Sunshine. Adventure. Freedom. Summer break is finally here! The end of the school year brings big potential for exciting plans, but it also means having to readjust to a new normal for a few months—which can be challenging! So, how can you preserve your sanity? We’ve compiled some tips for you to consider, so your family can enjoy summertime with greater ease.
Maintain your schedule. Even though it doesn’t get dark until much later, stick to a reasonable bedtime schedule, if possible. Invest in room darkening curtains and take time to wind down in the evenings. Keeping a bedtime schedule will also help your kids adjust easier when it’s time to return to school.
Make plans. Try to schedule as many activities as possible—and make sure your kids stay informed. Even one activity can give kids an anchor to better navigate the structure of their day. It also gives them something to look forward too! While having things to do is important, also be mindful that unstructured downtime is a must for the sake of balance.
Get outside. Spend time in the garden, play in the dirt, go for a walk, or plan a bike ride. This is just as important for parents. Take some time for you. Getting out of the house usually helps improve your mental state and capacity to cope with all the changes.
Unplug and visit the library. Have your family members each take 20-30 minutes of quiet time each day, alone! Simply taking a break from you, each other, and technology, can be a great way to reset. These daily breaks can be a great time to encourage reading, as well. Take a trip to your local library to stock up on books specifically for these moments.
Make chores a family responsibility. A tidy home can be a positive contributor to your mood, but don’t take on all the chores yourself! Delegate tasks amongst family members and work together towards a calm, clean space. You can even involve your little ones by having them do simple things like helping to sort laundry or wipe down the table after a meal.
Mimic home routines when traveling. While shopping and cooking meals on vacation may not be on the top of your list, it can make for a much more peaceful vacation. Providing some of the comforts of home, like familiar non-perishables and toys, can mean a summer vacation with less stress. Renting an apartment or home as opposed to a hotel room can also make mimicking home routines easier. You’ll avoid some of the overstimulation that kids can get from staying in a hotel and eating at restaurants for every meal.Try something new! There’s no time like the summer to encourage your kids to try a new activity. Maybe they want to take up a new sport, attend swim lessons, or enroll in a summer camp. New activities encourage brain development and build your child’s focus and creativity. The same goes for you! Try a new recipe, yoga class, or anything that allows you to take time for yourself.