Alright, mommas, it’s the start of summer, and if your calendar is anything like mine, you already know that it is going to be a busy one. For this is the season of summer sports, camping trips, barbecues, family vacations, pools, splash pads, road trips, picnics, and activities galore (just to name a few).
In the busyness of it all, sweet mommas, don’t forget about YOU!
As we see more sun-filled days, please make sure that you are soaking it up as well. Self-care is very important, especially in the busy seasons of life. Here are a few of my suggestions for making this summer, the summer of YOU:
Rise before the sun: Waking up before the rest of the household is the most peaceful way to start your morning. Sit outside. Watch the sunrise. Take in deep, relaxing breaths. Listen to the birds and let their melodies ease you into the day. And don’t forget that cup of coffee (or three), you know you are going to need it. This is your quiet time, do what you need to do to make it count.
Take up a hobby: Your kids are experiencing new things this summer and you should too. What is that one thing that you have been desiring to learn? Whether it’s painting, sewing, dancing, knitting or a playing a musical instrument, chances are you can easily find a local or online class. Carve out some time each week to practice your new skill. You won’t regret it.
Take a hike or a ride on a bike: Yes, you will probably have many hikes and bike rides on your agenda this summer. After all, we do live in Colorado. And yes, it is fun to bring your whole family along. Summer is about making memories. But, my advice is to schedule some alone time on the trails. Or better yet, bring along a friend. You will be able to go at your pace and focus on yourself. That is so important mommas.
Dive into a few good books: Are your kids taking part in a summer reading program? Well then, you should too. As you fill your library bag with picture books, readers and chapter books for kids, don’t forget to also peruse the library for yourself. Definitely read aloud to your kids, but also set a time each day to read your own books together. Take the literary fun outside with a few blankets or a hammock.
Visit a farmers market: Boost your fruit and vegetable intake this summer and fill your fridge with locally-grown organic produce. When you eat better, you feel better. Not only will you be selecting nutrient-rich food, but shopping outdoors will also increase your Vitamin D. It’s a win-win.
Leave the phone at home: As you head to the park or nearby ice cream shop, leave your phone at home. Your emails, texts and yes, even Facebook can wait. Be completely present and soak up these fleeting summer moments with your kids. Consider scheduling technology free days for the entire family. Unplug and let your imaginations go wild.
Take your workout outdoors: Exercising outside has been proven to increase mood and self-esteem while decreasing stress and anxiety. Plus breathing in fresh air strengthens your immune system, gives you more energy and improves your overall heart health. The beautiful day is calling your name, so grab your tennis shoes and sweat it out in the sunshine.
Start a journal: In the chaos of busy summer days, it is easy to lose sight of yourself. I can’t tell you how many times I have uttered the words, “I can’t hear myself think.” Summer is the perfect time to start a journal. Whether you write plans, prayers, memories, or a gratitude list, making time each day to journal provides you with the ability to zone in on your own thoughts. Putting pen to paper makes them permanent and meaningful.
Remember the importance of “No”: This is a big one. Remember that full calendar of yours? Try not to add much more to it. Favors may be called in, opportunities may come your way, additional kids’ activities and events may fill up your Facebook newsfeed, but you don’t have to do it all. Set the boundaries that are best for you and your family and give yourself permission to say no.
Enjoy those summer nights: Oh the beauty of long summer evenings. Enjoy them, momma. Whether taking in a nearby concert at the park or sipping wine on your back porch, take the time to unwind after an activity-filled day. Look at the stars, listen to the cool breeze, enjoy quiet conversation with your husband. End your day the same way you began it, in peace.