Summer is finally here! And after last summer, it seems as though we've been waiting a long time for this. Let's face it, last summer was Stressful with a capital S. So anything we can do to keep this summer stress free, sign me up. That being said, I've laid out a couple of tips below for you and your family to have that stress-free summer you've been waiting for!
1. Create a Plan.
A little planning can go a long ways. Start by creating a calendar, for either yourself or your family. This way, you can have all of your activities, to-do's, appointments, etc. all in one place, for everyone to see. This is also a great way to sync your schedules and see where you have some free time to add in some fun.
My suggestion, start by getting a monthly dry erase calendar. I just got mine from Target.
One you can hang is even better, that way everyone can always see it. Then have each member of your family choose their own color for the board. Write out each person's schedule for that month. It's said that when we write things down we're much more prone to remember them and stick to them.
Make sure to build time into the calendar for some fun as well- not just chores, appointments, etc. Fun is a key element to a stress-free summer (see #4).
Consistency is key! Yes, summer is perfect for those spontaneous days and those are great for days where you just need a little break. But a little consistency will help your summer run smoothly.
Scheduling certain things into your calendar each day will help you and your family create that consistency. It can be something as small as having breakfast all together every morning at 9am. Or maybe every Sunday afternoon you watch a family movie and have popcorn. Simple routines like that can help keep everyone on track throughout the week. Building those routines during the summer also helps when it's time to go back to work or school.
3. Summer Trips/Packing.
My best advice, create a packing list. If you have 4 people in your family, create a list for each person. You're less likely to forget anything this way. I recommend writing it out by day, travel days included. Whether you're flying or driving, think of what all you may need. For example, phone charger, headphones, ID, passport, snacks, toys/games (for the kiddos), books, medicine, hand sanitizer, etc. My motto when packing- it's better to be over-prepared.
Now, go through each day of the trip. Are you going to the beach- do you have a towel, sunscreen, sunglasses, etc.? Are you going to be exploring a lot- do you have tennis shoes and a camera? Are you going to be somewhere cold- do you have an extra jacket, gloves? This may seem like more work upfront, but I promise it will be worth it. You can have confidence that whatever scenario you get into, you'll be well prepared.
4. Have Fun!
Don't forget the most important part of a stress-free summer- FUN! Especially after last summer, we could all use a little more fun this summer. And there's plenty of ways to have a safe, fun, organized and stress-free summer. Just see above :)
Life is sweet when things are neat.