Summer is here with its warm weather and sunny days. Our schedules are filling up with picnics, barbecues and swimming pool parties. Summer also means that the kids are out of school and that can add family stress. Stress can take a significant toll on your health and it’s very important you notice when you are starting to feel stressed and do something about it. There are six strategies that you can keep in mind to help you in the upcoming summer months.
Keep The Kids Engaged: Whether or not your kids are in a summer camp, you’ll need to do something that keeps them happy and stimulated so boredom doesn’t set in. Take advantage of using the older kids to keep the younger ones interested like a treasure hunt or hide and seek. Think of things you use to do as a kid that you really enjoyed (couch fort, board games, hiking…) and have your children experience them as well. Have children create a list of things they would like to do and post it somewhere like the refrigerator. That way if they come to you and say they are bored tell them to do something off of their list. If you are struggling to make a list check out this blog post for a lot of great ideas.
It’s Okay To Say NO: There are many opportunities for different activities but keep in mind that you can say no to some. Remember your schedule and that adding more activities can mean more stress when you’re already overloaded. Just pick the activities you know you will truly enjoy and schedule some down time.
Simplify Your Vacation: How many times do you hear someone say that they need another vacation to recover from vacation? RELAX while you’re on vacation. Leave technology to a minimum (keep computers and video games at home). Every minute does not have to be planned. Leave time to lay by the beach or play card games around the table.
Mini-Vacation: Sometimes a week’s vacation can cost more than we can afford. This is where a couple of small vacations might be better than one big one or even a mini vacation at home if your budget is tight. Turn off the phone for a few hours, enjoy your time together and maybe visit places in your hometown that you never have. You could even do a day trip somewhere that’s only a couple of hours away. This way you feel like you are getting away but you don’t have the big expense of overnight stays in hotels. Time off work gives you some added benefits that you can read about here.
Relievers: Take advantage of the extra daylight hours in the summer and do some morning exercises or activities in the evening that are relaxing. Some activities might include drawing, walking, or enjoying music.
Talk with someone about your stressful situations to help you find ways to deal with the stress. Staying organized helps manage your time better. You cannot do it all alone so ask for help! Learn to accept things you can’t change. You can’t solve all of life’s problems but you can find the good in situations. When you are less stressed you have a happier home with happier kids. Enjoy the rest of your summer!