Four strategies for a thriving summer

We are in the full swing of summertime.  It’s not South Carolina without the heat and the sunshine.  And here in Florence, we’re close enough to enjoy a few trips to the beach as well.  The temperature may make us feel like we’re melting, but I hope that in reality you and your family are thriving this summer!

  1. Plan some fun activities with your family and friends

Hopefully, this happens throughout the year. But there is something unique about summertime activities. A game of cornhole, camping, road trips, lazy beach days, iced coffee – your activity may be big or small, but don’t let summer pass you by just following the same old routine! Pro Tip: Notice the word “some” up there? Avoid overscheduling yourself. It still is hot out there!

  1. Protect your body from the dangers of summertime

As temperatures rise and the seasons change, summer brings unique challenges for our physical health. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself and your kids who are home from school! Summer brings out three unique dangers: sun, bugs, and heat. What can you do? Wear sunscreen or stay out of the direct sun. Use bug spray and check for ticks if you are in long grasses. Drink enough water to ensure your body stays hydrated. Pro Tip: Don’t forget that eating your vegetables, getting enough sleep, and staying physically active are helpful year-round!

  1. Don’t compare your summer to my summer… or anyone else on social media

Does every family vacation go perfectly? Are your kids always smiling, never arguing, your flights always on time, the sunsets never rained out but always magical and perfect? Um… no. So don’t believe it when you find yourself feeling jealous or lonely as you watch your friends’ social media feeds fill up with amazing summertime adventures. Yes, we all have those picture-perfect moments. But we also know that it can serious bribery to get kids to smile for the perfect picture. Enjoy what you have, and don’t compare your summer to anyone else’s summer. Pro Tip: Real life happens outside of social media too, so you may even want to scale back on how often you’re checking (or posting) on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… enjoy life without your phone, from time to time!

  1. Expect some unique summertime emotional mood swings

Have you ever gotten “hangry” – moody or angry when you’re feeling hungry? (I hope you have, because I certainly get hangry.)  Well, summer can also bring some moodier times for us. The sun makes us hot, which makes us sleepy, which makes us cranky. Your kids missing their school friends may find themselves grumbling, always bored, and never quite satisfied no matter how much energy you put into planning fun outings. Summertime is beautiful, but people are still people. Have grace for your people. Pro Tip: Naps are a glorious thing. And maybe in a hammock under a shady tree, they might be especially rejuvenating!

Written by Jessica Hayes
iHope Executive Director