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5 Ways to improve yourself this summer

Katherine Martinelli is an internationally published food and travel writer and photographer who contributes regularly to publications on three continents. She recently released her first cookbook, Puff Pastry at Brunch: 10 Sweet and Sa...

Summer school for adults

Summer school isn't just for kids! It's a great time for adults of all ages to take a class or try a new hobby. Offerings at local colleges and community centers tend to expand during the summer months along with interest, so there's no better time to exercise your mind and/or body.

woman in adult education art class

Whether you have a summer vacation or not, the days are longer and maybe you have summer Fridays or a few long weekends to take advantage of the time. While there's nothing wrong with being a beach bum, why not do something to improve yourself this summer? Here are a few suggestions:

Learn about more ways to be your best self >>

Take a class

In the summer months every kind of school opens its doors and offers a wide range of classes for every interest. Now is a great time to finally learn French, practice your acting skills, get an intro to photography or become acquainted with conflict resolution. Depending on where you live, you should be able to find classes that last anywhere from a few hours to a few months to suit your schedule.

Woman doing yogaExercise

We often try to get in shape for the summer, but this year consider getting into a program that will last all year long. Try a variety of classes and activities, from yoga to Zumba, from kickboxing to jiujitsu and from hiking to kayaking. If you find one that you really enjoy, chances are you'll be more likely to stick with it.

Get a hobby

Summer is the ultimate time to pick up a hobby. Pick up gardening in your backyard or windowsill, get into scrapbooking or begin looking into your family history. There's a hobby out there for every personality, and they say that people with active hobbies live longer!

Get more ideas for fun hobbies >>

Volunteer

There are other ways to improve yourself besides spending time on yourself. Find a cause that is meaningful to you and could use help, like a local soup kitchen or a big sister program, and get involved. You'll be amazed at how much helping others will help yourself.

How to plan a volunteer vacation >>

Travel

Obviously travel is on the top of everyone's list for summer, but it's also a great way to improve yourself. Whether you visit the next town or a foreign country, be open to new experiences and willing to do things outside your comfort zone. If you can't get away, explore the place where you live and try to find new, interesting places or facts about it.

More tips for self-improvement

6 Simple stress-busting strategies for summer
The science of thought: How changing your thoughts can change your health
Finding motivation for your exercise routine

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