Which reminds me that I have to be smart. Work smarter, not harder. Take care of myself.
And when I talk about self care, I'm not talking about pampering. People in my stage of life don't often have money for babysitters and spa days and vacations by the lake. We have to use the resources we have available to stay sane, stay healthy, stay happy.
Here are some ways I'm going to try to be smarter this summer when life is at its most demanding:
- Sleep more: Go to bed at a reasonable time; don't let myself stay up super late writing and editing. I know staying up into the wee hours will bite me the next day and usually those late-night pushes don't produce my best work anyway.
- Drink more water: It's so easy for me to get busy and forget to drink water. Also, when I'm tired, I usually head for the caffeinated sodas in the refrigerator. Less soda, more water!
- Eat well: Hello fresh fruits and veggies! There's such a wide variety of produce this time of year. I want to enjoy it. And my body will thank me, too.
- Walk more: Though we're still on a schedule in the summer, it doesn't have to be as rigid as during the school year. I want to take advantage of every opportunity I have to get out of the house, skip the car ride, and walk with my baby jogger to our destination. The kids might complain at first, but they'll get used to it.
- Give the kids chores: I'm already listening to too much of the "I'm Bored" chorus at our house. I'm putting these bored kids to work. Weeding, dishes, vacuuming, dusting, to name a few.
- One activity a day: Someone recently mentioned this when we were talking about summer survival. Every day she picked one activity to do with her kids. It didn't have to be big, exhausting or expensive. Maybe they played in the sprinkler, maybe they rode bikes to the corner store, maybe they baked cookies, maybe they spent the morning at the pool, but every day they picked one thing and did it. That sounds doable to me.
- Read more: It's crazy that I actually end up reading less with my children during summer than I do during the school year. I need to remember that it's okay to pick up books and read in the middle of the day. Reading doesn't have to be reserved for bedtime.
- Pray, laugh & sing: This may sound simple, but so often these are not my reactions when stress hits. When I have three children crying simultaneously, I'm more likely to start blubbering than singing. As the mom, I so often set the mood in my home. I want it to be a good mood, even in the not-so-good moments.