* by Jessica McHugh
As a young mother, I never gave a second thought to managing my stress — OR my kids’ stress — during the summer (or any time, really, to be honest).
I was on edge the majority of the time, our schedules were packed with activities from those Pinterest summer bucket lists, we were exhausted, and it wasn’t working out as Instagram suggested. Something had to give, and my stress was number one on the list.
The last couple of years, not managing my stress has been detrimental to my health. I’ve had to learn and focus on maintaining my inner peace to minimize the number of autoimmune flareups I have. I can’t prevent them all, but I’m surely going to do my best.
When Kathleen and I were discussing topics for our Healthy Summer Living month, I knew I wanted to have an open conversation about managing your mom stress. Why? Because anytime you’re dealing with children and their schedules/routines get thrown for a loop, there’s going to be extra stress — sometimes a lot of it. If we can’t manage the extra stress of summer, we can’t help our littles manage it. And littles who can’t manage stress grow up to be adults who can’t manage stress (it’s a vicious cycle).
Here are a few things that have helped me keep cool during the stay at home summer months:
Keep It Simple
Try letting your summer happen organically. Instead of having those summer bucket lists laminated, try going with the flow. Don’t sweat every single detail trying to make perfect memories. You’ll miss the small, perfect memories happening right under your nose. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be amazing.
Find Time to Do What You Love
Our summer days are longer, but they seem to be over before we know it. With the kids out of school, it can feel like there’s no time for “you.”
Sound selfish? I thought so too, at first. But getting 10-45 minutes a day to feed my soul only serves the greater good of my household. When I give myself time to do things like devotionals, worship, and read, I equip myself for the days ahead. It’s long-term therapy, really.
Remember — why stress today when tomorrow isn’t promised? You only have 17 summers with your children. Do you really want to spend those stressed out? Your kids will remember your presence. It doesn’t much matter what else you’re doing.
We would love to know how you manage your stress during the summer months!
Want to hear more about this topic? Grab a cup of coffee and join us on this week’s podcast:
Jessica is a daughter of God, wife, mother, and entrepreneur – in that order. Her room has, at times, been her stronghold. This has left her feeling obligated to share her struggles along with her victories to help others attempting to overcome the same hurdles. She specializes in helping women practice self-love through movement & self-awareness. It took her a long time to see herself through the eyes of Christ and if she can shorten that duration for others, she’s living her purpose.