Managing Summer Stressby Leslie Gail
The countdown has begun! My kids have three more weeks of school until the three month break. I always freak out this time of year. I feel like I have to get everything done or else I won't have any time when they are home.
Of course this isn't true, but it's how I feel. My freedom and privacy go down the drain a bit with this transition, but I also don't have to worry about making lunches, homework and juggling it all. It usually takes me a couple of weeks to freak out and get into a rhythm and then I love the summer. Are you sensing the urgency in your own life?
Luckily I know myself and I know the pattern so I know what to expect. It will be a bit of a stressful household the last three weeks of school and then we can sigh a bit of a relief from it all. I actually love summer when we are in the middle of it. It is just the major life transition that is always hard.
Here are some things that I've figured out to help alleviate the stress:
Plan Plan Plan
Usually about two months before school gets out I start to make some plans. I figure out babysitters and which days they will help out. I sign the kids up for camps and sports. I decide what my work schedule will look like. Just detailing some things in advance helps me in a HUGE WAY. It really helps to know what to expect and it will always make the transition a bit smoother. So, whether or not you have planned your summer by now, it's still not too late. Just sit down, look at a calendar, talk with your kids, and make some plans. Otherwise you will hear the constant "What can I do today?" or "Who can I play with today?" and it might drive you crazy:)
Take Care of Yourself!
Even though the kids are going to be home full time, I don't neglect myself. I will still get my massages. I will still meet friends for lunch. I will still go to my weekly exercise class. I guarantee if I ignored myself and my needs for 3 months, my kids would have a very grumpy mom:) Just find the time, ask from help from other friends or family, leave the kids at home alone for bits and pieces (if they are of that age now) and don't feel guilty. Luckily my kids are now the age where I feel comfortable leaving for an hour here or there. It also builds their independence and self confidence.
Plan Some Fun
As stressful as summer can sometimes be, it's important that you enjoy this time with your kiddos and pencil in some fun outings. Before you know it your kids won't want to hang out with you (their friends will have priority) and you won't have this option. So sit down as a family and list all the fun activities you would like to do over the summer. Maybe go on some hikes? Visit the Zoo? Go river rafting? Having fun things to look forward too always helps with the transition. Good luck everyone!!
Leslie Gail is a Lifestyle expert and Coach who resides in Colorado with her husband and two kids.