Time sure does fly by. It feels like just yesterday the school year was beginning. Now, here we are: The school year is soon coming to a close. While some students are happy and some are sad (most likely at the thought of not seeing their friends every day!), parents are likely also feeling a mixture of emotions. Perhaps excitement over an upcoming summer vacation, plans to go to the beach, barbecues, etc. Then reality hits and despite the fun events planned, you realize you have to keep your kids entertained while preserving your sanity!
Here are some strategies for managing your mind, mood, and expectations for the coming summer:
- Plan something fun and active each week. This will keep your kids excited, active, and entertained.
- On that same token, be realistic. Be realistic that you don’t need to have something planned every day, or that everything you have planned does not need to be novel. Your plan could be going to the beach, going on a hike, visiting some place new in your area where your family has never been, going out to breakfast/lunch/dinner, going to the movies, etc.
- Don’t make exaggerated promises, such as telling your kids that this will be the “best summer!” While you want them to have a great summer, this is far too much pressure to place on yourself.
- Encourage creative thinking to reduce boredom. Not only does this take the pressure off you to come up with activities to keep your kids occupied, research has consistently shown that kids who experience boredom are more likely to exercise their creative muscle by having to come up with their own things to do, know themselves better, as well as be more motivated in the long run.
- Stick to a schedule. Even though it is summer, it is still important to have bedtimes and structure.
- Summer does not have to be ALL fun. It is okay to delegate chores or tasks to your children. This teaches them responsibility, and is easier to accomplish without school work present. Reward them for their efforts, such as by giving them ice cream, taking them to a movie, renting a movie, etc.
- Keep the education going. Just because it is summer does not mean the learning must stop. Encourage your children to pick up a good book. Maybe even start a “family book club” to motivate and encourage reading.
- Remember to take care of yourself. While summer is commonly seen as relaxing, for some parents it simply is not. Juggling work and family while having your kids out of school can be stressful and demanding. Make sure to engage in self-care practices such as exercise, yoga, meditation, healthy eating, taking breaks, and getting adequate rest.
WE CAN HELP
If you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or depleted, we can provide the tools and strategies needed for making the change you are looking for, as well as continued support and a realistic framework for making changes. Whatever the reason, give us a call. Remember, there are many reasons why people seek therapy. Professional mental health assistance can greatly benefit you in many ways, including reducing and managing stress.
We are committed to providing therapy and counseling services in a comfortable, relaxing, encouraging, and non-judgmental environment to yield the most realistic and best outcomes. Give us a call or email us today to schedule an appointment.