Ripe with beach trips, days spent poolside, and plenty of popsicles grins, there are numerous reasons to relish the dog days of summer. But with kids out of school and work schedules interrupted by vacations, the lack of a solid routine for three straight months can take a toll. As exhilarating as the season can be, it’s also important to know how to recharge after a chaotic summer and start the second half of the year off on the right foot.
Pinterest searches for “routine” generally spike twice per year — once in January and again in August. The New Year and back to school seasons see users looking for ways to get organized after the general chaos of the winter holidays and summer break. Notably, there was also a huge search spike for the term during April 2020 when the entire world went into lockdown. (Because honestly, who wasn’t scrambling to find an at-home routine that actually worked during that time?)
Simply put, a routine is something to reach for when it’s time to take a deep breath and get your sh*t together.
Why Is It Important To Recharge After Summer?
There’s this early-August slog that comes with the reality of early wake-ups, school supply shopping, and packing lunches. It’s a feeling that can hit you square in the face if you aren’t prepared — I’ve definitely been there. It can also be incredibly hard to resist the urge to exit summer and all its glory without a plan. (Can’t I just hang out in the pool with a cocktail forever?)
Think back to January for a moment. Did you make a resolution or two? Perhaps you set specific intentions or goals for the year ahead. Or, maybe you sat down with a calendar to plan out the rest of the school year with your kids, counting down the days until summer break. The same tactics can be just as useful mid-year when summer break has slowed your New Year’s momentum to a crawl.
In order to fully embrace the rush of excitement that comes when you plow headfirst into the school year with a shiny new routine and freshly-sharpened pencils, a post-summer recharge is necessary.
5 Ways To Recharge After A Chaotic Summer
How this happens will look different for everyone. Ultimately, you have to find what works for you and your family. Here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling:
- Get organized. Think about the areas of your life that seem hectic right now and figure out how to streamline them. If dinnertime is always a struggle, make a meal plan or set up a meal subscription service. You can create a chore chart for your family or adjust your kid’s after-school routine. Do what you can to put a plan in place to tackle day-to-day tasks.
- Find your rhythm. The abrupt change from a free-flowing summer schedule to the rigors of school, work, and kids’ activities is akin to getting whiplash. Ease into your new rhythm by scheduling downtime (for you and your kids), prioritizing self-care, sticking to the parts of your new routine that work, and ditching those that don’t.
- Set goals. Remember how great it felt to make resolutions and set big intentions for the year back in January? There’s no rule that says you can’t do it all over again after summer ends. They also don’t have to be huge, lofty goals either. Something like making a fall bucket list with your kids totally counts.
- Do things you enjoy. Summer may be over, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying yourself. You can steal away little pieces of summer joy all year long, even when it looks nothing at all like a week-long beach vacation. Have a movie night, bake some cookies, plan a picnic with friends, read a good book — just find time to do even the smallest things that fill your cup.
- Embrace the season you’re in. Does this mean you should cover your house in pumpkin decor, light a fall-scented candle, and snuggle up in a cozy sweater to watch Hocus Pocus? If you are me, then it absolutely does. But it can also mean whatever you need for it to mean. It could mean volunteering to be your kindergartener’s room parent or planning your extended family’s holiday gatherings — just embrace whatever feels most important in your life right now. (Even if that’s a ‘90s Halloween movie.)
The holiday season and all of its glorious pandemonium will be here before you know it. Use this precious in-between time to recharge, reset, and renew your spirit so that you’re ready for whatever life throws your way through the last half of the year.
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