Summer stress feels like something that just shouldn’t happen. While everyone else seemed to be busy planning vacations, activities, and learning experiences for their children I often found myself overwhelmed and struggling with summer stress and the pressure to “make the most of the season”. This left me feeling isolated, alone, and downright weird which only added to the problem. It took me a long time to realize that summer stress is actually a pretty common problem and there are ways to address it that can be enjoyable and enriching to the whole family.
As a child most of us count down the days until summer so we are totally blindsided by how overwhelming and stressful it can be as adults. But if you think about it, it makes perfect sense. In the summer there is so much pressure to load your calendar with outings and activities, you’re trying to juggle work, leisure time, and often children who are home from school and to make matters worse that beautiful summer day can unpredictably turn into a sticky hot mess or a storm. While there’s a lot to love about summer there’s also a lot to well… not love. When it comes to summer stress relief being proactive it the secret. Consider adding some of these relaxing summer activities to your bucket list this summer so you can feel your best.
Outdoor Summer Activities
The health benefits of spending time outdoors are almost unbelievable. Everything from immunity to eyesight is improved by just getting outside even for just a few minutes a day. And summer offers one of the best opportunities to do so. So, head outside and check out some of these amazing stress relieving activites! (Psst… if you’re concerned about heat opt for early morning or evening).
Rolling a mat out in the grass first thing on a summer morning is one of life’s simple pleasures. Practicing yoga helps reduce stress and create intention for your day and has a myriad of additional health benefits. Plus, the kids love it too! Summer yoga is a great family activity and helps establish healthy habits young.
One of my favorite summer activities as a child was fishing with my dad. I did it well into my teens and looked forward to our time on the lake. He would always remind me in the car, “remember it’s called fishing, not catching fish”. For us it was just about being there, lines in the water, standing side by side. I learned so much about life from the practice of fishing (because that’s really what life is about… just doing the things you love and waiting) and we had some of our best conversations there on the water. This summer marked the 25th anniversary of his death and I can honestly say I didn’t spend one second too long fishing with him.
Discovery walks are fun for people of all ages, in addition, movement is a great stress reliever. Head out in nature or in your neighborhood and play a game of eye spy with your kids or challenge them to find objects that can be used for a rainy-day craft project.
Indoor Summer Activities
Even in summer some days aren’t great for outdoor activities. Whether it’s rainy or just miserably hot here are a few ideas for the days heading outside just isn’t an option.
Read a Good Book
Curling up with a good book isn’t reserved for fireplaces and snowstorms. Reading is an excellent stress reliever and a great way to get a little family quiet time. In addition, it improves vocabulary and writing skills, so this is a great enrichment activity as well. Reading challenges are a great way to keep your kids engaged and you can even plan a reward like a day at the beach or a trip to your local bookstore. Plus, a trip to the library is a great rainy day outing as well.
No need to plan an intricate craft or find something on pinterest. Simply dump out your crafting supplies on the kitchen table and let everyone’s creativity fly free. Shifting your mindset toward creation is a great way to unwind and relax.
Turning on the oven in the summer is usually a no go but that doesn’t mean kitchen creativity is on hiatus. Enjoy some no bake time (and the fruits of your labor). No bake energy balls are delicious and often more nutritious than other sweet snacks. Plus, chocolate is a no playing mood elevator.
Take the Pressure Off
Choose what’s best for you and your family this summer. Say no to the things that don’t work for you, so you have the time and energy for those that do. Having a low stress summer is more important than vacations, activities, and enrichment activities. It allows you to show up as your best self for you and your family and that’s what matters most. So, kick back, relax, and enjoy your summer!