Whether you are ready for it or not, summer is here! If you are like me, you usually begin your summer with all sorts of glorious notions to savor every moment of it (warm weather, slower schedules, pools, etc), all while making a ton of memories along the way, but often end up looking back with little to show for it come September.
Even though I’m definitely not a parenting expert, can I just encourage you for a moment to NOT give in to the pressure to fill every second your summer with lots of activity? We moms may feel pressure to plan things to keep our kids busy or we may feel an urgency to make picture perfect memories in the quick 2-month span that is summer break, but let’s not do that at the expense of our sanity, okay?
Let’s say together that enough is enough and be resolved to slowing down and enjoying this summer, whatever it may bring. Slowing down doesn’t have to mean not having a plan though. Here are 6 ways to intentionally savor your summer without letting the time get away from you.
1. Create a summer bucket list
One of my favorite ways to be intentional with summer plans and activities is to create a bucket list. (Y’all should know I love a good list by now!) My kids are still a little young to do this completely on their own, but this can also be done together as a family too. Brainstorm things that each of you would love to be able to do this summer. You may not be able to do them all, but jot them down and have fun thinking about all the possibilities!
2. Schedule some outings on your calendar
Once you’ve created your bucket list, put some plans into action by putting a few of them on your calendar. You can probably be spontaneous with many of the smaller ones on your list (Do you really need to schedule catching lightning bugs?), but some will take some planning so go ahead and pencil them in on your calendar so that time doesn’t get away from you.
3. Leave plenty of margin
While putting some outings on the calendar is helpful for planning, at the same time, don’t overbook yourself. Start small and select 1-2 items from your bucket list for each week of the summer. If you have time and energy, then you can always add more later. If you don’t deliberately leave margin time in your schedule, then it will fill up and you’re stress-free days of summer will end up chaotic and overwhelming. If it helps, block out certain chunks of time in your schedule where you won’t plan anything. Let that be your built-in margin time.
4. Get outside as much as you can
Getting outside is so good for your overall health and mood and is a great way to savor the summertime. We live in an area of the country with all four seasons, so we know that the summer weather will not last long. I don’t like the cold weather and will often get the “winter blues” so I try to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible in the summer. Make it a point to eat lunch or dinner on the deck or take walks in the evenings. There are lots of simple ways to enjoy the outdoors.
5. Be more flexible on some routines and rules
I am a big believer in structure and routines when it comes to my children and my home. They thrive when they are well-rested and know what to expect and our home runs more smoothly. Ultimately, do what is best for your family, but perhaps you could be a little more flexible than normal during the summer?
6. Utilize your grill as much as possible
We don’t do it as often as we should, but we love grilling. It’s fun and helps change things up for the person who handles the meal prep in your family. Doesn’t grilled food just taste so yummy?
If you need help with getting your summer bucket list started, I’m excited to share this FREE summer bucket list printable today. I’ve broken the list up up into 4 main categories: places to go, special treats, crafts/learning activities, and outdoor adventures. I included the “other” category for anything else that doesn’t fit within those. Brainstorm and then make sure to mark them off as you go!
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What is your favorite part about summer?