How to Stay Sharp Over the Summer

When you’re on vacation from school, it’s still important to make sure that you stay sharp. Use your free time as a opportunity to keep yourself good and fresh for the new school year!

Specifically, we’re going to be talking about staying sharp mentally and saving money, mostly because that is what my life is right now!

School: Keeping Your Mind Sharp

Everyone knows that feeling of going back to school and realizing that in the past three months, you haven’t been using your brain to it’s fullest potential! You definitely don’t have to take online classes or challenge yourself to your next years homework to keep your mind sharp over the summer.

Think of summer as way to warm your mind up for the next school year, when you get to fully exercise that very important muscle!

Focus, Even if Only for an Hour

Decide on a hobby you want to improve upon, or devote your time too. Reading is great, but so is drawing, photography, a instrument, a sport, anything. Anything productive, at least.

Block out times of the day or the week that you focus on doing just this. An hour a day, or even an hour over the course of a week if that’s all that you can offer. It will help you really develop that skill over the summer, and keeps your mind learning new things when you aren’t in school.

I do this with drawing. I like drawing, but it’s something I’m still not great at. So I will block at an hour some days to just work on it, and it’s not only stress-busting, but it allows me to experiment and try new things. And that’s what summer is about!
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Be More Active

We all know that summer is the perfect time of year to just lay in bed and be a lazy bum. And I am by no means telling you that you shouldn’t watch Netflix for 3 hours straight (or longer, I don’t judge), but just make sure that you use some of this new time to work out a little bit.

It’s so easy to do. You can take a walk around the block. You can use a fitness app. Blogilates anyone?

I like to use Qinetic. It’s an app of video classes, and you can filter it by experience level, if you want to use equipment, or how long you want the class to be. It’s easy to just get up and use it, especially since a lot of the classes aren’t even that long.

Because if you only have a little bit of time, or don’t want to commit to a workout program, you don’t have to push yourself! Even 10 minutes is better than nothing.

Get Out of the Same Old Boring Routine

I hate sticking to the same old boring stuff. I really do. So recently, I switched up my morning and night routines, and so far, I have been really liking it!

But by changing your routine, I don’t mean that you should do the same thing. Maybe it means trying a new drink at Starbuck’s, driving a different route, trying a new thing everyday, or anything else!

The point is that when you are trying new things and allowing yourself to explore, you learn more about the world around you, and you learn more about yourself. What you like, what you don’t like, how you react to certain situations, what environments you learn the most in, etc.

Meditate

Taking a moment to clear your mind of everything helps out when you’re mind has a million things swimming in it. Just make it an everyday habit. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming either. I just do a few minutes of it in the morning while I’m still lying in bed. That’s all you need!

You just have to look up “guided meditation” and there are millions of videos for you to try!

Or you can DIY, and just sit and focus on absolutely nothing but your breath. Either way works great.

Money: Making It… And Keeping It…

This sucks. Money sucks. Or rather, having to save up money sucks. But if you have rent or car payments to make, you need to be doing this. Or if you are paying for your own textbooks for the next school year, there is no way of getting around it: you need to be saving your money.

I had to save up $2000+ for a vacation to Seoul, and I’m currently saving up money for a car, and here are honestly the only tips I can give you:

  1. Have a steady job. Don’t jump from job to job, and don’t quit one job until and only if you have another one lined up. I recently went from job to job, and even though I absolutely hated my first job, I did not leave that place until I knew that I had a guaranteed job at a new place. You should do the same.
  2. Eat at home. Don’t eat out. A quick $5 lunch sounds okay, but not only is it unhealthy, but that money adds up quickly. Like, really quickly. Eat at home and use stuff you already have as much as you can. Unless someone else is paying. In that case, go hog wild for all I care (but don’t really, be respectful of the person buying you food).
  3. Really save every. little. bit. of cash that you get. Holiday money? Birthday money? Tips from work? A quarter on the ground? Save it. Save all of it. You really shouldn’t spend on anything but what you are saving your money on. When I was saving for Seoul I made 2 exceptions: Christmas presents, and a concert (I got to see BTS in Newark 😍), because those were two very important things to me. And this time around now that I am saving money for a car, I treated myself to a new beauty subscription: My Facetory, which sends you sheet masks every month. It’s super cheap. Allow yourself little treats or allowances if you want, but remember that the only way to keep money is to NOT SPEND IT.
  4. Work with what you got. If you love crafts, but don’t want to spend the money to buy new craft supplies, work with what you got! If you like to go out with friends but can’t afford dress or shoes, work with what you got! If you like video games but don’t have money for the newest game, work with what you got! I said in my healthy eating blog that one of the best tips I have is to pace yourself. You don’t have to eat all the cake at a party because there will (hopefully) always be cake in this world. That video game will not disappear after it’s first week in the stores. There will always be cute dresses. There will always be craft stores. You don’t need that right now. Focus on what you want long term, not what you want right not.
  5. Keep a tight eye on your money. My bank sends me emails everyday with my statements, that tell me exactly how much money I have everyday and what was taken or added to my account. I check this email everyday. I’m sure other banks do this too. If not, make sure you are checking it regularly. There’s been times when money was taken out of my account and I wasn’t sure what it was, but I was always able to figure it out eventually. Plus, not only does it let you know exactly where you are financially, but if you notice something that is off, this could ~potentially~ alert you to something like *drum roll* IDENTIFY THEFT! So you really should be checking on this everyday, even if you aren’t saving for anything.

 

That’s all I got for now! What tips do you guys have for staying nice and fresh over the summer? What do you do to prepare for school? Let’s talk in the comments!

 

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