“‘Cuz a little bit of summer is what the whole year is all about.”-John Mayer
Remember the nostalgic feelings as Summer approached. I can’t wait for relaxed schedules, to have the kids home, to travel, to go on vacation, a trip, a holiday.
Summertime, and the living is easy. -Ella Fitzgerald
Summer is embraced as a time to color outside of the lines, to be footloose and fancy-free. It’s a time to shed responsibilities and enjoy freedom.
The anxiety about what to do with the kids all Summer slowly replaces itself with joy as everyone gels into a new normal.
As Fall approaches there’s a bit of anxiety about whether people had enough fun. Did we have enough fun with the kids before they go back to school? Did we make the most of the Summer opportunities?
Autumn Anxiety is a real term about the feelings people have as they transition to Fall.
We embrace patterned behavior, schedules, and school.
In a single word, it’s
Meals at the table
Summer is a time of picnics and outdoors. Between activities, camps, and late nights it’s possible you haven’t had a family meal around the table all Summer. What you might not know is that this old-fashioned activity is not without merits.
The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University surveyed more than 1,000 teens to discover the impact on familial relationships and substance abuse.
To be clear, this is, horror of horrors, electronic-free time.
That’s right. When you sit down at the table it’s time to put the phones up and turn off the TV.
Can you handle the truth of these actions?
The study results will have you lapping it up like your favorite dessert.
0–2 meals each week:
The number where researchers become concerned because children are less likely to report a good relationship with their parents and begin reporting substance abuse issues.
3 meals each week:
The pivotal point where teens display a positive impact on emotional health, well-being, and nutritional development.
5–7 meals each week:
The sweet spot for the greatest benefits in teen and family health.
The simple conclusion is the family who eats and talks together is healthier.
Life is predictable or at least many activities are scheduled. Over scheduling can crowd out spontaneity, but when the most common events are scheduled people have a general idea of what to expect and when to expect it.
Examples: School and work happen Monday-Friday. Practice or meetings happen on certain nights of the week.
Big events get scheduled and there’s allowance for unplanned events to fill in leisure time like weekends and downtime.
Like Franklin Covey says:
Begin with the end in mind.
Schedule the big things first and you’ll have time for what matters most.
If you’ve been active outside exercise has naturally been built-in to your activities. If not, it’s a good time to get back to basics.
Exercise is easy to work into your day minutes at a time without a lot of effort, fancy equipment, or going to the gym.
- take the steps
- go for a walk
- use your body weight for resistance
- get a buddy for accountability
- use an app on your phone for guided exercise
Taking the steps is an easy alternative to raise the heartbeat and get a little cardio. Parking way out in the parking lot is another alternative.
Walk. Get up a little early and go for a brisk morning walk around the neighborhood. Not an early bird? Make it an evening walk.
Body weight. Your body weight is an easy way to create resistance and develop core strength. Dips can easily be done off the edge of a chair. Squats, lunges, calf raises, planks or push-ups can all be done with relative ease.
Once those endorphins are flowing, your day will improve. These basics will set your day right.
Less anxiety, more together time, and healthier families aren’t difficult to achieve with simple fundamental blocks of life.
Do you have other ideas on how to create a better you?