When I was at school and, later, at university, the one thing my friends and I looked forward to was the summer vacation. The idea of having 2-3 months with nothing to do seemed like heaven and, at first, it often was! But eventually, that total freedom and the lack of even an extremely flexible framework began to lose its attraction and very soon boredom would set in.
We all need time to ‘recharge our batteries’ and, of course, only students and teachers have really long summer holidays so if you have two weeks at most, you may feel that you need both of them to catch up on your sleep, be lazy and enjoy the change (or lack) of routine.
There’s an English saying which I always like to remember in August: “A change is as good as a rest”. When you have had enough of the hot Cyprus sun, when the beaches are noisy and overcrowded, when half of the country’s shops and offices are closed and when you have managed to get some of that precious rest, why not use your time to implement some kind of change? I’m not suggesting that you should forget about enjoying yourself – on the contrary, you can still have plenty of summer fun – but you can also make the most of not having to spend most of your day in your office or workplace.
Here are 22 tips on making your summer holiday enjoyable, memorable and even life-changing
- Read. Make a list of books you’ve always wanted to read and start at the top. You can easily combine reading with sunbathing and summer days by the sea. Here is one of the books I suggest you read this summer: "The One Thing"
- Listen. If reading is not your thing why not listen to a podcast – a podcast is a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or portable media player. Why not start with the ‘King of Podcast’, Tim Ferriss. Here is one of my favorite podcasts of all time: "Podcast"
- Get fit. No time to exercise or is that just an excuse? You’ll soon find out! Start an exercise programme or just go walking or jogging.
- Research your family history. Talk to the older adults in your family and put together a family tree. It’s also a good chance to reconnect with relatives. Here is a software to get you started: "Family Research"
- Clean up! Once you get rid of the clutter in your living and work space, you’ll focus more easily on the things you need to do.
- Take a free online course. This is the perfect time to learn a new skill, which may help you at work or may have no connection at all. Check out MasterClass which I find very helpful to my cause (with an annual subscription).
- Manage your time better. Good time management can make you more efficient, more reliable and able to get more things done. Follow the advice above and enroll in one of the many courses here: http://bit.ly/2a64AGw
- Manage your communication skills better. Learn how to spellbound an audience and/or learn how to get over your fear of public speaking. Follow the advice above and enroll in my latest online course "Stand Up, Stand Out" which has a lifetime access.
- Become a home tourist. My feeling is that come June, Covid-19 will be a thing of the past. When that happens the join the millions of foreign visitors which spend time and money on visits to museums and archaeological sites. Why don’t you?
- Sell stuff you don’t need. That old DVD player, books you won’t read again and clothes you’re tired of could make you some money. Log on to eBay now!
- Take up an instrument or learn a new language. If you’ve always wanted to learn the guitar or speak French, now is the time to start. Try alison.com.
- Spend time on a hobby. If you’re always complaining that work doesn’t let you devote time to your passion, this is your chance to do something about it.
- Write or update your CV. Whether you’re planning to find a job or change the one you’re in, it’s worth investing time in presenting yourself well. I find that Christina Demetriades is one of the most capable and competent professionals that can help you do so. She is the one who helped one of my very good friends, Pantelis Fouli, to present himself very well through his CV.
- De-stress your mind. If you’ve been overdoing things at work, get some rest, sleep well, relax and have fun.
- Develop good habits (and stop bad ones). Stop smoking and drinking too much, try getting up early, sleeping earlier and eating healthy food.
- Learn to cook. There are plenty of TV cookery shows and cookbooks but a friend or, especially, a mum can teach you plenty. Try Chef2Chef.
- Start your own blog. Express your views on any subject you like. Read other motivational and inspirational ones when you run out of things to say.
- Think about and set some goals. Having short- and long-term goals helps you stay focused on making your future what you want it to be.
- Learn to manage your money. This is not only an important skill but one that will help you all your life. There are lots of online finance sites to teach you. One is http://yhoo.it/2abjQn1.
- Create a personal website. You may think you are not tech savvy enough to do this but there are sites that will do most of the work for you. Visit wix.com.
- Remember your friends. It’s easy to become self-obsessed, especially if you are ambitious. Catch up with lost friends and forge new friendships.
- Think about starting your own business. Sometimes, all you need is time and inspiration to set yourself on a new career course.