One evening during a conversation with my therapist, she asked me, “What are you doing for fun? You need something to look forward to besides work opportunities.” Her comment made me pause and think about how to make this summer unforgettable. I quickly realized that I hadn’t had real fun in a very long time. Between juggling work, pursuing my master’s degree, and caring for several households, I found myself in a joyless pit, itching for some relief.
As an avid journaler, I thought, what better way to understand what’s missing in my life than to write it down? As a to-do list person, I thought it would be an interesting challenge to make a list of things to do that are not centered on career development, work, or achievement. I decided to make a summer bucket list but found the process more difficult than I thought. I had a hard time figuring out what to put on the list, as I felt like I had racked up several amazing memories over the years; then it hit me – I started to think about all the things I hadn’t done yet and would love to do. This summer, I wanted to be spontaneous, rested, joyful, and pure fun without trying to control every aspect of my life.
Creating a summer bucket list has allowed me to welcome more fun into my life with the hopes of creating happy memories and curating joyful experiences for myself and my loved ones. So what’s a summer bucket list anyway, and how can it be useful in setting the tone to enjoy your summer holistically? A summer bucket list is a collection of activities and experiences to accomplish during the summer. It’s a way to create a roadmap of big and small adventures that will make the most of the season. Just a few weeks into the summer, I’ve noticed how calm I am. As someone who suffers from anxiety, I must prioritize my mental health by being social, exercising, and relaxing, and all activities are included on my list. With this list, I’m making an active effort to not only keep my mental health top of mind but have some fun while doing so.
How can one make a list?
Check-in with yourself to examine your needs; a way to do that is by taking an emotional self-inventory. What do you need more of this summer? More joy, community? I needed to center play to get back to who I am besides my work title, but your reason can look and feel very different; there’s no specific rhyme or reason to making this list.
What’s on my list?
My summer bucket list comprises several themes, emotional, playful, and fun, with an effort to develop long-lasting, positive, and fond memories. Note that this list is a work in progress, and as I begin to knock out the activities on it, I’m inspired to try new activities. See a snapshot of my summer bucket list below.
Fun activities that allow me to learn new skills:
Read 3-5 books for pleasure
Activities that inspire rest and restoration:
Wineries – Cielo Farms
Outdoor music festival
Road trip – Palm Springs
Visit Los Angeles beaches Hermosa beach
Visit Oje Caliente in New Mexico
Remember to prioritize fun, wellness, and rest this summer!