Free summer: making the most of the long summer nights

The 21st June is an important date. It is the day of the year with the most sunlight, and it is officially the first day of summer! After the summer solstice, we know we have long (and hopefully warm) summer evenings to look forward to for the following months, with the sun sometimes setting as late as 9.30pm. Daylight savings, British Summer Time, sunrise, sunset… summer is not just about dates and times, it is a real opportunity to have a happy, healthy, and refreshing season.

From making the most of the people and places around you to truly taking care of your health and wellbeing

So, before summer leads into autumn, which gives way to a cold, dark winter, here are Brigad’s 4 practical ways to get the most out of the freedom that comes with those long, carefree summer evenings.

1. Put the binge-watching on pause

You may well be halfway through the first part of the last season of that series that everyone is talking about, but don’t worry — Netflix will still be there in September. Don’t get us wrong, wrapping yourself up in a warm blanket on the sofa in a dark room to binge-watch TV is very good for the soul, but there’s a time and a place. Balmy summer evenings give you the opportunity to do so much more, so try to trade at least an hour of streaming for sitting outside.

If you’re lucky enough to have a balcony or garden, instead of eating dinner in front of the screen, why not eat outside? Simply listen to the evening calls of the birds and the breeze passing through the leaves of the trees.

Alternatively, you can prepare a light meal and take a picnic to your local park or nearest green space, or support a local hospitality business and eat in a pub garden or a street-side terrace. Of course, many of us live in densely-populated urban areas, but this doesn’t have to stop your enjoyment of the outdoors. White noise provided by the main road nearby can be just as therapeutic as complete silence. Remember, you don’t have to live in the middle of the Peak District to find pockets of natural beauty.

In any case, eating in front of the telly carries well-documented disadvantages — from overeating to not truly appreciating the food you have prepared. All the more reason to find some outside space for your dinner tonight!

2. Take a hike

If you live in London, it is not always easy to arrange to meet friends, with people’s homes spread out across the four corners of the vast city. However, longer days mean that people aren’t always in such a rush to get home after work, so why not invite some friends to your neighbourhood and discover that park or nature trail you’ve been meaning to check out? Aside from the obvious physical health benefits, taking a stroll is also extremely beneficial for your mental health, with research suggesting that spending just two hours per week in a natural setting can boost your physical health and mental wellbeing. Socialising has the same effect, as experts tell us how spending time with your friends is one of the best things you can do for your health.

Going for a walk and chatting with a friend or family member is a fantastic way to unwind and let off steam from your week at work, and, what’s more, enjoying the evening sun will help you top up your vitamin D levels. After two years of lockdowns, restrictions, and business closures, we could all be lacking some vitamin D, so getting your top-up (from the sun or from organic meats and oily fish) will help you feel healthier and happier.

3. Adapt your schedule

You work hard all year long, but summer is synonymous with taking a break. You don’t have to jet off to a luxury resort in the sunshine, you could just think about adjusting your working hours to make the most of the longer summer evenings.

One of the advantages of finding shifts through Brigad is that you have total freedom to work when you want. If you are used to working middle or evening shifts, why not try accepting the next morning shift you are offered? That way, you can free up time in the evening and go for one of those nice strolls with a loved one. Alternatively, you could decide to pick up more shifts over a period of a few days and then take an extra day off and book a B&B near the beach!

Working your own way through Brigad really is the perfect way to boost your professional life and enjoy the freedom of long summer days at the same time.

4) Be a tourist in your own town

When we finish a long shift at work, it can be tempting to go straight home to make dinner and put our feet up. But you could take advantage of the sun staying out a bit later to discover your own town, city, or neighbourhood in a new light. If you commute on public transport, try to get off one or two stops early and walk the rest of the way. If you walk, cycle, or drive, why not take a different route home? Go a little out of your way and you’ll be surprised at the wonders that have been hiding in plain sight so close to home all this time.

You could stumble upon an outdoor theatre performance, a trendy-looking bar on a boat, or even an exclusive light show exhibition that you’d never noticed before. All in all, it is a great way to discover new places (who knows, maybe even your future workplace) and people (who knows, maybe even a future friend!), all while enjoying the warm orange tinge the setting sun gives the sky at this time of year.

Summer freedom and professional success

Good summer weather is never guaranteed in the UK, but the days will always be long and there are so many ways in which you can enjoy the freedom that that brings. Brigad’s platform affords you flexibility and freedom in your choice of mission, so, coupled with our tips, you can make the most of the upcoming summer evenings, all while thriving professionally and taking care of your physical and mental wellbeing.

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