How to remedy these 4 common summer woes?
The summer is classically seen as a time for fun and relaxation. However, for a busy parent, it can be anything but.
The lack of a structured school schedule and organized extracurricular activities can leave a family feeling scattered. The warmer weather and time spent outdoors can lead to a host of seasonal ailments. If you’re not prepared for it, the summer can be full of a host of different woes.
Here are some tips and reminders — from all aspects of daily life — to help you mitigate the pain and maximize the pleasure as your family heads into the upcoming summer months.
Stay safe and sound
Let’s start with the basics: your family’s physical health. Here are a handful of major health concerns to prep for during the summertime:
- Sunburn: Sunburn is public enemy number one in the hot months. When the sun comes out, always have that sunblock handy.
- Poison ivy: Time spent outdoors often involves run-ins with poison ivy, nettles, and other aggressive plants. Consider which leafy pests exist in your neck of the woods and guard against them.
- Scrapes, bruises, and other injuries: From hiking to biking to running around, summer comes with a lot of injuries. Make sure you have a well-stocked emergency kit in your purse, the car, and the bathroom at all times. Also, consider investing in some first aid training so that you can always take the best course of action in an emergency.
- Sleep deprivation: Longer days and late-night activities can leave everyone exhausted. Make sure to establish bedtimes and sleep cycles for all and sundry.
As you prep for the summer, it’s important to consider where things could go wrong. Don’t use this as an excuse to fret or get anxious. Instead, gather your medical supplies, consider what steps you can take to prevent injuries from happening, and decide what you’ll do if and when they do occur.
Address electronics and unplugging
The pandemic has made electronic zombies of us all. While gaming or streaming in moderation can have its benefits, too much time spent in front of a screen is always bad.
Not only can it hurt your eyes and cause your overall fitness to suffer. Binging digital media can also negatively impact your mental health. Depression and anxiety are obvious factors here. But too much television can also increase your dopamine levels to the point where other everyday activities are less satisfying.
Fortunately, the summer is full of great alternatives. Sports, swimming, trips to the park, and countless other events can be planned with nary a screen in sight.
If you want your family to truly enjoy the summer, you need to take steps to reduce the time that they spend interacting with their devices. A few suggestions for ways to do this include:
- Setting screen time limits.
- Creating “screen-free” areas of your home.
- Scheduling unplugging times for your family to spend together.
Along with managing your screen time, you also want to take care of your gadgets while you’re engaging in the summer fun. If a tablet gets splashed while you’re swimming in the pool, have a plan in place to dry it out quickly. Install safety cases and screen protectors to guard against drop and falls when you’re on a hike. You get the idea.
Fortify your financial stamina
Finances are a classic concern in the summer. Predictable expenses and cost-cutting measures often go out the window in the name of convenience, fun, and extracurricular activities.
And that’s okay. It’s great to shake things up and enjoy yourself during the warmer weather. However, you may want to take some time to prepare your finances for the shock of summer spending.
Start by reviewing your budget. Consider any predictable upcoming expenses, like a vacation or a day at a theme park, and factor them into the mix.
Next, consider where you can trim the budget and reduce your spending to help counter the additional costs. As the summer approaches, also do your best to set aside any extra cash you may have as a rainy day fund specifically targeted at offsetting your extra summer expenses.
Beware of boredom
Boredom is the number one danger of your summer. With school out and too much time on their hands, your kids are going to find themselves twiddling their thumbs before long.
With that in mind, consider how you can help them get the most out of the boring moments. You can do this in multiple ways. For instance, it doesn’t hurt to come up with a list of fun ideas that you can pull out whenever you see that your kids are looking for something to do.
At the same time, remember that boredom isn’t always a bad thing. It can also be a catalyst for creativity. Rather than always giving your kids something to do, encourage them to go outside or put themselves in some other situation where they can let their imagination go wild.
Prepping for a fun summer
Summer is fun. It’s relaxing. It’s exciting. But it can also be full of a lot of concerns — especially for a parent. From bumps and bruises to boredom and screen time, make sure to prepare for the potential woes that this summer could present.
If you can do that before any concerns arise, you’ll be able to minimize the negatives and get the most out of every aspect of your family’s summer adventures.