Summer Self-Care and Coping Tips for Stressful Times
Self-care is essential all the time, but especially when times are stressful. Summer can be a great time to slow down (even a bit) and enjoy the present, and to focus on having some fun and relaxation. However, for some summer can be extra stressful due to having kids home from school and having expectation that are hard to meet.
• Set realistic goals
There are so many things we might want to do in summer. Fun and adventure; vacations or daytrips; home projects; family BBQ’s… But, we still have only 24 hours a day and all the normal life demands. So try to be realistic with your expectations.
• Keep it simple
It’s usually best to keep things simple. Have neighbors over for watermelon or smores instead of planning an elaborate get together. Ask each family member to share one or two ideas for a summer bucket list, and then strive to include one thing for each person. Just enjoy sitting on the patio and relaxing.
When stress is high, we need some extra help.
• Set boundaries
When life is busy and stressful it is essential to set boundaries in order to take care of ourselves. We need to protect our time and energy. We must make time to recharge our battery a priority or we will be in chronic low power mode.
• Let go
There are so many things we cannot control. Remembering and accepting this is not easy, and the more things feel out of control, the more anxious we tend to become. Remind yourself daily to focus on the things you can do and let go of the rest. Take the next best action to support yourself. Just do your best to do what you can.
• Take action
Creating a plan and some structure can help us feel calmer and more in control. Be intentional and realistic about setting goals and priorities. Figure out what the next best actions are and move forward with that.
• Seek balance
When things are hard, seek balance. While it is important to acknowledge our feelings of stress, it’s helpful to seek balance by taking a break and taking in the good. Consider what might help you relax and get your mind off the hard things. Look for moments of relaxation, peace and joy.
• Stay in the moment
Try to be in, and enjoy, the present moment. Enjoy your cup of coffee in the morning. Enjoy the sunny days, the flowers that are blooming, the sunset, summer fruit, a good workout, a relaxing bath… This is a great time to work on mindfulness. Consider starting a meditation practice. Using an app like Calm or Headspace can be helpful.
• Accept your feelings
It’s normal to feel anxious, frustrated, sad or confused during challenging times. Try to accept your feelings and normal and part of being human. And remind yourself that you have feelings, but you are not your feelings. Many of our feelings are fear based. And feelings change. Balance support and acceptance of your feelings, with mindfulness and self-compassion.
• Accept what is
We sometimes have unrealistic expectations about life. As in things should not be stressful and we should feel happy, be perfect and not disappoint anyone. This is not possible. Life is a mixed bag. We will have hard times and better times. We will have days with moments of good and moments of stress. Much of our unhappiness is connected to resistance to what is. Try to accept and go with the flow of life.
• Look for the unexpected gifts
As I frequently say, there are two sides to every coin. Even challenging situations offer opportunity for unexpected gifts. Look for these things let yourself appreciate them. Even the hardest times bring opportunity to learn and grow. Accept that the gifts will show up, even if we can’t see them right now. The sun always rises.
• Enjoy the season
So, it is summer. Try to embrace the season. Enjoy the simple things. Even if we have lots of stress, we can take a moment to smell the roses and savor the watermelon, ice-cream, summer BBQ’s etc.
If you need some extra help and support, please reach out: [email protected]
Articles & Resources
- Walking Benefits: 8 Advantages of Walking, According to Experts and Science | Shape
- Everything You Need to Know About Summer in Kansas City | Visit KC
- 100 fun activities to do in summer with or without kids – CNN
Quotes & Inspiration
“Friendly reminder that doing your best does not mean pushing yourself to the point of a mental breakdown”. – unknown
“Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be”. – Wayne W. Dyer
“We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.” – Dolly Parton
“Every time you make a commitment to your own self-care, self-love, and self-respect and then follow through, you build trust in yourself.” – Miranda J. Barrett
“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” — John Lubbock
Affirmation: Life supports me in every possible way.