it usually brings to mind vacations, warm weather, and a season to relax, and recharge right? Not necessarily; at least not in today’s world in which technology, career demands, and kid’s expectations maintain a vice grip of stress over us. More often than not, Summer can be fraught with stress.
Oftentimes, parents who have been putting off divorce until the kids are out of school or graduate, decide to proceed. For two career families, childcare becomes an issue. Kids are at home and often bored, some parents are facing an empty nest for either the first or last time. Digital devices can create zombie like environments with minimal exposure to the outside world. And financial stress can occur if your business is reliant on seasonal income.
Dr. Tricia Wilmoth details 6 strategies to get the most out of your summertime fun.
Six strategies…make the most of summertime fun
- Engage Kids During the Summer Break
Summertime brings freedom, but lacks routine. If you don’t have your kids in some type of summer camp (or even if you do), you’ll need to have some interesting activities not only for their own development, but also so that you can have some peace and quiet during their summer break. Get kids in the spirit of helping others by enlisting your youngster in a group that offers opportunities to volunteer, such as the Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts, a therapeutic horse riding center or even a horse rescue ranch. These non-profits like Bearfoot Ranch 501c(3), Gainesville, GA, always has a need for summer help. And what kid doesn’t like horses and farm animals? Not only is volunteering great for child development, but it can creatively get them exploring the great outdoors. Check out these following Kid’s projects that provide an extra ‘grab bag’ of ideas to keep everyone happy and sane.
- Pace Yourself
Prioritize what activities you have time and a budget for. Then plan and take action for everybody’s schedule including your own, and commit to a regular sleep schedule. While summer offers many opportunities for fun activities, keep in mind that it’s okay to say no to some. Sometimes even fun activities can lead to stress if your schedule is overloaded, so carefully choose among the barbeques, beach days, soirees and other activities and just do what you think you’ll truly enjoy, remembering to also schedule in some personal down time for stress management.
- Set Boundaries
While you’re already setting boundaries on your social schedule, you may need to remember to set boundaries at work as well. Often, while co-workers are on vacation we take on their responsibilities as well. This can be overwhelming and lead to even more stress. Don’t let the siren song of summer steal your focus from your job duties. Teamwork is a good thing; just don’t take on an overwhelming workload if you have a choice. Practice saying no to people and family making demands on your time.
- Try a Staycation
Unplug for a Staycation (a vacation you do at home) a trendy new vacation of choice for those who want to put the world on hold but can’t spare the time or money. This Summer go dark, (unplug all digital/mobile devices, clocks and T.V.s.) Plan a Staycation within or just outside your own four walls. In some cases, Staycations can even be better for your stress levels. (Ever hear of someone coming back from their too-busy vacation feeling like they need a vacation from their vacation?) The key is to make relaxation or playtime the primary focus–even if for only a day or two–and get the benefit of vacations without all the expense!
- Why You Should Plan a Creative Playcation/Daycation?
Life is beautiful, life is short, and here’s why kids and adults alike deserve a bigger serving of ultimate activity-loaded days of bonding with the family:
- There is no time like family time!
- Spending quality play time with our kids helps build resiliency
- Develops bonds
- Creates vital family memories
- Initiates creative learning moments
- Children who have parents who are active in their lives are more likely to have less stress, do better in school, and have fewer behavioral issues.
With summer in full swing, there are a ton of opportunities to spend fun-packed days with the family locally. Bounce some of these Playcation Ideas around for inspiration and tweak the plan to center on your child’s budding passions.
6. Make Time for a Mini-Vacation
If you don’t have the time, money or ability to take a full-blown vacation, you can achieve of the same benefits by taking a mini-vacation at home or within your own county. Many take you to far away destinations, leaving much to discover and explore all within a 50 radius of where we live. The main idea is to stop the hectic flow of activities, escape the madness of daily life, or turn off your technology and get unplugged.
My Mini-Vacation to Clearwater Beach
Recently, I met my sister and niece in nearby Clearwater Beach, FL for a weekend birthday and fun-in-the shade (literally I was on the beach under an umbrella with sand
between my toes). Although the destination is only one hour from my home at White Light Ranch, it seemed a world away from my hectic schedule. It was all I needed, spending time with family, a good book and a rita in hand; the perfect mini-vacation to reboot and re-egenerize.
Dr. Tricia Wilmoth’s Solutions for a Stress Free Summer
Most of all, take time each day to enjoy yourself, spend time with family and pay attention to your own needs. I help people who find they are too overwhelmed throughout the process to pace themselves. If you find you cannot take time for your own mental health, and it gets out of hand, call me before it is too late and prevents you from enjoying summertime fun and relaxation. I have many creative tools and therapies that can provide you solutions to a happy summer. Email Dr. Tricia Wilmoth [contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]