Summer holidays are a time to recharge and relax but it can also become a time of "should's" and overwhelm instead.
Many parents find this a very busy and stressful time with increased pressure to keep children entertained while also balancing work and childcare.
Summertime often brings extra stress financially and this too takes its toll on mental health and well-being. So how can you prevent this and find a balance between doing fun things and catching up with what you want to do?
Here are my 11 TIPS to help you make the most of the Summer with family and keep stress at bay.
1. Let go of what you ‘have to do’.
Ask yourself, will this chore matter in 3 years or even 3 months? Make a list of the priorities or things you feel you need to do and eliminate 2-3 of the lease important.
2. Make a bucket list of things you and the children want to do this summer.
Enjoy working your way through the list. Plan and organise small doable events, maybe once or twice a week and do not pressure yourself filling the days with hectic activities.
3. Spend quality time.
Often times the simple and easy things are enough rather than planning an expensive sun holiday.
4. Consider a switch
Take a break by considering the switch to online grocery shopping for the duration of the summer break or even for just a few weeks have your groceries packed and delivered to your doorstep.
5. Incorporate relaxing activities with your children
Exercise together, go for a long forest walk, visit a free museum, have a picnic in the park, go to the local swimming pool or leisure centre. A quiet afternoon reading, colouring, or watching some TV is ok too.
6. Don’t let small things become big
We all get wrapped up in the small things especially when we feel stressed but often they are not that important when viewed from a wider perspective.
7. Arrange some ‘me time’
Remember self-care and take time to prioritise your own needs during the holidays. Plan, schedule and do something to nourish yourself to stay centered and minimise stress and pressure.
8. Minimise the time you spend online
Cut it down to the bare essentials, maybe check in online once a day. This makes me feel more relaxed and leaves me focused on the most important things and with more holiday time to use for other things.
9. Manage and lower your holiday expectations
Increase your appreciation for the small and big adventures that Summer days bring.
10. Entertaining at home can be fun
To minimise any stress involved plan ahead and ask people to bring an item to your BBQ or party to ease the workload.
11. Choose what you want to do and not do
It is important you do what feels right for you and you don’t feel you have to attend every BBQ/party.
When stressful feelings come up during the summer holidays, sit down for a moment or two and just pause, deep breathe and be still.
Say to yourself. “This is how I feel right now and I accept it”. By not resisting it you reduce the emotional energy that feeds into negative issues, thoughts and feelings. This inner pressure then tends to weaken and often dissipates.
Maybe you will try some of the tips above, wind down and spend time with your family as you want to without the extra baggage attached.
If you feel you need some professional support regarding Summer stress or you are concerned about any issue, please contact me by phoning 087 6203371 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.