18 Jun Summertime Self-Care
School is out and summer is in full swing! As you turn on the TV or scroll through social media, summer is often represented through pictures and videos of barbeques, kids playing in the pool, sunkissed skin, and camp adventures. Summer can also be a time of stress and uncertainty for both parents and children, including the change in schedules and the daily flexibility that has not been there in months. As the stress of winter fades and those summer perfect memories start to form, self-care should be on everyone’s priority list. Prioritizing self-care will allow you to combat the stresses that may arise, so that those memories can be enjoyed to the fullest. But how do you make that happen when your kids need to be at two different camps at the same time, and you are only one person? Before you can be fully present for your kids and teens this summer, there has to be a focus on you, the caregiver. Take that old airplane quote, “You cannot help others if you fail to put your oxygen mask on first.” One way to start practicing self-care is building compassion towards yourself. Be kind to yourself and know that you are doing the best you can with what you have.
One way to start being kind to yourself this summer is taking some of the pressure off of you. You do not need to provide your children with the “best summer ever” or that picture perfect trip to a far away beach. Allow your children to be bored as boredom can spark amazing creativity in children! You may also try giving yourself a break from technology and step away from the Facebook and Instagram feeds. Social media can give us access to what everyone else is doing, but before you know it, you are lost in comparison. Be kind to yourself and forgo the comparison. A big part of self-care is allowing yourself to focus on gratitude and the blessings that are in front of you.
Undoubtedly, self-care is something that usually ends up on the bottom of our to-do list, and we all have several excuses as to why that happens. However, I challenge you to make this summer different. Make this summer, the summer of self-care by relieving pressure, taking a break from the posts, and focusing on gratitude. Be kind to your mind, body, and soul and let the positive light shine in!
Adrienne Stover, MS, LPCA