Yes, we’re all sad summer is coming to an end. But there is still time to enjoy the outdoors before fall officially arrives. In fact, September is a perfect month for fresh perspective, new routines and a little "you" time.
Here are 10 must-do activities to help you make the most of the month.
- Take a Beach Sunday: Do you battle with the "Sunday scaries"? Forget about it! Head to a nearby beach and spend the day relaxing on the sand while the weather is still nice. Whether you go with friends or go alone, the sound of waves crashing and soaking up rays all day is sure to distract you from the week that lies ahead. I went with two friends a few weekends ago and it was just what we needed to reset and refresh before Monday.
- Go For a Road Trip: Pack up your things and hit the road this weekend. You don’t have to go far, but taking a road trip with friends can bring a new perspective to a possible stale routine. Live in the city and don't have access to a car? That's a perfect excuse to rent a car you’ve always wanted to without buying it. For me, that car was a convertible so I rented the Buick Cascada. Top down in nice weather? It can’t get better! The car was a flashy red color, which made it feel even more luxe, and a built in GPS and OnStar, which I’d suggest if you’re headed to a place you’ve never been before.
- Sign Up For a Class: No, we're not talking about school. Think photography, painting, acting, or you can choose a skill in your professional field, like excel, if you’re looking to sharpen up. Do some research to see if there’s a company in your town that offers the opportunity to sign up for a new hobby. One that’s present in a handful of cities: CourseHorse. It’s a great way to meet people, too!
- Visit a Winery or Brewery: You don’t have to drink to have fun, but if you’re into trying unique wines or sipping of craft beers, find one near you. Gather a group and head there for a tour, tasting, and then to hang. I’ve found that having a couple of day drinks with friends in the sunshine can be a great way to spend a weekend afternoon.
- Plan a Family Dinner: If your family is close (enough), plan a potluck and have everyone bring a different dish. While I love living alone, it can be really nice to get together with family and catch up over a meal—especially when everyone is so busy with their own lives. You could even all cook dinner together. A suggestion? Plan it ahead of time so everyone can be there.
- Hit Up a Local Pool: Living in New York City, pools are hard to come by, so it’s imperative to have a plan if you want to go one. Do some research to see what there is to offer in your town. Yes, some may cost money to spend the day, but it’s generally worth it on that unusually hot September day. I visited the pool at LifeTime Athletic Sky in NYC and used their gym facility, too.
- Take a New Fitness Class: Change up your routine! September can actually be a really good time to try something you’ve always wanted to. My latest fitness class obsessions? Barry’s Bootcamp and Tone House in New York City.
- Attend a Sporting Event: If you live in a major city, chances are you have an arena that hosts sports games. And there may even be a timely sporting event happening in your area. Football started back up and baseball is in full swing... Do some Googling and see if anything will be happening in or near your town this month. Going to a sporting event can make for a great date idea, too.
- Call In Sick: We're talking about taking a mental health day. Request a day off ahead of time with your boss and if you get it granted, instead of working, spend the day at the gym, the spa, bike riding, or anything else that can help you clear your mind. It’s nice to have some “me” time while no one else (or at least most full-time employees) is around.
- Rock Out at a Concert: Find a venue on StubHub that’s hosting an artist or band you love. Or maybe there’s a music festival in a surrounding town. Whether it’s local or you have to travel, get tickets for you and friends to enjoy a day/night of jams.
Born and raised in New York, I began my career in the health and fitness field immediately post-college, as an assistant editor at SHAPE Magazine. I attended James Madison University in Virginia where I received a degree in media arts and design with a concentration in print journalism and a European marketing minor after studying abroad at The University of Antwerp in Belgium. My work has appeared in Self, Cosmopolitan, SHAPE Magazine, Men's Fitness, Muscle & Fitness HERS, Pilates Style, Max Sports & Fitness, as well as on womenshealthmag.com, prevention.com, mademan.com, trektechblog.com, and fitbump360.com. I'm an avid CrossFitter with a serious love for mashed potatoes.
Amy Schlinger is a writer, editor, and digital strategist living in New York City. Her stories have appeared in Cosmopolitan, Self, Shape, Health, Men’s Fitness, Muscle & Fitness, Muscle & Fitness HERS, Dr. Oz The Good Life, Pilates Style, Redbook, and Max Sports & Fitness. She is an avid CrossFitter with a serious love for mashed potatoes.