The season of barbecues on the back deck, long sunny days, afternoon swimming sessions.
And the season of kids bringing roly-poly bugs into the house, rifling through the cupboards for food, dripping popsicles on the floor, laundry loaded with grass stains, Happy playing while the television is on, while the iPad is on, spontaneous sleepovers, and schedules changing so fast it feels like you’re spinning around on a fair ride.
Yeah. That summer.
But there are a few strategies I’m using this year to keep me from losing my mind – and I’m not talking hitting every happy hour in the neighborhood.
While, one key may be the occasional margarita with your girlfriends, enjoying a stress-free summer also involves shifting your mindset and making the most of the change in routine. There are many ways to do it – and believe me I use them all – but the easiest is a quick reframe.
How to Reframe Before You Freak
When I contemplated my summer schedule, which includes, juggling work with limited childcare and the needs of an active 8-year-old, I started to freak. So, I took a couple of deep breaths and then I reframed the situation.
Instead of the “how am I going to get it all done” panicked approach, I adopted the “I’m-fortunate-I-have-the-flexibility” view. Still the same situation, I’m just looking at it from another perspective – one that feels better.
Friends of mine, who are working full time through the summer, have decided to keep their focus on the upcoming August vacation instead of all the long hours they are putting in now to pay for it. Another woman I know, a business owner who regularly sees her revenues drop during the summer months when her clients tend to be out of the office, reframes what could be a stressful situation into one of opportunity by seeing the free time as a way to build her business. The open hours give her time to market, network, and get organized.
There are a variety of ways to look at any one situation. Find the view the looks the best, put on the rose-colored glasses (don’t worry this won’t make you delusional, you’ll still be able to see the weeds in the neighbor’s yard and the pile of work on your desk) and take the perspective that eases stress and amps up good feeling.
On Wednesday, I’ll offer up a few other approaches I use to ease summer stress.