Summer can disrupt your normal routine. Summer break for kids, yard work, fairs and festivals, picnics, reunions, family vacations and a chance to enjoy longer days – summer is chock full of unique activities you don’t want to miss. This can certainly add stress as we try to fit everything in! That’s why it’s important to manage your time well during the summer, so you can focus on enjoying the season. Lake Health Integrative Medicine wellness coaches share their top tips for getting the most out of the season with less stress:
Follow these time management basics
Life can get crazy, and ultimately our health and our relationships can suffer when we get overwhelmed. Start with these time management basics:
Get 7- 8 hours of sleep. Skimping on sleep isn't where you want to make up time.
Develop a daily routine. Get an early start, and remind yourself to have a good attitude every day.
Identify what you can and can’t control. Prioritize what is really important for each day or week, and don’t sweat the small stuff.
Determine your barriers and make a plan of action. What is stopping you from focusing on what you need to get done? Learn what your distractions are and how to drown them out and focus on one thing at a time.
Practice being fully present in each moment. Set boundaries for family time, personal space and especially for social media time. Declare what is important in your life and understand how precious time is. Be unapologetic about your choices - practice saying "No" and sticking with your decisions.
Dedicate alone time for yourself. Self-care allows for better day-to-day performance. Take time to exercise, practice guided imagery or read a motivational book. Discover what technique works best for you and incorporate it into every day.
Embrace the new routine
We're all looking for tips for a summer break where kids aren’t bored and parents aren’t going crazy. Creating simple schedules can help you embrace this new routine with less stress.
Where should you start? Do your research and take advantage of where you live. You’d be surprised with all the activities available close to home and with many free options such as Lake Metroparks programs! Ask your children what they would enjoy doing and encourage them to try something new. As a family, think about adding a new game on the calendar each week to learn and play. Encourage the whole family to meditate or have quiet time. Practice deep breathing. Exercise, get outside and enjoy the sunshine together.
Appreciate the season
Summer comes and goes so quickly. As we all know, living in Northeast Ohio has its unfair share of cloudy days. So when the sun is out, be sure to make the most of it and enjoy! Try:
- Beginning a new hobby
- Starting a small garden or mini herbs in small pots
- Making a summer activity bucket list
- Seeking out summer produce, like berries, at a local farmers market
- Playing, walking or swimming outside. This not only keeps you active, but is a fun way to be social.
Avoid vacation stress
Vacations are wonderful ways to relax and enjoy time with family or friends. They can also come with stress as you coordinate travel and activities. Planning ahead can help reduce this stress and let you focus on the fun of vacation.Do your homework on where you're visiting! Check out the surrounding areas for dining options you may want to try or grocery stores where you can grab snacks. Create a general agenda of possible activities by researching popular attractions and natural areas.
Check the weather. Knowing general forecast conditions helps you know what to pack to be prepared for outdoor adventures and possible travel issues like storms.
Make lists. A packing list, activities list, medication list or a to-do list for a house sitter - these will all help you ensure you're prepared.
Use technology. Download free apps to help along the way, such as airline apps that let you check-in online and give updates on travel changes.
If you have children, plan for their needs. Be sure to have plenty of snacks, plus games/activities to keep them busy. Research child-friendly places to eat and explore both on your route and at your destination.