This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Special K. All opinions are 100% mine.
Summer is such a magical time. It can also be a very stressful time if you are surrounded by children and chaos all day long. Here are 7 easy ways to have a low stress summer!
- Create a mini routine for you and the kids.
Regardless of the ages of your children, you will all benefit from a routine that works well for you. This can be as strict or as loose as you like it, but kids tend to operate best when they have an idea of what is coming. Not every single day looks the same, but I do like to use our family bucket list and family command center to let the kids know what is coming up! To give you an example, our Summer looks a little like this: Wake up. Breakfast. Get ready. Swim Lessons. Chores. Lunch. Quiet time/Nap time. (The older kids read while the younger kids nap), Play time. Dinner. Activities. Bed. Repeat. So obviously this isn’t how things look every single day because the activities through out the Summer change. But for the most part we try to have an activity in the morning and complete our chores, quiet time, and then fun in the afternoon/evening. The kids love being able to look at our month on the wall and see what they have coming up. This will save your sanity as they will bother you a lot less wondering what is coming next.
2. Be flexible. I say this right after “create a routine”, because with kids you always have to be willing to be flexible with your plans. A trip planned visiting a museum may be derailed by a three-year old’s tantrum, a baby blow out, or a sickness you didn’t see coming. That is okay! Summer is the best because it is YOUR own schedule and you can roll with the punches. We like to create a summer list with some of the activities that are planned out, but most of them are not. We pick and choose as we go. If your kids
are younger any age at all, you will have to pick and choose what is worth it to you and your energy level. 3. Stay hydrated and eat well. I cannot emphasize enough how important is that you and your children are well hydrated and fed. This can save you from so many meltdowns and tantrums. It seems to be even more poignant when you are out in the sun or playing all day long at a park, amusement park, or activity. I also want to mention that it is just as important, if not even more, that you consider your own energy and nutrition! So often as moms we forget to fuel our own bodies and consider what we may need to keep ourselves going throughout the day. I have been studying the effects of protein and healthy foods on our own mental state and I know that when I forget to pay attention to myself that everyone suffers. I love the new protein bites from Special K that supply all of the “no doubt” foods when it comes to making healthy choices for myself. I am always looking for healthy ways to include more protein in my day and these little bites fit the bill perfectly and can easily fit into my purse with a re-sealable bag that I can use again and again when we are out and on the go. 9 grams of protein, and delicious ingredients you can taste and see!
You can easily add a healthy punch to your snacking with Special K‘s new Nourish line and Protein Bites. We as women need to make sure we are taking care of ourselves too so that we can have the ability to own it and to keep up with the fun and the challenging moments that come with motherhood! 4. Enlist your little helpers. Just yesterday I was feeling overwhelmed with the clutter in my house and the lack of energy I had. I was talking to my husband and complaining about the moment and he asked if I had asked the kids to do their chores yet that day. I hadn’t and I’ll admit that I was nervous to because I wasn’t looking for a fight. So instead I turned my thinking around and made it positive. I told myself that I only need ask in a positive way and make it fun! This can be a little hard to do sometimes, but here are some tips for success.
- Give your kids zones to focus on as they clean.
- Turn on music that they request to help them clean and let them take turns.
- Clean together. Kids are much more willing and excited to do so when you work side by side.
- Set a timer and make it into something of a game!
5. Have quiet time. Everyone needs a reboot, and by the time my two youngest are ready for a nap my older two are always pretty pooped too. We have been using the quiet/nap time as a chance for us all to recharge. I am able to get a little work done and the kids have a chance to be quiet and in a cool place. We try to make it to the library once a week so the kids have new books they are excited about reading. This time can also be used to watch a movie/show, play with toys, play with an iPad, or work on a project.
6. Take it Slow. Summer slips by so quickly. I try my best to not over-schedule so that we have time to just be. We can visit our local park, walk up and down the street to catch up with friends/neighbors, or simply watch ants as they go about their business. Kids need time to explore and create and I find that they can best stretch their imaginations when they are expected to do nothing at all. 7. When in doubt, send the kids outside. It is okay for your kids to be bored. I read something funny this week about a mom who said her kids are “brain dead” after they watch a movie/tv and it takes half the amount of time they were watching to reboot their brains into action. I think time relaxing with a screen is fine but it shouldn’t dominate your child’s down time or their summer. Sending the kids outside to explore, play with friends, and get dirty is what summer is all about.
How do you keep stress low in the summer?