The start of the summer holidays is a magical time for children and families who are heading off for a break from Kuwait’s scorching summer heat. Whether they are leaving for good or only a few months vacation abroad, the delight and joy is evident.
For those of us left behind, it can be hard not to feel a bit abandoned. If you are on social media, it can seem like everyone you know is heading to the airport while you are heading to work. This can be depressing and further compounded by the summer weather which forces most of us to stay indoors.
To combat Kuwait’s summer blues, here are some tips for turning your boring summer into a productive and fun one:
1. Do some professional development. Summers are slow periods in Kuwait for business and this is the perfect time for staff to brush up on soft skills like customer service, management practices, working with particular software programs. Leverage the down time in the office to build your resume.
2. Learn a new art or craft. There are many skills and crafts individuals can learn through online courses, local workshops or a combination of the two. Teach yourself food photography or learn to paint. Learn coding or how to draw zentangles. There are literally thousands of things that can be learned if you have time, dedication and patience. Go for a 30-day challenge to improve one skill set like drawing and sketching or black and white photography.
3. Volunteer somewhere. If you have the free time, why not help out a local community group, charity or other organization that contributes to making Kuwait better for us all? Check the list of volunteer groups in the box.
4. Set yourself a goal and start going to the gym. Decide to run a 5k and begin training or set up a workout plan with a personal trainer. Having a goal and a deadline can be a great way to combat the summer blues and also working out boost endorphins and promotes a greater sense of well being.
5. Read. One of the best things you can do for yourself and your children, if you have them, is to read. Globally recognized business leaders like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah, etc read a book a week in order to continue learning and growing. There are several amazing new and used books shops around Kuwait and a wide range of fiction and nonfiction available.
6. Put down the play station and pick up an instrument. Slow periods like summertime are perfect for learning new musical instruments. Work on the 20 hour rule: 1. Deconstruct the skill. 2. Learn enough to self-correct. 3. Remove practice barriers. 4. Practice at least 20 hours. (Watch Josh Kaufman’s Ted Talk: The first 20 hours — how to learn anything)
7. Get some outdoor time, even in the night. Going for walks can help lift your mood and also improve your health. Get a step tracker and log 10,000-15,00 steps a day.
8. Join a sports team, go fishing, join a chess club or start a group to play/practice your favorite hobby.
9. Learn to cook or if you already know how to cook, learn to cook a new cuisine or a new dish. Create your own dishes mixing and combining your favorite flavors, textures and foods.
There is really an endless supply of ways you can boost your mood and lift your spirits and if all else fails, start planning your holiday for next summer.
By Jamie Etheridge
Volunteer opportunities in Kuwait