Life can be overwhelming at times. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed and you may be too as we get into this new month with school ending and kids being free for the summer. It’s challenging to think about how you’ll keep away the boredom after they’re not occupied in school all day and you probably are dreading hearing their whines, moans and fights. Summer tends to be the time when we all slow down and take a break, which is really important, but as adults we always have lots to keep us occupied, even though studies show that taking a true break or real time off not time-off-to-do-home-projects is important too. We need time off to recharge our batteries and give our brains time to be creative again.
So this summer whether kids or adults, here’s my advice for you: take time off, get stuff done, learn stuff, and have fun each day. Dividing your day into these categories can help to break it up and you’ll feel good when the summer is over too. Let’s take a quick look at each of these 4 aspects.
Taking time off can be done relaxing at the beach or pool side, taking a walk or doing meditation or contemplation, watching TV or a movie is OK too, but not as restful or as good at recharging you as the others.
Getting stuff done is about being productive. You probably can’t take off all summer, even if you are a stay-at-home parent, because there’s always housework to be done. So instead of getting frustrated that you’re still working, keep it in perspective that doing a little each day will keep you in shape for when things pick up again in the fall and you’ll feel good about getting stuff done each day too. For kids this is a great opportunity to clean their rooms and go through their stuff to give some away to charity.
Learning stuff is important whether your 5 or 95, there’s always something else you can learn. Taking at least 30 minutes each day to read an educational book, use an educational site or app, watch an educational program (no, “educational” does not include lifestyles of the rich and famous), or get some practice in on a sport, language or activity you’re learning. Like getting stuff done knowing that you’re going to do it each day, even if it’s only for 30 minutes helps set the precedence to be a life-long learner and keeps you busy too.
Having fun is what comes to mind first for most people when they think of summer. As adults we can get lost in trying to get stuff done, keep our kids happy and keeping up with everything that happiness is a pipe dream for too many. Devote time each day to having fun this summer: go on a weekly date night just you and your partner, do at least one fun activity with the kids each day, go out with friends and their kids, visit new places, explore places you’ve been before, and try to laugh at least daily.
What will you do this summer?