What I do to relax after the end of exam season

After a long semester filled with assignments, tight deadlines, projects, tests and a whole lot of stress, once summer arrives I find that it is important to take some time to relax and destress. Here are some things that I have been doing lately during my break from school.

Summer reading

Reading at Cadboro Bay Beach, Victoria BC

Over the course of the school year I compiled quite an extensive list of books that I wanted to read. But unfortunately with all of my academic demands and work commitments, I never managed to find time to actually sit down and read.

Once exam season came to a close I started to conquer my reading list. I began by reading Skylar Kergil’s memoir “Before I had the words; on being a Transgender young adult.” Then I read the fiction novel “Welcome to Night Vale” by authors Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor.

Both of these were very satisfying reads and I look forward to starting the next book on my list. Reading is such a great thing to do at a local beach, a park or a cafe that has an outside seating area so that I can enjoy the warm weather.

Art in the park

Sketching at Central Park, Vancouver BC

One way that I love to spend a beautiful summer’s day is outside surrounded by nature. I like to bring my sketch book and some art supplies and head to a nearby park to sit in the grass and sketch.

Sometimes I will go with friends, or other times I will go on a solo outing. It is very relaxing, almost meditative to study the things around me and draw what I see. I can just turn off my mind and just focus on creating something beautiful for the sake of doing so.

My favourite place to go is Beacon Hill Park because it has so many beautiful flowers, greenery, and plenty of wildlife to observe. This is a great activity for anyone, even if you do not consider yourself to be artistically inclined. Anyone can get out a piece of paper and doodle. Once you’re done you might have a page filled with sketches you really like!

Picnics with friends

Picnic at Beacon Hill Park, Victoria BC

My favourite thing to do when it is sunny out is to grab some snacks, drinks and a picnic blanket and sit down with a group of my friends for lunch in a park or on a beach.

Sometimes I like to bring some boardgames or card games to play, or listen to some music while we eat and enjoy each other’s company.

For those who like creating music, this is a great time to whip out an instrument and practice some tunes. If you have a guitar or ukulele that has been sitting idly in the corner of your room for quite some time forgotten and unplayed, next time you’re out with friends for lunch in the park bring it along and begin to learn some chords.

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