Like most of the families with whom I work, I have now become caught up in the whirlwind of responsibilities and appointments that get ushered in once September hits each year. As I return to schools and greet clients, I am routinely asked about my summer, to which I invariably respond, “it’s not over yet.” Although I am mostly joking, I genuinely am trying to remind myself that summer—and all that it provides me—does not end simply because of the creeping advance of the calendar. Many of us take planned vacations during the summer months, permitting us to rest, to have fun with our families, and simply to take a break from our busy lives. Even when we are not vacationing, there is something peaceful and healing about the summertime, perhaps always reminding us of when we were children and had the summer truly off from school.
As the days get shorter and the chill makes it harder for us to remember the summer, the challenge becomes finding ways to continue to “summer” ourselves in other ways. The easiest way, of course, is to make sure that we use our weekends to have fun and to relax, leaving time to recreate and making sure we do not completely fill the weekend with the various chores we couldn’t get to during the week. Perhaps even more important is taking moments during the week to be mindful and to relax. Try scheduling some time daily at work to breathe. Schedule time with your family when you do nothing. Even twenty minutes daily of sitting together, taking a walk, or playing a family game can go a long way toward easing tensions and to remind us of what is most important. If your lives are increasingly governed by schedules, as most of us are these days, put your down time into the schedule. Keep holding on to summer in this way
and before you know it…
Phil Robbins, Ph. D.