I work from home — which sounds like it would be the ideal way to spend the summer. But, my family seems to conveniently forget that I am supposed to be working. Who is the finder of all things lost? Me. Who has to figure out what to eat for lunch AND dinner? Me. Who does all of the extra summer laundry, picks up the wet beach towels and chauffeurs everyone to everything? You guessed it. Me, me and me.
When I proclaimed a few days ago that I was stressed, my husband and kids looked at me like I had lost my mind. Why would I possibly be stressed? It’s summer, after all.
Here are some unexpected sources of stress and how you can deal with them this summer season:
Summer means that kids are home from school for three long months. While it’s nice to sleep in a little later and escape from homework and school activities for a while, it means the kids are around ALL the time. There’s bickering and boredom. Then, there’s driving to summer activities or sports practices and trying to keep up with house cleaning and laundry. Or, finding babysitting, working and still managing to do everything else.
My kids have summer chores which seems to cut down on the boredom. If they say they’re bored, I find them something to do. It also helps to come up with new ways to keep them busy. So far this summer, my kids have built a fort in the basement, been explorers in the woods behind our house, and hidden things around the house for each other to find.
Too much to do?
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of summer and want to do everything you can to soak up the fun. However, you may have to set boundaries on the commitments you make. With more daylight hours, we try to pack in even more social activities. We tend to think of negative or frustrating experiences as stressful, but having too much to do can add to your stress level. Remember to pace yourself and turn down invitations if you feel you’re too busy to have fun.
Vacations are important for health, happiness and relieving stress. However, planning and actually executing a vacation can be very stressful. Allow plenty of time to plan your vacation so that you won’t feel pressured to get everything done at the last minute. Or, if the financial strain of going on vacation could be adding to your stress, consider taking a staycation instead. A staycation is a stay-at-home vacation. You may be surprised at how many cheap things there are to do in the summer right in your neighborhood.
Covering for co-workers?
Does it feel like there is someone on vacation at work every week during the summer? When everyone else goes on vacation, it may make your job more stressful. Your co-workers may also be distracted by summer fun and not as productive at work. Summer may actually add to your workload. Try find a balance between co-workers’ schedules and your own.
No down time?
You may need to create your own down time in the summer. Sundays can be a great time to rest and unwind. You may already go to church services on Sunday morning. Many religions also believe that Sunday is a day to reflect and rejoice in the blessings of life. You can set aside Sunday as the day to take a break from work, technology or other stresses in your life.
While summer can be one of the best times of the year, it can also add to your stress levels. Be sure to give yourself permission to relax this summer. Do you have any tips for a stress-free summer?