Summer vacation is coming to an end. There’s just a few more weeks before the busyness of the school year takes over again. How can you and your family make the most of summer vacation? Read on for some tips to make the most of the rest of your time before school starts again. Photo by Chase Martin.
Go outside every day
For the rest of the summer, take time to go outside every day, even if just for a few minutes. On really hot day, you can watch a sunrise in the morning or stargaze at night. Find a swimming hole or creek to splash around in. If you’re near the beach or windy park, try your hand at flying a kite. Other ways to enjoy being outside could include going to an outdoor concert or sporting event. Spend time perusing your local farmers market. Or you might just step outside for a few minutes to grab some sunshine, fresh air, and maybe take a quick nap in the hammock. Spending time outside can benefit you and your family’s mental and emotional health.
Plan for unstructured time
If you’ve had an overly scheduled summer, remember to take time to plan for some unstructured time. Leave some space in your schedule for spontaneity and be proactive about allowing for guilt-free down-time for your family. You can try to schedule one or two big things for the day, then allow for plenty of down-time and rest while not worrying if you will be able to keep a hectic schedule.
Continuing the previous point, make sure you take time to rest before summer vacation is over. There will always be something to do, and we need to allow our brains and bodies to rest in order to balance our busy lives. Savor the downtime from the busy school year and take rest seriously. Endless school days can create a fight or flight mentality. Now is the time to relax and recharge!
Spend time with family
It can be hard to stay connected to your family during the busy school year. Use the rest of your summer vacation to focus on spending time together as a family. One way to do this is thinking about what you loved doing as a child and inviting your family to engage in these activities. That might include playing board games, running through the sprinkler, making s’mores over a campfire, or heading to the YMCA.
Journal or make art
Spend some time journaling about what made this summer special. You and your kids can make art together about what you enjoyed this summer. Try making a scrapbook with your family with photos you’ve taken. Or simply pull out the art supplies and see where your imagination takes you!
Unplug and go on a digital vacation
Take some time away from screens–you can limit yourself in addition to limiting your kids. Try one of the things on this list instead of watching TV or mindlessly scrolling through social media. Try taking a whole day or afternoon without checking your phones. Instead, head to the library, art museum or history museum. Remember to model unplugging for your kids, too!
Plan to do something memorable
To make the most of the rest of your summer vacation, plan to do something memorable or adventurous before school starts. What will you and your family remember in five, ten, or even 20 years from now? You could start a new tradition, be a tourist in your hometown, go camping or have a family picnic in the yard. Traveling to somewhere new is often memorable–this could be somewhere just an hour or so away or maybe somewhere further.
A great way to spend time with family and do something memorable is volunteering your time. This can also be a great opportunity to teach your kids about empathy and the benefits of helping others. Check out your local soup kitchen to see if they need help, walk dogs at the humane society, or volunteer in a community garden. Find something that excites your family and spend some time giving back.
Are you looking for more support for yourself or your child? Please reach out to us. Our team of therapists is here to provide support and guidance. We look forward to connecting with you.
Kate is the Founder and Clinical Director of Sage House Counseling & Art Therapy. With nearly ten years of clinical experience, I partner with you to connect back to your authentic, true self. The self that desires happiness, abundance and greater self-compassion. I work with clients just like you because I believe we all have the innate ability to heal and grow when we are heard and supported.