Things Are Warming Up! Here’s Exactly How To Spend Your Carefree Summer Days

June is HERE and I couldn’t be happier. With Memorial Day Weekend behind us and the unofficial start of the warm-weather season fully underway, I’ve made the shift to a summer state of mind. That means snackin’ on all the summer salads, soaking up the long days with friends and family, and sending my jeans to the back of the closet, not to be unearthed until fall. June offers a much-needed escape from the busier seasons, and I’m already slowing down and prepared to savor the summer goodness. In need of ideas for things to do in June? Don’t worry, I’ve been planning for this month all year.

While summer vacay may have once been a fixture of our youth, the reality of adulthood is that our work-centric weeks carry on. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still soak up all the summer goodness. It’s a funny season, I find, one where I’m paradoxically wanting to be out and about all day while also spending time reflecting. The season’s natural beauty has a way of grounding me and calling me to dedicate a few of its hours to being with myself. After all, growth is a process that impresses itself upon us, inside and out.

If you’re feeling the same way, get ready for all the inspiring things to do in June. We’ve packed this month’s bucket list with ideas for what to watch, read, focus on, and do. Scroll down to discover our top 10 fun ideas for things to do in June—and if it’s a full-on summer bucket list you’re looking for, bookmark this, too. Hello, summer!

Featured image by Teal Thomsen.

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Image by Michelle Nash

10 Things To Do in June for Inspiration and Energy, All Month Long

Start Perfecting Your Strawberry Shortcake

Gluten-free and vegan strawberry shortcake, that is. If you’re unfazed by a steamy summer day and craving something sweet, there’s nothing that screams summer more than a classic strawberry shortcake.

Wary of gluten-free takes that resembled hockey pucks more than cake, recipe creator Michelle Nash had high expectations for her grain-free spin—and the result is nothing short of perfection. Get ready for a shortcake that’s fluffy on the inside while still maintaining crisp, golden-brown tops. In other words, sheer summer baking brilliance. Get the recipe here.

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Image by Michelle Nash

Read All of Emily Henry’s Books

Is there a more perfect author to deep-dive this summer? While I’m well-versed in the reality (re: trials and tribulations) of today’s dating culture, rom-coms still manage to maintain a strong hold on my heart. Emily Henry’s voice gives a decidedly modern twist on the tropes and narratives we can’t help but fall for again and again. If you haven’t read it yet, Beach Read is an excellent place to start. Keeping things chronological, follow up with People We Meet on Vacation, and finally, her latest, Book Lovers. You might be getting hundreds of pages worth of juicy, relatable reading, but trust me, you’ll be craving more.

Beach Read by Emily Henry

Beach Read, $7.35

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

People We Meet on Vacation, $13.99

Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Book Lovers, $12.15

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Ditch the Blowdryer

I’m secretly grateful that my inclination to lean on the lazy side of things when it comes to beauty does double duty in saving me time and keeping my hair healthy. Wash my strands twice a week? No problem. Sport my wet hair while I work from home? Happy to do so. Don’t get me wrong, blowouts look amazing (and I do have a Dyson Airwrap on my aspirational wish list). But with a few stylist-approved tips and tricks, you can perfect effortless, air-dried locks.

Pick Up Tennis

As a lifelong tennis player, it’s my forever mission to recruit as many people to the sport as possible. With little equipment required (a racquet, shoes, and a tube of balls will suffice) and public courts in most towns and cities, it’s just about the most fun and accessible form of exercise around. Gather up your friends and get ready for a summer filled with a whole lotta healthy competition. Oh, and if you’re in need of cute tennis threads, Outdoor Voices and Girlfriend Collective are universal faves.

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Watch Conversations With Friends

This June bucket list idea comes with a caveat—you have to tell us what you think. Coming at the heels of Normal People’s successful TV adaptation, Conversations With Friends has dropped on Hulu to steam up our (fictionalized) summer love lives. Admittedly, this was my least favorite of Sally Rooney’s books, and the show does feel like a bit of a flop. But in a world where TikTok commentary and reputable reviews are three-quarters of the fun, I wouldn’t dare pass up the opportunity to form my own opinion.

Hot takes? The characters are unlikable and one-dimensional (but some of it’s intentional…). The show is, however, beautifully shot and produced, and Jemima Kirke doesn’t disappoint. As for T. Swift’s beau? That’s for you to decide. (P.S. The show serves up major design inspo.)

Reframe Your Relationship With Social Media

I don’t know about you, but the often-shared advice of getting the heck off your social media feeds just doesn’t work for me. The platforms are designed to be addicting, after all. However, the mindset shift that’s transformed how I view and use social media couldn’t be simpler.

So often, I would tap into the apps on autopilot, habitually opening Instagram, TikTok, and the like. Now, before I go on, I define my purpose. Am I seeking inspiration? Do I need a laugh? Are my friends posting about something that I want to celebrate? The more intention we weave into our social media habits, the more beauty and connection we can discover online.

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Image by Michelle Nash

Plan an Easy and Elegant Summer Menu

Cooking seasonally in summer means all the vibrant veggies and flavorful fruits. Light, but bright and colorful ingredients abound and the result of all the fresh, farmer’s market goodness is savor-worthy, sun-kissed meals. Our favorite foodies and cookbook authors know this truth well, and we’re (always) taking notes.

Get everything you need for a simple backyard lunch (complete with Rhubarb Meringue Cake), a laidback, Italian-inspired dinner, and a vibey, sunset gathering hosted by one of the most aesthetically-inclined couples we know.

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Image by Sara Prince

Jump On the One-Shoulder Trend

Is it just me, or are one-shoulder tops and dresses everywhere this season? I’m fully here for the easy, breezy trend that lets you make a statement with hardly any effort at all. Browse our favorites and get ready to fill your closet with this universally flattering look.

DIY Your Own Jewelry

As a self-proclaimed DIY enthusiast, I consistently jump for joy every time I discover a new fashion trend I can make myself. While jewelry making is nothing new, the hobby blew up practically overnight during the pandemic. And sure, crafting indoors might seem like more of a wintry activity, but you’re more than welcome to take your creative plans outside. If you’re looking for a good place to start, these beaded necklaces are beyond gorgeous, I’m obsessed with these statement earrings, and what’s more summery than shell-embellished jewelry? Answer: nothing.

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Image by Michelle Nash

Get Inspired With The Artist’s Way

Are all your friends talking about the life-changing practice of “morning pages”? If so, then it’s likely that you’ve caught wind of The Artist’s Way. Though Julia Cameron published the first edition back in 1992, the book’s popularity has held strong for three decades. Slated as a “spiritual path to higher creativity,” Cameron lays out an interpretation of artistry and craft that’s inclusive and meant to resonate no matter how you view yourself as a creative. She offers practical exercises and insightful guidance to help everyone build self-confidence in their creative skills and trust their innate talents. Start today.

This post was originally published on June, 3, 2019, and has since been updated.

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