Summer is a season loved by many. After months of quarantine changing the way we live our lives, most of us are ready for a fun and happy summer. Although many places still have some restrictions and a lot of people are reluctant to travel or mingle excessively, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate this summer and make it one to remember.
Sure, the way we socialize recently changed drastically in a short amount of time. It has proven a difficult adjustment for some people. Even though we may not be indulging in sunny afternoons with crowds of sweaty people like summers past, we can still all have a blast.
Travel may not be what it used to be right now, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out. Luckily, there is now a whole world available to experience from the comfort and safety of home. Virtual travel and virtual tours can take you anywhere you want to go and give you a glimpse of faraway places and other cultures.
Did you know that the commonly used Google Maps also offers Google Treks? The Amazon Basin, Brazil, the pyramids of Giza, the Sambu National Reserve in Kenya and the Eiffel Tower in France are just some of the places you can explore on virtual treks.
The Google Treks begin with a dazzling array of scenes from the chosen location and music to coincide. It plays like a theatrical trailer. Afterward, you have a map view with different pin options to choose to visit.
Each place will give you a glimpse of what you might have witnessed visiting the destination, and there is no need for a passport or worry of recommended vaccinations for travel. More importantly, as the biologist E.O. Wilson said, “Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction.”
If you are looking for art and culture without leaving home, Google Art and Culture teamed up with 2,500 museums and galleries to offer virtual tours of their exhibits. No matter what kind of art you fancy, you are likely to find your favorite artist or artistic movement, and art is a wonderful way to cope with difficult circumstances. You never know. A virtual museum tour may just inspire your creativity this summer.
Reading is FUNdamental
A good book can transport you to another reality, and this is especially helpful for those who get bored while stuck indoors. There is no shortage of places online to find books for children, teens and adults for cheap or even free.
Google Books, Open Library, Project Guttenberg, Book Bub and Smashwords are all book websites. Some, like Guttenberg, are completely free and ask for a donation if you can, and others like Book Bub and Google Books have both free and low-cost options.
No matter what author or genre you prefer, with so many options online, everyone can get into a good book without breaking the bank or needing a library card.
Backyard Blast or Nature Escape
If you have a backyard, you are in luck. Your backyard is a place you might overlook or even take for granted. Just under the surface of what you see at a glance every day, there is a whole world waiting to be discovered.
From insects and birds to flowers, bushes, grass, sand and trees, there are so many facets to the world you share with other living beings. Consider finding a book about the nature near you and try to identify some of these animals, plant and insects. The more we learn how we all are a part of the world, the more we care. Also, when we recognize so much life around us, the world can seem way less lonely.
Those in cities may have to search a bit to find it, but even in cities, there is other life and some nature. If you are able, consider taking a ride to find some trees, grass and greenery. It might help you gain some perspective and put your mind at ease.
If you are in a situation where you feel deprived of nature, we would love to bring some natural beauty to you. Our florists at Wild Strawberry & More serving Okemos, MI, would be happy to safely deliver some flowers and plants straight to your door.
Beautifying Your Surroundings
With most of us spending more time at home, it helps to organize and clean up. Clean and tidy surroundings help you feel more energetic, more productive and more at ease.
Something as simple as a new comforter, a nice picture or colorful rugs can brighten your space and put you in more of a mood for summer.
If you want to add a pop of color and charm, consider a summer bouquet of freshly cut gerbera daisies or even a tropical plant like a hibiscus. Even better, plants and fresh flowers have been studied for the positive effect they have on mood, so why not give them a try this summer?
Many of us make resolutions in the first part of the year that don’t quite make it to the summer. Well, that doesn’t have to be the case. There are now tons of ways to get healthy habits recharged even while we may be staying indoors a bit more often than usual.
Whether you might have an interest in yoga, kickboxing or martial arts, chances are, you can find a free online class on YouTube or a website. Sometimes, it just takes a little searching.
The same is true about healthy eating. There is an abundance of information about nutrition and its effect on health available online. Doctors are recommending that we eat more whole, natural foods and less processed foods. With the recent pandemic reminding us how precious our health is, this summer is a great time to try out some healthy recipes and make small yet important improvements like drinking more water and getting enough sleep.
So much of our health is influenced and dependent upon our state of mind. This summer, make time to take deep breaths of fresh air, stop to smell the flowers and see the beauty of the world. We all hope you have a happy, healthy summer!