Summer is Full of Opportunity
From recent conversations with my students and parents, many of them are feeling burned out and tired from this past school year. As you know, it was the first complete school year after the pandemic. I think many students (and adults) had to build up endurance again. We are nearly a month into summer and I’m encouraging all of my students to take a break to re-energize. This doesn’t mean to lay around the house and do absolutely nothing. Rather, it means get out of the house and do something that feeds your soul! But one may ask, how do I do that when I have summer classes, sports camps, part-time job, and volunteer work? Well, this is a tough question to answer but I’ll try to make it simple.
First, ask yourself, do these activities feed my soul or drain me? More than likely there is at least one thing you can let go of or at least cut back on which will create more space for you to do something that brings you joy. This doesn’t have to be anything too elaborate. It could simply mean pulling weeds for your elderly neighbor, having coffee with your grandma or friend, going to a park with your family, or helping out at the local food pantry.
One thing we (kids and adults alike) learned from the pandemic is that self care is essential for not only our physical wellbeing but also our mental health. We need to find ways to reconnect with the activities that bring us joy. Don’t overthink it. Just get out there and explore the options!
Summer is also a great time to start making self care a routine. Many believe that self care is eating chocolate, binge watching your favorite Netflix series, or going to the spa but it’s actually more than that. It’s a discipline. One way to start practicing this is first to identify what you value and what is important to you. (It might be doing one of the activities mentioned above.) Oftentimes this means saying “no” to the things that aren’t serving you. As you continue to enjoy your summer, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Take time to rest.
Take time to reconnect with friends and family.
Take time to connect with nature. Something as simple as walking the dog! (one of my personal favorites!)
Discover a new hobby or practice an old hobby.
Take time to be quiet. Try reading a book or two. (Did you know reading is one of the best ways to improve standardized test scores? The more you read, the better your reading comprehension, the faster you read, and your vocabulary expands!)
Take time to get organized in your digital spaces. (Students - this is especially helpful as you prepare for the upcoming school year.) Set up email filters, unsubscribe from unnecessary emails, maybe consider creating an email address just for college stuff.
The opportunities during summer are endless. It’s your choice how you spend your time. Choose wisely!