Summers in Canada are short but glorious. Two months of soaking up rays, more relaxed schedules, cottaging, camping or boating! So how can we make the most of it?
by Shannon Talbot
This summer is unlike any other summer for me. It is the first summer since being a mom where my kids aren’t in daycare. It is also my first summer of being self-employed. I feel incredibly blessed but also a bit stressed about how it’s going to all work out. As someone with anticipatory anxiety, I prefer a bit of structure and planning, yet also realize this summer will likely NOT go according to plan, as, let’s face it, things rarely do. Here are 5 guidelines I’m following to get the most out of summer.
1. Set an intention for your summer. What kind of summer are you looking to have? Do you want a more relaxed summer? An adventurous summer? A summer of socializing? Do you want to fully unplug from work when you’re on vacation? In my case, I want this summer to be about fun and family! That means being more adventurous and worrying less.
2. Set boundaries that align with your intention (and are realistic). It could be allowing flexibility in your wellness routine. Giving yourself permission to enjoy eating out more or that extra drink or two. Knowing you might work-out less so you can go to the beach instead. In my case, I’ll be pulling back on my working hours and getting up at 5am less – I really want to soak up this time with my kids and have fun! Boundaries could also be around how much Netflix binging, social media and video game time is OK for you and your family over the summer. Basically, boundaries aren’t rules but rather guardrails that you can intentionally set in order to reduce the guilt you may feel if it’s something different from your normal routine.
3. Create a to do list with the absolute bare minimum required over the summer - personally and professionally. So many of us get hung up on our to do lists and feel we’re not being productive if we don’t check everything off. But what are the absolute musts you need to do this summer? Write those down and scratch everything else off. Yup, you read that right, scratch everything else off. If you do accomplish more, you’ll feel amazing but if you don’t, it could linger in the back of your mind distracting you from your intention.
4. Create what I call the Summer Sunshine List. Ask each person in your household/family to name 5 things they’d like to do this summer. Put them all down on a piece of paper and then have everyone put one star next to the one they want to do most but that is also feasible. The starred ones become your must dos. Not only does this give everyone something to look forward to, it can also help alleviate disappointment if people were hoping to do big, unattainable things.
5. ENJOY! And IF you find yourself feeling guilty or anxious, go back through steps 1-4 and either remind yourself of your guidelines or update them. They’re not set in stone.