How to Summer Solstice Your Way: Tips for Every Kind of Person on the Longest Day of the Year


Summer solstice. Midsummer. Litha. The longest day of the year. The first day of summer goes by many names, with a history rooted in early hunter-gatherer societies that evolved through ancient civilizations to its present-day form. But you don’t care about that. You’re on a mission to make plans for how you’ll spend all 941 minutes of sunlight on this lengthy marathon of a day.

Time is of the essence, so we’ll make this easy. Below are some arguably offensive yet surprisingly accurate stereotypes. Find one that best resonates with you for a specially curated list of ideas for how to spend the longest day of the year. If labels aren’t for you, try these top Pacific Northwest summer activities and classic Pacific Northwest summer recipes instead.

The Vaguely Spiritual One

About you: You’re all about vibes. Crystals are a permanent fixture on your nightstand and you have prayer flags hanging somewhere around your home. Organized religion isn’t your cup of fair-trade tea, but the yoga studio is your church. Susan Miller’s monthly horoscopes are bookmarked on your laptop. You thought about getting an ohm tattoo on your shoulder, but you decided to wait until after you meet your twin flame because wedding photos.

How to spend your day: For the vaguely spiritual, today is all about the sun. “Namaste,” you say. Honor the divine masculine with 108 sun salutations. Get lost in vinyasa at any one of these summer solstice yoga events throughout the city of Portland. Relax your body and free your mind so you can set intentions for the second half of the year with mental and emotional clarity. If it feels like you could use some guidance, enlist the help of your favorite Reiki practitioner.

Pro tip: With a full 15 hours and 41 minutes of sunlight, the summer solstice is an ideal day for supercharging your crystals in the sun.

The Party Animal

About you: You invented the thumb gun delivery method. BottleDrop is your savings plan, and you have zero shame about asking friends and strangers for their empty cans at social gatherings. Your nickname is Hurricane [Your First Name Here]. Every day that ends in D-A-Y is reason enough to party, but you live for holidays. You celebrate Cinco de Drinko unironically and once wore nothing but a PBR box for the Fourth of July.

How to spend your day: Can you hang ‘til the sun sets? “Tell me I won’t,” you say. For a party animal, the summer solstice is an annual test of endurance. Raise a glass to the rising sun at 5:22 a.m. Toss a beer back at sundown come 9:03 p.m. And remember: This is a marathon, not a race. Your ability to maintain a good pace while staying hydrated will be critical to your success. Repeat these six reliable words: “Beer before liquor, never been sicker.”

Pro tip: For the love of Sol Invictus, please just drink some water. Also, eat foods your body will thank you for as your liver attempts to process the booze.

The Couch Potato

About you: You literally Netflix and chill. One time you didn’t leave the house for eight days in a row, and you’re proud of it. You’ve played all 3,590 levels of Candy Crush. Not because you’re necessarily that good, but rather because you spend that much time sitting around. Self-care is your mantra. And your idea of self-care is lounging in soft pants to avoid the oppressive restraint of denim and other real clothes. If watching TV was an Olympic sport, you’d take gold.

How to spend your day: For the couch potato, the longest day of the year is a Super Bowl of relaxation. “So much TV, so little time,” you say. There’s no day like the longest day of the year for binge-watching shows. Stay in your pajamas all day. Spend 14 hours and 10 minutes of this nearly 16-hour day re-watching the first two seasons of “Stranger Things” before the next season drops on July 4. Order every meal through Postmates. Take up to four power naps.

Pro tip: Hang a dark sheet or blanket over the window in your bedroom so you can really lose track of time while alternating between cat naps and your show.

The Busy Body

About you: You are a bastion of productivity. If others weren’t so annoyed by how lazy you make them feel, they’d admire your work ethic and appreciate all you do. A five-mile run at sunrise is what you call a warmup. If you had an Instagram, you’d hashtag some of your posts #goaldigger. You don’t have an Instagram because you’re too busy doing things that actually matter. You claim you’re not the judgy type, but you’re judgier than most.

How to spend your day: The busy body lives for summer solstice, because there’s no other day that makes them feel more productive. “Why put off until tomorrow what you can do today,” you say. Weed the garden. Mow the lawn. Take the screens off all the windows and rinse them with a hose. You know the driveway could use a good powerwash. Clean out the garage and the attic. Don’t rest until every last one of this day’s 56,460 seconds has been put to good use.

Pro tip: Add to your list of accomplishments for the day by getting a storage unit for anything you come across that is cluttering your space.

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