, but I met my wife on a sunny day in July and we were in love by the end of the summer. Anything is possible, especially in the summer, but you’ve got to get out there and mix it up to make it happen. There are many other people out there like you looking to make new friends. You’ve got to be in it to win it.
6. Hit the Road – There’s no better tonic for the blahs than a spur of the moment road trip. And summer is the perfect time for hitting the highway. It doesn’t matter where you go or what you do, just meeting up with your buds with get the sparks flying. Whether it’s camping, hitting a music festival, or checking out a new city, you’ll have the weather on your side all summer. Make the best of it. And if you want to travel somewhere exotic, summer is off-season in the Caribbean so you can score great rates on airfare and lodging.
So next time you hear yourself complaining about the heat, stop and think about the ice, snow, and bitter cold that will be greeting us this winter. So close that laptop, throw on your favorite shorts and a polo shirt, shut that apartment door behind you, and roll.
This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week are The Beach Boys. Like the Rolling Stones, this American musical institution, also recently marked their fiftieth anniversary with a tour. And their infectious songs celebrate the coolest things about summer—like women, surfing, beaches, cars and fun, fun, fun.