Creating Routines and a Summer Calendar will reduce your summer stress
Set your family up for a Healthy and Happy Summer - A bit of planning can still be spontaneous and fun, instead of the dreaded crazy and chaotic.
July 3, 2018
Creating a Family Summer Calendar this year might seem a bit structured, especially when the plan was to just roll along leisurely without routines. But, setting expectations will make it less stressful and more manageable.
Without it the chances of chaos might leave you frazzled. Research shows that humans require some repetitive behaviour to feel calm, and that daily habits and rituals actually help us manage stress. Here are few pointers that will get you and your family ready for the best summer ever:
- Define bedtimes and meal times. Most kids between 5 and 12 get about 9.5 hours a night, but experts agree that most need 10 or 11 hours each night. Sleep is an individual thing and some kids need more than others. During the summer you can move the schedules around slightly but keeping a schedule that doesn't remove hours of sleep is important. Your Brain Needs Zzzzzs
- Creating some new routines and structure by moving around a few things you normally do during the other seasons of the year (like when you exercise, do your grocery shopping or do your household chores).
- Reduce time spent online and on digital devices. To create a truly restful day, less screen time means more productivity and activity. Try for technology-free Sundays, no phones during meals and even a full detox when you are on a family vaction. it's worth the effort. Here are some Tech tips for parents.
- Make a family calendar and post it in a location where the whole family can see it. (A white board works well because it can be revised if needed). Include family birthdays, doctor appointments, summer camp days, sports tournaments, major community events and don't forget the summer chore list.
- Give the entire family assigned chores and responsibilities. With the kids at home and if they don't have summer jobs, include them in mowing the lawn, weeding the garden...there are lots of activities around the house that will keep them active and help them achieve success.
- Laugh Lots! Health Care workers have known for years about laughter's beneficial effects. It stimulates heart and blod circulation, improves lung capacity and lowers stress hormone levels. Watch a family comedy movie on a rainy day, have a carnival dress-up afternoon; Play cherades...whatever it takes. Stress relief from laughter is no joke.
- Set aside some ME time. Yes summers are for family but when life gets a bit crazy set aside some time to read a book, go on a date with your spouse or a friend, take a long walk or bike ride alone or do something that you love...to think, reflect relax and unplug.
Photo: Thank you to Alvin Balemesa (105751-unsplash)