Stay Sane During Summer Vacation
By Rachel Shouse
Keeping all of your children occupied during the summer months is an all-day task. You're juggling kids, cleaning, errands, work, and playing taxi. This is enough to bring the strongest of parents to their knees. There are things you can do to help lessen the stress. Parents especially need to be aware of their mental health. Knowledge is power, after all. I'll also share tips on how to keep younger kids busy and creative ways to keep your preteen/teen occupied during summer vacation.
Evaluate Your Mental Health
A lot of folks go about their lives not knowing that there's a dark cloud hanging over their head. Some symptoms may seem normal to you. If some of these feelings seem familiar, it's time to take action.
- Loss of interest in things that you used to find joy in
- Feeling like your mind is racing
- Worrying that something really bad is going to happen
- Mood swings
- Feeling like you're either flying or moving too slow
Mental illness is very easy to misdiagnose. Symptoms of one illness can be found in other illnesses too. For example, mood swings and worrying are both symptoms of depression. Mood swings are also a sign of an anxiety disorder as well. The first step to finding out what's going on is by talking to a professional. Even if their first plan doesn't work, they'll have back up plans and they'll communicate with you frequently to see how you're feeling.
Keeping Toddlers Busy
Little ones are small balls of energy. These busy moments make it difficult for you to get anything done. I have a quick tip that, over time, will provide some much needed time alone.
Give your child a blanket that is big enough for them to sit on with a bit of wiggle room. Hand them some of their favorite toys and set a timer for an age appropriate amount of time. They have to stay on the blanket and occupy themselves until the timer goes off. It takes time to teach them this habit. Don't give up though. You'll reap the rewards in the future.
Privileges and Responsibilities
Preteens and teenagers can be so much fun. They can be so charismatic and excited. The other side of that coin is a mess. They can be moody, rude, irresponsible, the list goes on. While you can't reward bad behavior, it's important to reward your child with more privileges when they do behave properly. Allow them to stay up late, have a sleepover, buy or make them a gift, let them ride their bike with a friend, the sky's the limit. It's mostly up to them, the rewards they receive and such. Giving them clear instructions and rewards can help encourage them to do what you asked.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Fayetteville, N.C.