As the summer season approaches, you may be feeling the pressure to have big plans. But this year, instead of overcommitting yourself and your kids, why not keep your summer plans simple? Here are a few reasons why a low-key summer might be just what you need.
You deserve a break
If you’re like most women, you spend the majority of your time taking care of others. The pandemic really exacerbated this. I believe we are all still recovering from the last 3 years. This summer can be a great time to start that reset. This summer, it’s time to focus on taking care of yourself. Relaxation is important for both your physical and mental health. So don’t feel guilty about taking some time for yourself. Whether you enjoy reading, spending time in nature, or simply taking a long nap, make sure to schedule some “me time” into your summer plans.
Your kids need down time
It’s no secret that our children are overstimulated and over scheduled. They may need to be in camp so you can work, but let them have chill time, too! Free time is important for learning independence, resilience, and creativity. Nothing says summer like tromping around the neighborhood with friends, digging in the dirt, and sprinklers.
Less is more
With so much going on in the world, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. This summer, simplify your life by saying “no” to commitments that don’t bring you joy. If you’re not looking forward to that cookout or beach trip with friends, there’s no shame in declining the invitation. You’ll be much happier spending your precious free time doing things that you actually enjoy.
Focus on quality over quantity
Part of keeping things simple this summer is trying not to take on too much at once—focus on the quality of each experience rather than the quantity or number of activities or trips you have planned. Choose one or two outings that you really want to do and make them special!
Have your kids pick a festival or activity that they want to do. It takes the mental load off of you and empowers them. It’s also really fun to see what they are interested in. One of the best things about parenting is the journey your kids take you on.
Set realistic goals
It’s easy to get swept up in the hype of summertime, but it’s important to set realistic goals that you can actually achieve. Consider what your resources (financial, temporal, etc.) are and plan accordingly. For example, you may want to paint your whole house. However, picking one room may be more realistic. Same goes with fitness goals. Aim for what is achievable and workable. Work within those parameters instead of creating an agenda that’s too out of reach.
Keeping your summer plans simple doesn’t mean having less fun—it just means being mindful about expectations and focusing on quality over quantity. This summer, instead of overdoing it, keep your plans simple. Relaxation is important for both your physical and mental health, so make sure to schedule some “me time” into your summer plans. Your kids will also benefit from a slower, less filled schedule. You’ll all be much happier if you spend your precious free time doing things that you actually enjoy.
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Sharon Fisher, PMHNP-BC and her colleagues at Nurtured Well, LLC are passionate about helping women live their best through summer and all of the seasons!