You might have mixed feelings every time you move the clocks either ahead in the spring or back in the fall. From gaining an hour of sleep or having more darkness in the morning hours, the adjustments when the time changes affect all of us in different ways. The one thing most agree on, however, is that we all enjoy the longer days and warmer weather that accompany the change in the spring. Sticking to normal sleep and wake schedules help you adjust to the changes more positively. Even though it’s only an hour, it can make a big difference in your evening schedule and what you can accomplish.
Here are some great ideas to use the time in positive ways that help you feel more productive, more relaxed, and like you’ve used it wisely.
Get More Exercise
Take the extra hour to work on your health and wellness. Go to the park and walk, run, bicycle, rollerblade, or whatever you enjoy. Find and attend an outdoor yoga class or participate in some tai chi. Like water? Then head to the nearest lake with a kayak. If you like sports, ask a friend to play you in a game of basketball, or sign up for an outdoor volleyball or softball league. Who knows, you might even make some new friends during the process. At the least you will be a bit more fit than you were during the winter.
Work on Your Yard
You might decide the evening daylight is best used to increase your home’s curb appeal. Save some money and mow your own yard, weed your flower beds, build a new walkway with pavers or paint your shutters. Regularly water and feed your plants to make sure they look their best, especially during the steamy months of summer. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen, because your skin can be damaged even during the evening hours.
Related Read: Home Improvement Exterior Tips
Volunteer for A Worthy Cause
Summer is a great time to contribute to the health of your community by giving back. Call the local animal shelter and ask to walk some of their dogs. It would be fun for you, get you outside, and the pooches would appreciate it greatly. Or, ask that single-mother neighbor if you could watch her kids for an evening to give her some free time. There are also sports going on that could always use an extra pair of hands. Help out at a swim meet or work at the concession stand of a softball game.
Al fresco dining lightens the mood and decreases the stress levels. Grill some burgers or some garden-fresh veggies and set your patio table for the entire family. Don’t have a patio or deck? Pack it up and take it to your closest park, or simply throw a blanket down in your own backyard and have an at-home picnic.
Entertain Friends and Family
Host a backyard barbecue or dinner party. Invite your fun friends, neighbors, or family members over and put on some music, lay out some food, and spend some quality time with each other. The extra hour of daylight gives you plenty of time to do this even on a weeknight. Try out a new recipe or mix up a pitcher of your favorite cool beverage and enjoy talking and laughing with the people you care about.
Get the family together and compete with each other. Play tag, hide-and-go-seek, or set up a scavenger hunt. If it’s really hot, blow up an inflatable pool and take a refreshing dip. For a more relaxed evening that’s even fun for adults, have an outdoor poker night or other card game, set up a Jenga game, or do outdoor charades.
Knock Out Your Chores
It may sound like a drag, but why not commit one evening a week to getting your outdoor chores out of the way? After all, they aren’t going to do themselves! Rake your leaves, clean the windows, wash the car, sweep your porch, and water your plants. By taking the time to do it during the extra hour of daylight, you free time up on your weekend for leisure activities.
Have Some Fun!
Finally, keep in mind that you don’t have to be going full force all summer. Take the extra daylight to enjoy your hobbies and passions. Improve your golf game, take up a new outdoor hobby, upcycle a piece of furniture, or chill on the porch with a great summer read and cold drink.
The time change might not completely alter the course of your life, but it adds some extra sunshine to your free time. Use it wisely and productively. Mix tasks and chores in with leisure activities. Think about what needs to be done around your house, and what you enjoy doing, and incorporate both of those into the extra hours of daylight in the summer months.