5 Ways to Make Summer Feel Longer Lasting

Summer is the one season that always seems to fly by the fastest. Ironically enough, summer is actually the longest of all four seasons at just over 93 days length (while winter is the shortest at just less than 89 days).

Nobody really likes to look back on the summer and wonder where it went. You still have a lot of time left to really enjoy the summer, so consider using the following five strategies to help slow it down by changing your perception of time.

1. Break free from your everyday routine by being a little more spontaneous.

Daily routines and scheduled activities are great for productivity and goal achievement, but they don’t always make life so carefree and enjoyable. If you want to stop feeling like the summer is slipping by so fast, it’s a good idea to learn how to balance routine with spontaneity.

Previous research has shown that scheduling fun activities actually makes them less enjoyable compared to doing them spontaneously, so take this into consideration next time you decide to pencil in a workout or a day at the beach. Instead, try going for a morning run on a whim or head to the beach straight after work for a spontaneous evening of fun.

2. Expose yourself to new people, places and activities.

Being more spontaneous goes hand in hand with embracing novelty, and lucky for you, summer is the perfect time for new experiences. Your brain has to process more information when you have new experiences than it does when it recognizes something is already a part of your routine, which is why a day of doing something completely different can seem longer than a day spent doing what you always do.

The more new experiences you can have, the better. This doesn’t mean having to go on a big adventure every day—something as simple as taking the scenic route to work, introducing yourself to a new neighbor during your morning/evening walk, or signing up for an outdoor yoga class instead of going to the gym can be enough to get your brain high on novelty to alter your time perception.

3. Unplug.

Research has shown that people who are regularly connected to technology tend to perceive time as going by faster than those who aren’t so connected. It’s also a huge distraction and time-suck itself, regardless of how you perceive time.

It would be impractical to give up your smartphone and other devices for the whole summer, so work on making small changes instead. Try consciously blocking out periods of time where you shut everything down (or at least put it on do not disturb/silent). An hour every evening or a 24-hour period every Saturday spent unplugged may be all you need.

4. Get outdoors.

With the time you’re saving by putting your devices down, you can take advantage of the warm weather and longer days by engaging in new activities that get you out and into nature. Studies have shown that walking in nature can boost memory, and if memory is positively affected, then remembering more might lead you to perceive time as going by slower.

Plan to get outside daily by making daily walks a part of your routine, having meals outside, taking your workout outside and swapping car transportation for walking or cycling. And when you do decide to take a trip somewhere new this summer, make sure to check out their natural landmarks.

5. Practice mindfulness.

One of the biggest reasons why so many people perceive time to go by quickly is because they aren’t paying attention. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to learn that by mindfully paying attention to what’s going on in the current moment, time is proven to be perceived as slowed down.

So whether you’re brushing your teeth like you’ve done thousands of times, or having the time of your life at a backyard barbecue, try tuning into all your sensations and experiencing them fully, without judgment. Here’s how you can get started with a mindfulness practice if you’re new to it.

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock

37 comments

Jerome S
Jerome S5 months ago

thanks

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Jerome S
Jerome S5 months ago

thanks

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven6 months ago

thanks for sharing.

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven6 months ago

thanks for sharing.

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Carl R
Carl R6 months ago

Thanks!!!

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Margie FOURIE
Margie F6 months ago

Just appreciate the seasons as they come.

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Nena C
Nena C6 months ago

so tired of hearing some cry and whine about 'oh its so hot' next they cry about 'oh am so cold winter go away' LOL...just plain whinners no matter what, go away!

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heather g
heather g6 months ago

I love the long days of summer....

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rosario p
rosario p.6 months ago

If you do not have any commitment or responsibility towards others it is easy to be and do something spontaneous. If you are a wife, mother and caregiver you are the routine pillar, the care and needs of your family, on which the spontaneity and freedom of action of your loved ones revolves but rarely your own.

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Joanna M
Joanna M6 months ago

Good ideas, but unfortunately when the weather gets cooler and the daylight is shorter, NOTHING works for me...

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