If the temperature is any indication, summer is upon us.
If you are feeling a little lost after all those Iftar parties and Eid festivities, and do not know what to do with your life anymore, you have come to the right place. Behold: a list of things to do to make your summer feel less redundant and more productive.
No, not a masala flick at the cinema or your 7314823th episode for the day. Head out to support our neglected local talent, and attend a concert, play or comedy show. The Arts Council Theatre Festival will make its inaugural appearance later this month, featuring the likes of Zia Mohyeddin and Anwar Maqsood. The Khawatoons’ second Auratnaak Show is another excellent choice; live, funny and empowering women!
Wake up early and do the sun salutation! Taking up meditation or yoga is the best thing you can do for yourself. Your joints, blood pressure and mind will thank you. While you are at it, there is also something called the Loving Kindness meditation; look it up, it might help with the summer road rage too.
Some sunscreen, a cap and a pair of comfortable shoes is all you require; and preferably a hill to climb as well. To avoid a heatstroke and/or your face melting off, opt for a morning or early evening time slot, and keep yourself hydrated throughout. While Pakistan boasts plenty of ranges, if there is no mountain near you to climb, you can alternatively increase the inclination on your treadmill, close your eyes and pretend you are out in the wilderness. You never know, it might work.
Does not matter what it is. Grab a pen and write a song. Take a brush and transform the walls of your room. Pick some jasmine and make yourself a flower crown to rival that of Snapchat filters. Start knitting, and maybe the scarf will be ready to wear by winter. Win win.
The quintessential summer sport! Get your gills on and splash at the pool to beat the heat, burn some calories and get through the long day. A few minutes in the water will also improve your mood and the pool side pictures will give you something to Instagram. Just make sure you opt for an indoor pool if you do not want your melanin production going into overdrive and ruining summer weddings for you. If there is no pool around you, the nearest canal or river will work just as well. If nothing else, at least do not stay inside when it rains; water is great for you!
Learn a language
With our increasingly permeable borders, you can only gain from learning an additional language. According to research, a foreign language can substantially improve your employability and earning potential, and multi-lingual skills are a sign of intelligence. Plus, you can charm people at dinner parties and get a better selection of swear words too.
Take up a sport
Literally anything will do. Throw around a volley ball, play some squash, take up (evening) street cricket. The point is to get you out and moving and competitive sports tend to do that really well. If you cannot think of anything else, venture out and maybe getting chased by mobile snatchers will get the adrenaline pumping just as well.
Open up your mind. Go beyond the easy reads and the InStep pages, and immerse yourself in another world. Visit the nearest library, join a book club, or trade your old books on the internet, and you will find avenues of interaction with newly likeminded people too. Who said reading is meant only for the introverted?
The North of the country is perfect for this! White river rafting on the Kunhar river, diving at the Khanpur Dam, and camping literally anywhere here is an unforgettable experience. Book a trip with a reliable tour company and enjoy the Pakistani wilderness.
No matter what your age, there are few skills more useful in this day and age than that of being able to feed yourself. Bonus points if it tastes decent AND doesn’t send you to bed with food poisoning. If there ever was a time to master cooking in your life, trust me when I say: it is this, now. Step away from the K&N’s and Maggi, and learn how to whip up a real meal from scratch. You (and your tummy) will be infinitely better off in the long run.
Granted, you can’t see much up in the sky nowadays with the exception of airplanes you occasionally mistake for shooting stars and get excited about. However, if you happen to venture a little away from the busy cities, suddenly the sky is lit up with brilliant stars and what appear to be hints of constellations. Just a tip: a blanket to rest on and some mosquito repellant will go a long way.
Play an instrument
You can opt for a guitar, keyboard, flute or rabab; the possibilities are endless. If you’re feeling particularly hopeless, even the triangle would do. The real point of this is so you can make some music and learn an exciting new skill this summer. Also, this way you can claim you know how to play an instrument; it instantly ups the cool factor.
If you get cuttings and saplings to plant instead of seeds, you won’t even have to wait long to see your roses bloom! Just give yourself and your new plants plenty of water and some tender loving care, and you will both do great. If you happen to be feeling overly ambitious, you can even put in some pudinah (mint) for a small kitchen garden and go organic; your mother is guaranteed to love you more.
Put down your phone and make an effort to go out and meet people. Make your hang outs about more than just eating and talking though. All those teen activities are still there, just waiting for you to make your way back to them. Laser tag is fun, and so is paintball, go-karting, zip-lining and bowling. If you are accident prone, please do take extra caution not to chip a tooth or lose a limb in the process; there is still plenty more to do this summer.
image credit: AP